Katy Perry has finally found what she's looking for: herself.
It's been three years since she's released Teenage Dream, a bubbly blend of pure pop perfection that turned her into a superstar, yet a lot has changed in her life since then, and she chronicles it all on her album Prism, released Tuesday (October 22).
Yes, there are ballads, power-pop songs and dance tracks, but lyrically speaking, this album delves much deeper. Perry sings about heartbreak and loss, presumably about her divorce from Russell Brand, but there is a turn, where Katy pulls herself out of the darkness, finds love again and peace with herself.
"There's not really any darkness on the record," Perry told MTV News. "There's definitely some textures and colors but I think I was saying that when I saw going through a different phase, but I really let that light in."
Now that the Katy Cats have listened to "Roar," "Dark Horse" and "Walking on Air," there are four tracks off Prism that deserve another listen.
The second single off the album and follow-up to "Roar" is an emotional ballad that shows off her big vocals over heavy drums and romantic lyrics.
"I'll take your bad days with your good/ Walk through this storm I would/ I'd do it all because I love you, I love you," she sings on the track.
Perry did reveal to Entertainment Weekly that not only did a trip to Africa inspire this track, but her boyfriend John Mayer. However, just because it's about her relationship doesn't mean everyone can't relate.
"I think it's a universal love song that everyone's going to be able to relate to no matter the age, no matter male or female," Perry told MTV News. "It's my favorite song off the record."
"Birthday" is a classic upbeat pop track that seems destined to become a smash single, and it certainly gives the Katy Cats "something good to celebrate." Keeping with the '90s throwback vibe of the album, Perry's vocals shine on the Max Martin- and Dr. Luke-produced track, which features an unexpected sexy breakdown that has Katy crooning that she's "going to get you in your birthday suit."
"I wanted to do something that Mariah Carey would have put on her first record," she said of the song. Sounds like she succeeded.
Katy worked on half the album in Stockholm, and it was there that "Love Me" was created. The mid-tempo self-empowerment electro-pop track was produced by Bloodshy, someone Katy wanted to work with since he produced Britney Spears' "Toxic." It's all about falling back in love with the most important person, yourself.
Katy gets personal on the track, seemingly opening up about her failed marriage to Russell Brand, as she opens the song singing, "I lost myself in fear of losing you." But by the end, as she navigates her way over keyboard and drum-driven beats, Katy proclaims, "So now, I don't negotiate with insecurities/ You're gonna have to take a back seat/ I know I have to love myself, the way I want you to love me."
"I live for writing empowering songs. I mean sometimes I need to write them to believe that I still have that strength inside of me, so a lot of my songs have that empowering message..." Perry told MTV News at the iHeart Radio Music Festival. "I think it's important to look inside and have a sense of self...before you go out to the world and look for what other people think of you."
"This is How We Do"
It wouldn't be a Katy Perry record without a little fun, and that's exactly what "This is How We Do" encompasses. The summertime girls anthem almost feels like the aftermath to the big party Katy sings about on "Last Friday Night (T.G.IF.)."
The track, produced by Max Martin and Klas Ahlund, references grabbing breakfast with your girlfriends in last night's clothes, paying for bottle service with rent money and "going to bed with a 10 and waking up with a two." And for all those wondering, Katy promises the latter does not apply to her.
What is your favorite track off Prism? Let us know in the comments below!