Witty, provovative and packed with hits, ‘One Of The Boys’ introduced Katy Perry as a ready-made pop icon for the early 21st century.

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Novelty or not? That was the question people asked of Katy Perry during her breakthrough. “I Kissed A Girl” is the sort of song that, while almost guaranteed to lớn be a sure-fire smash, might also overshadow an artist who had plenty more to lớn offer. The new-wave-influenced co-write (with hitmakers Max Martin, Cathy Dennis, and Katy’s producer, Dr. Luke) seduced the international charts with consummate ease, topping Billboard’s US Hot 100 listings & scaling similar peaks in key markets such as the UK & Germany. But we all know how tough following such a quái nhân debut can be… and as the lead single for Katy’s second studio album, One Of The Boys, it was a controversial springboard for the star.

Listen khổng lồ One Of The Boys right now.

Her debut album, the eponymous Katy Hudson, had been a frustrating false start, so the decision lớn launch the renamed Katy Perry with such a provocative track wasn’t without risk. That Katy remains a huge international draw is largely down lớn the pop genius that underpinned its parent album, released on June 17, 2008.

The singles

There was a seven-year gap between Katy Hudson & One Of The Boys, but the lengthy gestation period allowed for the album’s best songs to ferment nicely. “I Kissed A Girl” was clearly the strongest (and actually written towards the over of the recording sessions), but “Hold N Cold,” recorded the previous year và picked as the album’s second single, in September 2008, did almost as well, peaking at No.3 in the US. Third single, “Thinking Of You,” had once been considered for the album’s lead track but was put on hold until January 2009, when a high-production video clip helped it into the US đứng đầu 30 và respectable placings globally. That the album’s fourth – và final – single, “Waking Up In Vegas,” again made it lớn the US đứng top 10 speaks volumes about the caliber of chart-friendly compositions that biến hóa the One Of The Boys. Most albums would have used up all its hits by then.

Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl (Official)

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The album

One Of The Boys first came lớn people’s attention with the soft release of the promotional track “Ur So Gay.” Another controversial song, its mission was to thử nghiệm the critical waters with Katy’s unique and provocative – but always inclusive – humor. Written with Greg Wells during an early stage of the album’s creation, the cut did big business on the dance charts, but made little headway elsewhere (though it benefited from a significant plug from the undisputed queen of sexual-social satire when Madonna told radio DJs how much she liked it). “Ur So Gay” made the sixth tuy vậy on the album and, along with another Wells co-write, the closing track, “Fingerprints,” is one of the highlights of One Of The Boys.

Some of the album lacks the high-gloss production of many of Katy’s later records. “Fingerprints” owes a debt of influence to lớn the punchy guitar-pop of then-contemporary acts such as No Doubt or Avril Lavigne và is, perhaps, more obviously organic than some of her later material, which still sees Perry take risks with her music while being careful to lớn bring her vast, international audience with her.

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Katy Perry - Hot N Cold (Official)

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So, a decade on, what is one lớn make of this less familiar, perhaps lighter polished Katy? Well, the synths have their place, but are balanced here by an insistent guitar và drum drive that lends these songs a quality energy. “If You Can Afford Me” might have made a Blondie album nearly 30 years earlier, while powerful ballad “Lost” is dominated by an earthy, raw vocal that lends it a timeless maturity. “Self Inflicted”’s power-pop pace would have made it an obvious choice as a single for most artists but, in truth, there were just too many other fabulous songs in competition for that role on One Of The Boys, so it was the radio-friendly pop anthems that were ultimately selected. In many ways, the relatively soft performance of the ballad “Thinking Of You” demonstrated that the right strategy had prevailed. If there is a regret, it’s the fact that, at this stage of her career, Katy was still building her audience và this great tuy nhiên remains one of her smallest hits.

That’s not lớn say that everything on One Of The Boys will ignite the dancefloor. “Mannequin” is a sweet, 80s-influenced pop shuffler that’s easy lớn overlook, but contains many of the characteristics that you’ll find on plenty of Katy’s later big hits – the soaring chorus, catchy synth twists, and a strident, uplifting lyric.

Katy Perry - Thinking Of You (Official)

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The reception

Though most critics agreed that One Of The Boys was packed with hit material, some misread the social satire & ignored the fact that Perry was mocking contemporary culture, not blindly celebrating it. No matter. One Of The Boys made a strong debut and sold steadily across the next two years, reaching platinum status in most markets.

Katy used the success to build a big profile across many TV appearances – including hosting the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards – và a number of live dates. 2009 saw her receive a Brit Award & headline her own tour. With work starting on her next record, Teenage Dream, almost immediately, there was no way she was going khổng lồ let that question over her long-term credibility linger. Katy might have kissed a girl & liked it, while critics dissed the girl & tried khổng lồ fight it. Fans, however, put up no such resistance – as Teenage Dream would conclusively prove, less than two years later. But the seduction certainly started here.

One Of The Boys can be bought here.

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