Katy Perry’s second studio album is a perfect summertime album. There are a striking amount of catchy, monster singles on this album, from “California Gurls” to “Firework” that just about everyone can sing along to. It’s the type of unifying, mainstream pop that’s undemanding but not without musical merits, as we can see on non-single tracks like “Circle the Drain” and “Who Am I Living For.” In many ways the album recalls Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” album: There are few opportunities to catch your breath, as Perry goes from one high-energy track to another, like “Peacock,” “The One That Got Away” and “E.T.” and delivering a rare album where just about every song is a potential radio smash. It’s hard to point out even a single flaw on the album: It’s perfectly calculated, the beats and hooks are instant and endlessly repeatable, and Perry herself is both a tremendous vocalist as well as blessed with mega-watt superstar charm that carries through each track.
Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)