Things have gotten a little darker for this California gurl. Katy Perry's teased her new single "KP4," and it continues the theme that things aren't as they should be. Like "Chained To The Rhythm," this new song, believed to be off Perry's upcoming untitled fourth album that has no official release date as of yet, is dealing with a bad case of deja vu. "‘Cause every day is the same, definition of insane," Perry sings on the rather spooky track. "I think we're running on a loop. Deja vu." Like "Chained To The Rhythm," this new track is something different for the pop star, who is known more for her sunny bi-partisan empowerment anthems rather than politically charged minor key pop songs. Once again, Perry is asking fans to ditch apathy and stay woke. With her new batch of songs it's clear the singer has seen some things, and she's ready to take off her rose-colored glasses. And she suggests you do, too.
For once, Perry's music seems to line up with her own point of view, which she often shared in interviews but rarely in the studio. Her journey to "purposeful pop," as she is calling it, has been a long time coming, as has her journey to the dark side.
In June 2012, over a year before Perry would release Prism, she told L'Uomo Vogue that it "would be a much darker album than the previous one. It was inevitable, after what I went through." What she went through was a public divorce from her husband of 14 months, Russell Brand. A few months later, during her speech for Billboard's Woman Of The Year Award, she told her record label, "I just have to let you guys know my Saturn has returned, so it'll be ugly."
At an album premiere party in Los Angeles, Perry said that, when she first started writing Prism, "it was a little dark-sided," but she "did some self-reflection and let a lot of light in my life." As she told Marie Claire in December 2013, "I thought it was going to be a lot darker — acoustic or Fiona Apple-y. You know, a 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' vibe." But she ended up staying true to her sound, "the positive girl among my pop peers, but I'm OK with that. I'm happy I'm the light."
In the end, Prism ended up showing many her lighter side, with the Max Martin and Dr. Luke produced "Birthday," the "Mariah Carey-oke" shout out "This Is How We Do," and "Roar," which was an empowerment anthem that hinted at just a bit of darkness. Turns out, Perry had a tendency to follow the crowd instead of standing up for herself. "I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath/Scared to rock the boat and make a mess," she sings. "So I sat quietly, agreed politely/I guess that I forgot I had a choice."
Maybe that's why the tracks off her upcoming album feel like a revelation for Perry. It's not only that she's getting political but she's showing the control she has over her career. In a February interview with People, Perry let the world know she does what she wants and doesn't care what you think. “I’ve given up on what people think about me,” she told the magazine. It's as if she finally took her own "Roar" advice and decided it was time to forge her own path.
From the sounds of her new stuff, Perry is finally making a personal album. When you hear her new music, you get the feeling that she's come to a point in her career where she finally has the confidence to do what she wants. This is really how she do, so you better get used to it.