If you've had the time to listen to Katy Perry's latest album, Witness, then you're likely already aware of it's raw intimacy. There are songs that appear to reference Perry's feud with Taylor Swift as well as songs that possibly reference Perry's high profile relationship with John Mayer, and, more recently, Orlando Bloom. But, having listened to Witness a couple of times, it's clear there may also be songs on Witness about Russell Brand, Perry's ex-husband.
Though their relationship ended just over five years ago, it's easy to understand why the singer may still feel sore about the divorce and happy to continue singing about it. In an interview with Vogue in 2013, for instance, Perry revealed the heartbreaking manner in her relationship was allegedly ended, as well as sharing that the two didn't stay in touch, saying, "Let's just say I haven't heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me December 31, 2011." That remains one of most savage breakup claims I've ever heard in my life. (At the time, Brand did not respond to the claim.)
With that in mind, if these particular lyrics on Witness are about Brand, then, damn, more power to Perry for feeling able to speak out.
1"Yeah, I bounce back like a pro 'cause I'm so resillient" ("Hey Hey Hey")
In 2013, Perry revealed to The Sunday Times, that she "was in bed for about two weeks" and "hurt a lot" following her painfully public breakup from Brand. Here, the lyrics seem to clearly celebrate that she was able to get over it.
2"A Big Beautiful Brain With A Pretty Face, Yeah" ("Hey Hey Hey")
In the documentary, Brand: The Second Coming, the British celebrity shadily described Perry as being a "Vapid, vacuous celebrity." On "Hey Hey Hey," many of the lyrics, including this one, actively challenge that statement. Beauty and brains can co-exist, and Perry is making it clear that they certainly do with her.
3"'Cause I'm Feminine And Soft, But I'm Still A Boss, Yeah" ("Hey Hey Hey")
Being "vapid" and "vacuous" (as Brand deemed Perry) are two terms that sometimes get thrown around regarding what some fools may consider to be a shallow side of female identity. However, she takes down such assertions by suggesting that there's nothing vapid about who she is, what she's achieved, and what it means to identity as female.
4"Keep your penny thoughts/ Cos I'm making a mint" ("Hey Hey Hey")
Here, the most interesting thing to note is that Perry isn't just using American terminologies. A penny, of course, is also the name of the smallest, British coin, while the phrase "making a mint" is British slang for making a lot of money. And Brand is British...
5"You think that I'm a little baby/ You think that I am fragile like a Fabergé/ You think I am cracking, but you can't crack me" ("Hey Hey Hey")
Another possible, and perfect, take down of Brand's apparent treatment of Perry. Conveniently illustrated with this picture of Brand at the Get Him To The Greek premiere (which he attended with Perry) holding a damn egg. It might not be Fabergé, but it's just as fragile.
6"I Live Off The Echoes Of Your 'I Love You's'/ But I Still Feel The Blows Of All Your 'Don't Want To's" ("Déjà Vu")
This could most definitely be a stinging reference to the highs of Perry's relationship with Brand and the deeply hurtful lows of it, too.
7"Why Do You Keep Me At The End Of A Rope That Keeps Getting Shorter?" ("Déjà Vu")
If you've seen Katy Perry: Part Of Me, then you'll likely remember the difficult scenes portraying the problems in Perry and Brand's relationship. And this line feels like an echo of how their struggling relationship was portrayed in the documentary.
8"I Was Fine Before I Met You/ Truth Is I Lost Myself Inside You" ("Power")
As anyone who's gone through a terrible breakup can attest to, there are some people that you can barely get over the hurt of. And this line could definitely be taken as being in reference to how she's never been quite the same since the dissolution of her marriage to Brand.
9"You Can't Clip My Wings, Can't Wilt My Flowers/ Stole My Time, But I'll Make Up The Hours" ("Power")
Perry notoriously wore enormous angel wings on the red carpet at the 2011 Grammy Awards, which she attended with Brand. It may be just a coincidence, but this lyric feels like a cheeky callback to that moment.
10"I've Heard You've Been Doing Some Changing/ I've Been Rearranging/ Wish I Could Know, But I Just Don't Know" ("Save As Draft")
In March, Brand had something a bit more positive to say about his breakup from Perry during an interview with John Bishop, in which he said, "Katy was obviously very, very occupied and very busy. I was very occupied and very busy... The marriage didn't last for a very long time, and I think that is to do with the undulated nature of fame." Definitely sounds like he might have changed, but Perry's lyric may possibly suggest that she she's unsure of how sincere he is.
11"I Built A Wall So High No-One Could Reach/ A Life Of Locks/ I Swallowed All The Keys" ("Into Me You See")
Being "on the road" as much as Perry admitted she was during her marriage to Brand, and being as busy as he suggested in his interview with Bishop, are certainly two lifestyle factors that could push someone away, as these lyrics suggest.
12"My Number's Always Been The Same/ But All's Been Said And Done, Will We Ever Really Close This Case?" ("Save As Draft")
Considering that Brand allegedly asked for a divorce from Perry via text message, this song (and this line, particularly) seems to imply the sort of lack of closure that a text message breakup may solicit.
13"I Could Just Throw A Line To You/ But I Should Just Let Sleeping Dogs Lie" ("Save As Draft")
This line could be in reference to the fact that Perry and Brand allegedly haven't spoken to each other since their divorce, but that there may be a painful, lingering temptation to finally reach out and say something.
Of course, all of this is mere speculation. But if these lyrics are about Brand, then suffice to say, I think she's managed to enjoy having the final word on their relationship.