Katy Perry, Smile – Review
by Rudy Palma
Smile is the sixth studio album by Perry. Recently released on August 28, 2020, by Capitol Records, as a follow up to her 2017 album Witness. The album is an extensive collaborative effort with Perry engaging with a multitude of producers on the album, including Josh Abraham, Carolina Liar, The Daylights, G Koop, Andrew Goldstein, Oligee, Oscar Görres, Oscar Holter, Ilya, Ian Kirkpatrick, The Monsters & Strangerz, Charlie Puth, Stargate, and Zedd. Perry herself describes the album as her “journey towards the light, with stories of resilience, hope, and love.” Smile is an album conceived from many transitions in life for Perry. The initial break up with now-fiancé Orlando Bloom, her pregnancy, and the support she lent Ellen DeGeneres was met with massive backlash.
Musically there has never been any question about Perry’s strong and significant voice in the fabric of pop. “Never Really Over,” has all the trappings of great pop albums, a memorable melody, and Perry’s supernatant elastic voice. “Cry About It Later,” reveals the troubled waters of licking a broken heart’s wounds. A well-crafted breakup tune that empowers the hunt of fun. “Daisies,” almost feels like Perry’s fightback song. When “Daisies” premiered, she also revealed on social media that the song was written, “a couple of months ago as a call to remain true to the course you’ve set for yourself, regardless of what others may think”.
“Harley’s in Hawaii” is a sensual tune that evokes an exotic tropical mood. Incorporating pop and a reggae beat, you are transported to an oasis via the Perry express. “Only Love,” is a song of redemption and evolving the realization that the real gem in life is the diamond of love. The album ties up with “What A Woman Wants,” a much more stripped-down approach in the intro before evolving into a popish electro-pop delight that ends with a personal message. Anthemic and revealing, the tune is an epilogue to the journey that equates the entirety of Smile.