Katy Perry paved ground through the release of an EP and her official debut risqué single, ‘I Kissed a Girl’, which became a #1 hit. Perry had been dropped several times from different record labels as they did not how to market her music and image. Capitol Records took a chance, and had Perry working with A-list producers and songwriters (Greg Wells, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, etc.) who could assemble material for the then newcomer. After a #1 single, ensuing singles top digital sales and two Grammy award nominations, the rest is history.

In the face of assumed comparisons to Lily Allen, and her single ‘Smile’, which mocks and taunts a lover just like Perry does in ‘Ur So Gay’, Perry is set apart from Allen by ages, as attested by One of the Boys, which diversifies Katy’s sound with other move towards a new perspective on love and heartbreak.

Perry mocks and begs for love in brainer metaphors and still finds the time to expose a susceptible side. The album is an extensive story-tell. The composition and lyricism are compelling; Perry and the contributing songwriters really let their inspiration and mind’s eye lead the way when it came to writing the record.

One of the Boys makes for a solid pop debut. Catchy hooks, sharp lyrics, love from all angles and poppy rock tinkles fill the whole album. Perry’s vocals bear a resemblance to P!nk and a toned down Pat Benatar; this fused with pop, equals a certified startling winner. Katy sings, coos and wails in such a manner she brings the shallow dominion of pop music into a more credible area, giving it a whole new interweave.

The title track contradicts Katy’s very feminine image for a more tomboy-ish, where Perry belches the alphabet and tapes ‘her suckers down’ so they do not get in her way; it is a wonderful play on electro-beats and soft rock. ‘I Kissed a Girl’, is a menacing electric guitar drum beat nodding to sexual confusion. ‘Waking up in Vegas’ is strangely a love song on the lines of abiding by commitment (or so it seems), layered in a wild tear-up in Sin City.

The acoustic emotional-cheat ‘Thinking of You’, is indeed a taste of perfection; Perry gives herself in the song completely. ‘Mannequin’ is a 90’s sounding Pinocchio-themed track; the composition is outstanding. ‘If you can Afford Me’ might sound conceited but in fact asks for loads of love in return instead of checks when she sings, ‘Don’t play cheap…with your heart’. ‘Lost’ finds Perry delivering bruised vocals as she shares personal experience, just like the surprisingly dark and morose ‘I’m Still Breathing’.   

There is a whole lot of quality, personality and depth to the record. It is rigorously pop rock, very tongue-in-cheek, glossy and unswerving. Perry tries on different music hats in One of the Boys and successfully delivers. The album is a pocketful of musical gems. Katy has fun, winks, laughs, cries and regrets all throughout the disc, showcasing her voice at low and high tones. She teases in every way possible yet still does not put out completely, leaving the listener wanting more. The record feels as it were a look into a girls’ slumber party and a girl-talk intrusion; it feels right from every bit and piece. Truth is, Katy Perry is a kitten who happens to have a lion’s roar.

★★★★1/2

C.Perez