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Katy Perry - 'Teenage Dream'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:25 UK time, Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Katy Perry

When I was a child, we didn't always have a lot of biscuits or chocolate in the house. There wasn't a total ban on biscuits or chocolate, but sometimes there weren't any, and sometimes there were. I don't recall feeling an absence of biscuits or chocolate in my life, nor do I recall taking them for granted, or that I had a right to expect biscuits or chocolate whenever the urge took me.

As such, I tend to think I've a fairly healthy relationship with biscuits and chocolate. I don't feel the need to tell everyone that I like to eat biscuits, or put pictures of myself tucking into a box of chocolates as if to say "SEE MUM? I'm FULLY GROWN NOW AND CAN EAT WHAT I DAMN WELL PLEASE!". In fact, this is probably the first time I've mentioned whether or not I even like biscuits or chocolate in a public place, and it's not as if I haven't had the opportunity.

Having seen the cover of Katy Perry's new album, I think it would be fair to assume - even if we didn't already know - that certain things were kept under such a tight lock and key that she just HAS to show EVERYONE that she is FREE to DO WHAT SHE LIKES NOW.

And no, I don't mean eat biscuits. Or chocolate.

(Here's the video. Steady on!)

She does seem to know her way around the topography of the fragile teen heart though. Well, her and Bonnie McKee, who co-wrote the song. Those bubbling feelings, trapped under the surface, have clearly been thoroughly raked over, or they wouldn't be so perfectly recalled. All of that emphasis on trust, on possible regrets, on "just love" comes from someone who remembers what it is really like to worry about making mistakes when you're only just getting your instincts together.

The verses are all so perfectly in the moment, so well judged, that it's bound to trigger memories of first love, or even the early days of new love, in anyone that hears it. That giddy mix of desire and uncertainty, dread and excitement.

This is all very useful, because there are other bits which are harder to love. The fact that it's just a four-chord spiral of a song gets a little wearing towards the end. Katy's upper-register mooing is still sonically unlovely, and the chorus is a bit of a let down. It's basically one note, artfully arranged across the same chords, but, and this is crucial, a bit louder than in the verses. This is how you know it's the chorus.

That's it for the bad news though. In every other respect this is going to be huge and it deserves to be huge.

I'm sure Mr and Mrs Perry will be very proud (once they've stopped blushing furiously and wondering what they did wrong).

Three starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Neon Limelight says: "Because the entire video has a vintage-y look, the scene just seems like gratuitous flaunting of Josh Kloss' sweaty hotness."

The Reflective Inklings says: "People, you have to understand that 'Teenage Dream' is miles ahead than 'California Gurls' in terms of overall quality and polish."

The Chemistry Is Dead says: "Teenage Dream is a total Dr Luke/Max Martin affair and even though she sings as though there's a BIG. FULL. STOP. AFTER. EVERY. SYLL.A.BLE. like Ca.li.for.nia Girls before it this is a sweet song."


  • Comment number 1.

    There is definitely something wrong with the star ratings.

    This is better than California Girls, and deserves 5 stars.

  • Comment number 2.

    I do actually really like this. Pure, infectious, joyful pop!

    4 Stars

  • Comment number 3.

    Well it's definitely better than California Gurls, which imo deserved 3 stars at the most. Teenage Dream is more fun and catchy, less superficial, and doesn't sound like a re-hashed version of a recent hit (Tik Tok).

    It is one of those songs that sounds fantastic at first then the excitement about it fades slightly after hearing it so many times. But it's still a superb tune about young love - a lot of young people will relate to it (I'm NOT one of them!). It captures the meaning of it brilliantly.


  • Comment number 4.

    kutox hit the nail right on the head.

    4 stars.

  • Comment number 5.

    Heheh thanks

    spirit won't be happy with Chartblog's review...

  • Comment number 6.


  • Comment number 7.

    The video for this song reminds me of a trip I took recently. Me, my girlfriend and some of our friends went on a road-trip like this two weeks ago although we were missing the convertibles, the cheap motel room sex and Katy Perry. But still, about 10 of us packed ourselves into 2 cars, drove to a beach 20 minutes away, pitched our tents and spent two productive days of drinking and messing around on the beach. The weather was beautiful too. Basically, this has propelled the song into 5 STAR territory for me. However, from an objective viewpoint, I have to agree with Haducon, Kutox and Oddie and say that the song is likely to lose some of it's appeal after a few listens unless you have a specific teenage dream you wish to relate it with to so I also give it 4 STARS.

    And poor Kutox! :(

  • Comment number 8.

    @ 5

    I'm just waiting for a list of why this is "a huge pop single with euphoric, catchy chorus" or words to those effects. :L

    Oh and of course a chart prediction! Here's mine: #1. 'Please Don't Let Me Go' has been (thankfully) snubbed by Radio 1 so it makes sense.

    @ 7

    I SO wish I was old enough to do that, it would be absolutely fanastic. Hope you had a great time, seriously.

    But HOW did your comment not get removed!?! You said the forbidden 'S' word. :O Shock! Horror! Fraser doesn't even post videos with that word in them! :L

  • Comment number 9.

    @ 8 the only answer is that Randy's girlfriend....is a MODERATOR!!! *suspicous glances*

    Sorry, I've not had any sleep since...well forever.

  • Comment number 10.

    Ha ha . At 5 . I think Chart blog reviews stopped being credible round about the stone age . Lol . I mean the opening 2 paragraphs all about chocolate and biscuits . Nobody in the galaxy or Milky Way are gonna take it seriously . I will give Teenage Dream the review it deserves , tomorrow . ;)

  • Comment number 11.

    I wasn't mocking you, spirit, I was just going by comment #8 on the Olly Murs thread ;) That's how I knew you wouldn't be happy with the review!

  • Comment number 12.

    I know Kutox , have taken it in the manner you hoped .

    You are right and very perceptive . :)

  • Comment number 13.

    Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

    Judging by the cover of her album , Katy feels like her singing career is on cloud 9 right now . She's right !
    After California Gurls became one of the biggest selling singles of the year , globally and around this fair isle , she has decided to release the title track from her new album , as the next single.
    Expectations are high . . . .

    As California is still dominating the nations airwaves , Teenage Dream has now infiltrated the "A" list at Radio 1 , is embracing the dance and commercial stations , and is set to be a HUGE hit .

    Lyrically it based around the fire and heart of young love , and contains many memorable lines , about the optimism and blind trust surrounding a steamy Summer romance .

    "Don't ever look back , don't ever look back "

    " Imma get your heart racing , in my skintight jeans "

    Weird , was this line written by Russell Brand ?
    He has a weakness for black denim , that looks like it's been painted on !

    Anyhoo , the real magic of this song , lies in all the vocal melody lines , where nearly every moment is a hook.
    The standout chorus is a winner too , especiallly in the second segment , where the keyboards and drum beat add wonderfully to the mix.

    Throw in the effect of the video and you have a near perfect pop single , that will appeal successfully to Katy's target audience , and become a guilty pleasure to many others. ( Hi Greg James! )

    In short , this is a fantastic pop single . that should head to the top .
    Virgin have decided to release the album on August 30th too , so the country will get 2 Teenage Dreams on the same day !

    Oh the magic of youth .

    5 Stars

  • Comment number 14.

    @ 7

    Haha thanks Randy! I've never so much as had a friend in my whole life so I'm used to it ;) I'm unable to understand those sort of things

  • Comment number 15.

    I originally said about 6 weeks ago that this track would go to number 1 , then withdrew that statement a few days later , as soon as I knew that Katy was releasing the Teenage Dream single and album on the same day .
    I said that by doing this , one of them would not go to number 1 .

    And so it comes to pass .....

    The Teenage Dream album is currently number 1 in the U.S AND the U.K , whereas , the Teenage Dream single could only get to number 2 , behind Olly Murs over here .

    Now whether I'm a gifted clairvoyant or just got lucky (IT'S THE FIRST ONE !) , Katy's decision to release single and album on the same day , has meant that Olly claimed the singles crown , and will live up to his promise of posing naked to celebrate this fact .

    Darn you Perry !!!!

    Now who wants a life size , naked picture of Olly Murs ?????

  • Comment number 16.

    Yep, Katy sold 86,000 singles which is a hell of a lot - but she also sold 54,000 albums.

  • Comment number 17.

    ^ Oops, meant to press preview. Was going to say that judging by those sales, if the album was released the week after, the single would easily of passed 100k. It does make a big difference when they release them at the same time

  • Comment number 18.

    Teenage Dream sold 86,000 copies to debut at number 2 , but was just beaten by the 93,000 copies that Olly Murs sold .

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Is that you again, stocksy? :L

  • Comment number 21.

    I don't even want to comment on this song its nothing special to be honest!

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Yeah Oddie , I see your point .

    This is a very lame review .

    The first 3 paragraphs ?

    "The chorus is a bit of a let down? " What ?

    Was he listening to the same song as the rest of the world ?

    This was a fantastic Summer pop single with a standout chorus and has just been certified silver in the UK .

  • Comment number 25.

    It's a great single, but so far this year Chartblog is a bit dull isn't it?

  • Comment number 26.

    thranjax: Yes, yes it has.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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