Katy Perry's new CD is like a magical slot machine: Select any song and you'll hear a hit.
"Teenage Dream," the singer's sophomore release, is a 12-track set that has many flavors: Thumping dance jams, groovy midtempo numbers and pop ballads that are subtle and soft — just like the cloud Perry's nude body lays atop on the album cover.
Much of the credit for the hit factory goes to the album's producers, which includes Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, Max Martin, Stargate, Tricky and Greg Wells. They're hit-makers who clearly saved their best material for Perry.
But another big reason for the album's magic is Perry herself. She has a booming voice, and can out-sing pop tarts like Britney Spears and Ke$ha, whose vocals are usually whispery and weak. They usually fade into the background of the album's beat. Perry's vocals not only ride with the beat, they advance it.
"Teenage Dream" also explores the 25-year-old's roller-coaster of emotions: She's horny on the explosive "Peacock," lost on "Who Am I Living For?" and mysterious on "E.T." She builds you up on the pulsating and addictive "Firework," but brings you down (well not you, but Travis McCoy) on "Circle the Drain." On the latter tune, about McCoy's drug addiction, a bitter Perry spits firebomb lyrics like: "Wanna be your lover, not your (expletive) mother."
Perry closes the album with "Not Like the Movies," a slow, but sweet ode to her fiance, actor-comedian Russell Brand. Picture perfect? Guess so.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: Perry, who used to be a Christian singer, uplifts with both her vocals and lyrics on the Stargate-produced "Firework."
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