Hmm, on my version of Witness, which I understand is a Target-exclusive edition, Katy Perry shrieks that she refuses to “Act My Age” and tosses a few F bombs around. Yes, that is such a brave and stunning thing to do. Of course, she then goes on TV to wail about having a nervous breakdown or something, so yes, life is hard being Katy Perry. The songs here are supposedly darker, edgier, more reflective of her psyche, or something.
Thing is, these songs sound like the songs she has had always done, only slowed down a bit more for the edgy moments. Don’t worry, she is still as vapid as ever. It is especially embarrassing for Ms Perry to be using big words in songs like Chained to the Rhythm, which is about being too addicted to social media. This example is especially a cringe-inducing display of Ms Perry’s hypocrisy – she uses social media like nobody’s business herself, selling her brand to kids all over the world, when here she is complaining that those kids are spending too much time on social media. Oh, and the cringe is still here too. Everything about Bon Appetit, in which she offers herself as a meal for some lover to eat, is just embarrassing, and Hey Hey Hey with its unintentionally hilarious state of ghastliness is close behind.
Still, I can’t bring myself to really pan Witness because the production values are actually solid. The backing track of Roulette, for example, is simply superb and Ms Perry actually sounds tolerable most of the time on that track. Same with Power – the backing track is great; the song is great until that woman’s vocals begin, sigh.
So there it is, this: a collection of otherwise solid pop songs ruined by Katy Perry’s desperately over the top vocal histrionics and some of the most vapid, stupid lyrics around. There is a bewildering contradiction here. The music is something adults can get high to, but the words and the singing are better suited for an episode of Sesame Street. Katy Perry may not want to act her age, but seriously, how old is she pretending to be in the first place?