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Album Review

Katy Perry – ‘Smile’ [Album Review]



When I first saw the video for Katy Perry’s “Roar” I was going through a pretty nasty separation. As I sat lowly on a lonely couch with my trusty dog and ever-faithful bottle of Jim Beam, Katy’s lyrics rang out loud and proud. Fast forward to 2020 and, continuously prophetic, we find KP’s Smile both comforting and unisex.

“Cry About It Later” has a new outlook as Katy sullenly sings, “tonight I’m having fun, tonight I’m getting something brand new.” Ready for a brand new tattoo? Sounds good to me. The thing about relationships is they can bring life or death out of you. It’s a dice game and sometimes you gotta put on your best poker face. Some win and some will lose, and sometimes they cover you in “Daisies.” But hey, we’re all “Resilient” and you can’t let the concrete hold you back as we all will once again grow through the cracks.

Keeping on with the Smile theme, some of us have “Champagne Problems” which can go hand in hand with this lovefest, depending on your frame of mind. “We both know the hardest part is over, pull me closer, pour a drink cause all we got is champagne problems now.”

There are moments on Smile where the vocals start to sound the same as an old Billy Squire album, but again, that’s like pizza. Even bad pizza is good as long as it’s hot and Katy assuredly delivers Smile piping. They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and how could a guy not fall in love with a gal that sings a song titled “Harleys in Hawaii”? “Cruising down the heart-shaped highway, I’m revving your engine, I’m on the back holding tight.” That kinda shit will get your motor humming, but it’s the closer, “What Makes a Woman,” that makes you rethink your steps as a man and appreciate your woman’s perspective. “I feel most beautiful doing what the fuck I want”; problematic system revealed.

All in all – and the cool thing about this crapshoot we call love – Smile is a nice easy cruise that helps melt your mind into subconscious meanderings that lift you out of the dark and into the light to appreciate your once-lonely pillow. That’s “My Kinda Lover.”

Smile Track Listing:

1. Never Really Over
2. Cry About It Later
3. Teary Eyes
4. Daisies
5. Resilient
6. Not the End of the World
7. Smile
8. Champagne Problems
9. Tucked
10. Harleys in Hawaii
11. Only Love
12. What Makes a Woman

Run Time: 34:82
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Record Label: Capitol Records

I was born in the late 60's amongst hippies and bikers. Cut my teeth on 70's rock and roll surrounded by motorheads and potheads, and in the 80's spread my wings and flourished as a guitarist. In the 90's I became a semi-professional musician knocking on death metals door, as well as entering the world as a freelance writer. In the 2000's I moved to Hollywood and watched the music industry crumble in front of my dreams and then took a break. Now, in the early 2020s I'm ready to rock again… or swing, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, classical, etc. Its not so much a job to me anymore, but a great way to express myself and have a good time, and, "I know, its only rock and roll but I like it".