Friday, 2nd of June. I am in the city of love, a.k.a Paris. It’s one of those perfect days, not too hot and not too cold. But I’m not here to just admire the amazing architecture and beauty Paris has to offer. Nope. With a couple of friends, we make our way to the five-star hotel Le Meurice, situated opposite the Jardin des Tuileres (great place to play Pokemon Go, by the way!). After a bit of a struggle, as apparently we do not look rich enough for this hotel, we are led to the seventh floor. It’s the roof terrace and it is here we will be hearing Witness, Katy Perry’s fourth album, for the first time.
I have to admit, I was reluctant to hear the album. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Bon Appetit. I loved Chained to the Rhythm and kind of liked Swish Swish. But two out of three of these songs were mindless pop songs. There is no problem with that, but there has to be a balance. The media has not been kind to Katy Perry either in the past few weeks. So every bone in my body wanted to like it.
Is Witness a good album?
Yes. After having heard it for the first time yesterday, I can say that Katy Perry did not disappoint. We got to hear every single, except Chained to The Rhythm. The thing that struck me most was that songs like Bon Appetit and Swish Swish were exceptions on the album. Most of the songs were about empowerment or relationships that do not work out as planned. It is an electronic album for the most part and the majority of the songs are very danceable. There are some slower songs on the album. I would not call them ballads, as I expect ballads to be full-on piano songs.
I was happy to hear that most of the lyrics were Katy Perry at her best. While songs like Bon Appetit and Swish Swish are not necessarily poetic masterpieces, the majority of Witness has more meaning.
“I miss you more than I loved you.” – Miss You More.
While many doubted that Katy’s statement of purposeful pop were true, after the release of the last two singles, I can confirm it is. None of the songs are as politically charged as Chained To The Rhythm. However, despite my sleep deprivation, I found many songs to touch me. Especially a song like Save as Draft, which sounds like a slightly more electronic version of Thinking of You. It is about all the things you want to say to someone, but you change your mind at the last moment.
“I take a deep breath and save as draft.” – Save as Draft
Songs such as Power and Bigger Than Me are anthems that celebrate self-empowerment. My personal favourite was the title track Witness, both musically and lyrically one of the highlights of the album.
I honestly don’t know why Bon Appetit and Swish Swish were chosen as follow-up singles, as the album has many better songs to offer. Witness will be released on June 9th, so you will be able to hear for yourself.
2. Hey Hey Hey
4. Swish Swish (feat. Nicki Minaj)
5. Deja Vu
7. Mind Maze
8. Miss You More
9. Chained To The Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley)
11. Bon Appetit (feat. Migos)
12. Bigger Than Me
13. Save As Draft
15. Into Me You See
Katy Perry: after the listening party
When the listening session was done, Katy surprised us all by entering the room. The best cakes ever in the shape of roses were brought out. Even though she was running late, she took the time to chat with everybody and have photos taken. I can genuinely say Katy Perry is one of the sweetest and funniest people around. So basically, buy Witness when it comes out and don’t forget to get tickets to see the tour!