Perhaps I was a bit harsh on Miss Perry in my last review. Was Part of Me really deserving of the one star rating I assigned it? Probably not. If I could go back, I would definitely debate between giving it a 2 or a 3, mostly because my main criticism of it sounding exactly like her past singles still stands. However, her latest offering, Wide Awake, serves up Katy’s signature candy coated pop music, but with a new and distinct flavor.
Wide Awake shows us a much more mature and refined Katy. And this isn’t the forced maturity she’s attempted before. Instead, this mellow pop ballad feels like the mark of a true artist. The lyrics are both touching and inspiring. They definitely speak of her recent life troubles and spoiled relationships, but they also look back at the major success she’s found as one of the world’s most prominent pop stars. Its a tender reminder that under the colorful wigs, and polished pop persona, lies a true artist, and a human being with feelings.
The song’s RnB beat really drives the song, and gives it a sound that’s different from Katy’s previous round of manufactured hits. The verses feature an ethereal sounding echo that interweaves itself with Katy’s vocals, and continually delivers the song’s hook: a soft and whispered “I’m wide awake…” What I love about this song is that for once, Katy isn’t concerned with delivering a catchy hook. The chorus’s main feature is Katy’s vocals, which haven’t sounded this good in awhile. The bridge is especially gorgeous.
Sometimes, its nice to see stars walk away from the fine tuned production, and return with something that actually speaks. The radio might be inundated with Katy Perry tunes at the moment, but Wide Awake is clearly her best hit since her signature Firework.
Final Score: 4/5