This week, pop music phenomenon (and Santa Barbara native) Katy Perry released Prism, her highly anticipated and highly upbeat follow-up to last year’s Teenage Dream.
Clocking in at just under 50 minutes, the 16-song album presents a slightly new side of the bubble-pop princess; layers of her past and present are peeled back and revealed on somber numbers like “By The Grace of God,” “Choose Your Battles,” and “Ghost.” We get hits of references to her recent divorce from actor/comedian Russell Brand, as well as her current beau, John Mayer. But don’t fear: No one’s taken the party out of this girl just yet. On “This Is How We Do,” Perry breaks it down S.B.-style with references to grubbing tacos at Super Rica and dancing at the Wildcat. Sure, there are cuts that register as just plain annoying (see: “Legendary Lovers” and the Juicy J duet “Dark Horse”), but the gems (like “International Smile,” “Birthday,” and newly minted hit single “Roar”) are solid guilty-pleasure tracks that only get better the louder you crank ’em and the harder you sing.