Release Date: Jun 17, 2008
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
'Ihope my boyfriend doesn't mind it,' coos Katy Perry, disingenuously, on the bi-curious No 1 single 'I Kissed a Girl.' Spare us the faux-coyness, Katy you know full well he'll soil his pants at the thought, which is surely the point. You're not a sassy liberated woman exploring your sexuality, you're pandering to the oldest image in male porn and theres nothing daring about that. Elsewhere, One of the Boys offers solid pop-rock, co-written with the likes of Cathy Dennis and influenced by Alanis, Avril and Liz Phair.
All the pros give One of the Boys a cross-platform appeal, but there's little question that its revolting personality is all down to Katy Perry, who distills every reprehensible thing about the age of The Hills into one pop album. She disses her boyfriend with gay-baiting; she makes out with a girl and she's doesn't even like girls; she brags to a suitor that he can't afford her, parties till she's face-down in the porcelain, drops brands as if they were weapons, curses casually, and trades under-the-table favors. In short, she's styled herself as a Montag monster.
Since she’s currently the soup du jour for taste-faker Perez Hilton, that should pretty much count as an automatic strike in the “against” box. But luckily for the Christian-pop-singer-turned-saucy-bubble-gum-chanteuse (imagine Gwen Stefani paired with an obnoxious Ellen Page-esque hipster brat), her voice comes through with enough charm to warrant the attention. Aside from her pipes, over the course of these 12 tailored-for-radio songs it’s hard to tell just how seriously she’s taking it all.
Is there nothing lipstick lesbianism can't do for a 23-year-old former gospel singer? The success of Katy Perry's hit I Kissed a Girl comes down to one-part pop efficiency and three-parts pseudo-controversy. Alongside her MySpace phenomenon Ur So Gay, a put-down of an effete boyfriend, it suggests that Perry's primary talent is for getting tongues wagging - hence the endorsement of Madonna and Perez Hilton - and that her debut album is more fun to blog about than to listen to. Her producers furnish the punchy soft-rock that has become the default signifier of pop "attitude" and Perry obliges with self-congratulatory sass that never rings true.