Perry’s breakthrough with One of the Boys, opened several doors, one of them being the opportunity to perform her own unplugged gig for Mtv. Perry showcases her vocals at her best, as she delivers in an unbelievable manner.

Opening with a cabaret inspired rework of ‘I Kissed a Girl’, Perry gives the track a 360 degree spin by instead of reinforcing the playful nature of the song, turns it into a jazz piece with a different twist, as Perry sounds confused when singing, giving the song a different approach and revealing a much more personal and intimate interlace.

‘Ur So Gay’ finds Perry singing to an acoustic guitar and a saxophone predominant background, following the vibe of the preceding track. It tinges at a more angsty undertone, singing to a low, before she belts out a high as she reprises the song. The Fountain’s of Wayne cover for ‘Hackensack’ is incredibly brilliant; Perry makes it her own. It fits Perry so well; it could have perfectly been an actual Katy Perry song.

‘Thinking of You’ features strings and Perry strumming her guitar. It does not stray too far from the original version, except for much more polished vocals. With the absence of the original production, the lyrics are really highlighted, suggesting paramount vulnerability.  The album track, ‘Lost’, was a great addition to the unplugged repertoire, as it allows Perry to introspect in full in a song already meant to transmit self search. Perry sings ‘Waking up in Vegas’ over piano and guitars, even though it is an acoustic rendition of the single, it still captures the tomfoolery upbeat mood the Vegas themed track entails.

The record’s true gem lies in ‘Brick By Brick’, the solely guitar strummed number by Perry herself. The reason as to why the track was not included in One of the Boys goes unanswered; it would have been a marvelous addition to the album’s final cut. It is Katy Perry in essence, without the glitter dust and without make-up layers. It is as she described it, pretty much where she started. It is stunningly structured, beautifully written and it definitely would have to be one of the most outstanding love songs Perry has ever come up with, dealing with not giving up on love, but having no choice if the counterpart lets go; it is the quintessence of love grieve.

This record shows a more bare-stripped down Perry, conveying a lot of emotion and giving her songs an alternate perspective, which indeed lets the substance interspersed in the tracks really come to light, allowing the listener to understand what Perry puts into words. Vocally, Perry sounds amazing, with raspy tones, low hums, coos, and several soaring highs, exercising the texture of her voice; Perry’s use and control of the head voice is quite impressive. If Perry would venture for a more acoustic ‘countrified’ sound in her future work, this proves she could certainly pull it off with ease.

★★★★★

C.Perez