Katy Perry: Witness review – edgy, new-look Perry keeps melodic flair

(Capitol)

Katy Perry has given Twitter meme-makers much material lately. With her new blond crop and stripy get-up on SNL, could she be the time-travelling love child of Wrecking Ball-era Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke? And was her drunk-auntie-at-a-wedding-reception dancing alongside Migos on SNL the cringiest music moment of the year/decade? While her “edgy” new image might not appeal to everyone, K Pez still has a flair for tunes that quickly seep into the collective consciousness – and it’s kookier than ever. Taylor Swift beef track Swish Swish, with Nicki Minaj, is a house-fuelled banger with undeniable groove and nonsense content, while Bon Appetit, with aforementioned Atlanta trio Migos, offers a trap-pop innuendo-fest of the highest order. Elsewhere, Chained to the Rhythm is subtly woke, so as not to alienate listeners in Trumpland, Hey Hey Hey deals in dark dream pop a la Banks and Grimes (“I’m Marilyn Monroe in a monstertruck”, she sings, purposely stilted), and Power is all empowerment and retro funk – think Roar via Bruno Mars. By contrast, Perry’s heartfelt ballads feel tacked on in the face of all this weirdness. Perhaps it’s time to let that freak flag fully fly free.

Contributor

Hannah J Davies

The GuardianTramp

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