Album Review: Katy Perry – Witness.

In a Big Brother fashion, Katy Perry live-streamed 96 hours of her life from the 9th of June to the 12th to promote her new album. Perry states that this was done in order to showcase to the world that she is human, just like us. 

In a touching segment of the stream, Perry takes part in a therapy session where she reveals that she no longer wishes to live up to the standards of the image she’s created through Katy Perry. She instead would like to channel her authentic side which she believes to be Katheryn Hudson, who she was before she became a worldwide sensation. This is important to understand before listening to Witness and it helps to put the album into context. 

Katy Perry’s lastest album Witness, takes you on a journey through self-love and encouragement with the underlining line of authenticity.

The opening track Witness successfully combines and balances Perry’s newly explored theme of an intergalactic techno-pop with her typically sweet-sounding and empowering lyrics. Perry quite literally welcomes you to her new album… “I’m just looking for a witness to get me through this.” And during her Witness World Wide live stream, Perry releveals that the song asks the question of “Will you ride this ride?,” the album being the “ride” that she’s inviting us to take. 

Hey Hey Hey with a chorus that reflects Perry’s early work, alongside Roulette are two of the most fun-filled tracks on Perry’s latest release. 

Swish Swish undoubtedly holds hit potential with many viewing it as Perry’s best song on Witness. Unfortunately, Minaj’s verse reduces the quality of the song and it is clear that it’s placement is just to add salt into the wounds of Taylor Swift. 

Déja Vu pushes it to the extreme with the contrast of sad-infested lyrics and a dirty rave beat.  

Perry goes full feminist anthem with Power. “Hell hath no fury like a woman” announces Perry; the track echoes the theme that women can achieve anything, and that they’ve the strength to concur it all. Perhaps it just takes a bit of self-belief? 

Mind Maze is full of auto-tune, and its backing track unfortunately overpowers Perry message of the struggle in balancing your mental health, and bettering yourself is a struggle. However, it’s understandable that this element may be a clever trick to amplify the ambience of being lost (in a mind maze). Yet, it somewhat ruins the potential the lyrics hold.

This album’s ballad comes in the form of I Miss You More which effortlessly conveys a powerfully heartfelt yet brutally honest message; having that special someone missing from your life provokes more feelings than those produced when they were here.

Chained To The Rhythm speaks of our willingness to be blissfully ignorant and aimlessly follow the crowd. 

M.I.A. worked alongside Perry to create Tsunami in Atlanta. The song expresses ultimate trust, outing control into someone else’s hands: “…Don’t be scared to dive in deep and start a Tsunami.” Overall, it features the theme of sexual liberation which Perry credits MIA for adding to the mix. Leading me to think “Tsunami” may be an innuendo… 

Following the same theme, Bon Appétit – Perry’s collab with controversial Migos – represents Perry’s own new found sexual liberation. The music video features Perry offering herself as a literal snack.

Bigger Than Me offers a beat Clubland Classics would be proud of, but alongside this showcases Perry’s want for self-improvement. “If I’m not evolving, I’m just another robot taking up oxygen.” Perry’s desire to achieve and showcase her authentic self is present. 

Opening to the sound of keyboard typing, Save as Draft represents Perry’s willingness to take a step away from situations in order to avoid opening a can of worms. “But I should let sleeping dogs lie ’cause I know better, baby.” 

This song is classic Katy Perry. Pendulum is Perry’s answer to a Witness era song with the loved and respected message of Firework and Roar. Plus, it’s impossible not to dance to.

Finally, Into Me You See is beautiful. It discuses the theme of intimacy and the fear of letting people in. Alongside, appreciation of what can be achieved if you let your walls down. “Then you came and started digging for a treasure underneath. And you found a better version of me I had never seen.” Perry revealed during Witness World Wide that the song stems from a therapy session she once had.


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