Released: August 24, 2010
Released: August 27, 2010 (deluxe edition)
Released: March 23, 2012 (The Complete Confection)
Charted: September 11, 2010
Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 12 AU
Sales (in millions): 9.0 US, 1.5 UK, 13.33 world (includes US and UK)
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Tracks from the Deluxe Edition:
Tracks from The Complete Confection:
Total Running Time: 46:44
3.531 out of 5.00 (average of 38 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
Perry presents herself “as a curvy Teenage Dream” AMG for her sophomore outing. The image isn’t hard to cultivate considering that she is “blessed with a cheerleader’s body, the face of a second-chair clarinetist and a drama club queen’s lust for the spotlight.” AMG However, while she “is smart enough to know every rule in pop…she’s not inspired enough to ignore them” AMG so the album finds her “raising eyebrows a’la Alanis, strutting like Gwen Stefani and relying on Britney’s hitmaker Max Martin for her hooks.” AMG
Of course, critical acclaim and commercial success are often at odds with each other. Perry’s “not reinventing pop music or trying to change the world, but this album is an accurate barometer of where pop music is today.” CS The album was only the second in history, after Michael Jackson’s Bad, to land five songs at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – six if you count Part of Me, which was released on the extended Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.
The album’s lead single, California Gurls, was written as a response to Jay-Z’s #1 “Empire State of Mind.” The ode “to women and the beach lifestyle of California” WK “exemplifies contemporary pop songs: something you can dance along to with catchy lyrics and a hip-hop feature” CS – in this case, a guest appearance from rapper Snoop Dogg. The song generated controversy when the Beach Boys claimed the song appropriated the line “I wish they all could be California Girls” from their own song of the same name. WK
The song “best represents the album’s outlook, which is sunny with a chance of sex,” CS and “sets the tone for Teenage Dream.” RS Throughout, she “piles on the sun-drenched drama” RS with “SoCal ambience and disco beats” RS via “heavy Eighties beats, light on melody, taking a long dip into the Daft Punk filter-disco house sound.” RS The album is filled with “de rigeur lite club beats that easily transition from day to night or the chilly [and] stainless-steel ballads designed to lose none of their luster on repeat plays.” AMG
Following that song to #1 was the album’s title cut, a song with “pop friendly beats that showcase strong vocals comparable to Nicole Scherzinger.” CS It is “the perfect blend of what a pop song should sound like: poppy, danceable beats that complement the songstress’ simple, yet provocative message.” CS “If you’re a fan of songs with little depth, then Perry’s got you hooked.” CS
Third to the top was the song Firework, which was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road. WK The song “begins with a soft string section and builds into a full-fledged dance anthem” CS worthy of the “Jersey Shore crew fist-pumping all night long at a club near you.” CS Perry has said it is her favorite song on the album. CS
A remixed version of E.T. with a rap from Kanye West gave Perry her fourth #1 from the album. The song “replicates Ryan Tedder’s glassy robotic alienation…but tellingly avoids ripping off Lady Gaga, who is just too meta for the blunt Katy – but these are merely accents to her old One of the Boys palette.” AMG
She made it to the top a fifth time with ““the kegger romp” RS Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) on which Perry “salutes fellow attention-whore Ke$ha.” AMG
The One That Got Away, “one of her best songs,” RS was released as the sixth single from the album. Perry embraces “mall romance” RS as she sings “I was June and you were Johnny Cash,” but “it’s understood that she’s thinking of the scrubbed-up Hollywood version of June and Johnny from Walk the Line. But that’s just part of what makes her such a true California girl.” RS
As for the non-singles, Circle the Drain, presumably written about her ex, singer Travie McCoy, is “a kiss-off to a rocker hooked on pills.” RS On Who Am I Living For “Perry riffs on the biblical story of Esther, the Jewish orphan who married the Persian king and uncovered a plot to exterminate the Jews. It’s dark and complelling, especially since she sings it like Rihanna.” RS Not Like the Movies finds Katy “sobbing on the floor over her tragic love life…a proud tradition of suburban girls who like their emotional meltdowns Hollywood-size.” RS
At times Perry can rely on “desperate vulgarity” AMG and “none of it actually arousing,” AMG “wooing a suitor with ‘you make me feel like I’m losing my virginity,’ extolling the virtues of blackouts and an accidental ménage a trois, melting popsicles, pleading for a boy to show her his Peacock (chanting ‘cock cock cock’ just in case we at home didn’t get the single entendre).” AMG “It’s tiring because, at her heart, Perry is old-fashioned” AMG she gave “her best post-One of the Boys song, ‘I Do Not Hook Up,’ to Kelly Clarkson; its pro-abstinence rally flies in the face of the masturbatory daydream she’s constructed.” AMG
“All this labor produces fetching magazine covers…and grabbing videos but it undoes her records, since we always hear her fighting to be frivolous. And all Perry wants to do is have fun: all she wants is to frolic in the spotlight.” AMG
Notes: See the track listings above for bonus tracks added to the deluxe edition and The Complete Confection.
Resources and Related Links:
First posted 4/22/2011; last updated 4/1/2022.
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