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Pop - Released August 28, 2020 | Capitol Records

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It comes as no great surprise that Smile, Katy Perry’s fifth album, doesn’t buck the trend of her previous work which has been at the heart of the American pop scene for the last ten years. The singer isn’t pretending to have revolutionised her artistic direction whose formula remains largely unchanged in both visual and musical terms. Smile is tailored for the radio waves and, while we can knock the simplicity of its lyrics, the very synthetic and often meticulous production transforms some tracks into powerful dance hits (Teary Eyes) and even gives us some unexpected disco grooves (Smile, Champagne Problems). The refreshing R&B on Harleys in Hawaii and its more intimate production stand out on this very (or overly?) energetic album that the singer explains was conceived during her darkest times. Occasionally, the sweet, colourful pop sounds almost ironic when considering the subjects Katy Perry discusses. A Smile or forced laughter? © IF/Qobuz
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Pop - Released August 28, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released May 15, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released July 10, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released December 18, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Pop - Released July 1, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released October 16, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Pop - Released November 13, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released August 28, 2020 | Capitol Records

As an album title, Smile carries an air of determined pleasantry, and Katy Perry could use her share of good spirits in 2020. Witness, Smile's predecessor, found Perry pushing her artistic limits, an exercise that didn't find an audience, so she's chosen to retreat to safe territory for Smile. Mostly, this results in Perry devoting herself to dance-pop that's coolly glassy on the surface and vaguely positive underneath. It's dance music that's not intended for the club; rather, it's a soundtrack for everyday events, from work to exercise to relaxation. It's also music that tacitly acknowledges that Katy Perry is beginning her slow transition away from pop culture's center stage. She's not ready to yield the spotlight, yet there's a distinct sensation that she's following fashions on Smile, not setting them. Perhaps it's how the album's overall vibe is sunny and melodic, focused on songs, not beats. It's an aesthetic that's completely in line with Teenage Dream, an album that celebrated its tenth anniversary the week of Smile's release, yet everything on this 2020 record is a bit streamlined and mellow; there are no moments of exuberance, no dirty jokes, no hip-hop, no bubblegum, only affirmations, love songs, breezy trifles, and paeans to resilience. Without fleeting moments of bad taste, Perry does indeed sound mature, but she's also not quite as fun. That's a conscious choice, though. Smile is intended to evoke memories of her frivolous younger days while pointing toward a sustainable pop future. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 28, 2020 | Capitol Records

As an album title, Smile carries an air of determined pleasantry, and Katy Perry could use her share of good spirits in 2020. Witness, Smile's predecessor, found Perry pushing her artistic limits, an exercise that didn't find an audience, so she's chosen to retreat to safe territory for Smile. Mostly, this results in Perry devoting herself to dance-pop that's coolly glassy on the surface and vaguely positive underneath. It's dance music that's not intended for the club; rather, it's a soundtrack for everyday events, from work to exercise to relaxation. It's also music that tacitly acknowledges that Katy Perry is beginning her slow transition away from pop culture's center stage. She's not ready to yield the spotlight, yet there's a distinct sensation that she's following fashions on Smile, not setting them. Perhaps it's how the album's overall vibe is sunny and melodic, focused on songs, not beats. It's an aesthetic that's completely in line with Teenage Dream, an album that celebrated its tenth anniversary the week of Smile's release, yet everything on this 2020 record is a bit streamlined and mellow; there are no moments of exuberance, no dirty jokes, no hip-hop, no bubblegum, only affirmations, love songs, breezy trifles, and paeans to resilience. Without fleeting moments of bad taste, Perry does indeed sound mature, but she's also not quite as fun. That's a conscious choice, though. Smile is intended to evoke memories of her frivolous younger days while pointing toward a sustainable pop future. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Dance - Released September 2, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released October 26, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Dance - Released September 18, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released July 10, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Dance - Released September 18, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released November 13, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Dance - Released June 22, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released November 3, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Dance - Released August 25, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Pop - Released July 1, 2020 | Capitol Records

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Katy Perry in the magazine
  • Katy Perry - If it ain't broke don't fix it
    Katy Perry - If it ain't broke don't fix it It comes as no great surprise that Smile, Katy Perry’s fifth album, doesn’t buck the trend of her previous work, which has been at the heart of the American pop scene for the last ten years.