What You Need To Know - June 8, 2017

Katy Perry's Witness - What You Need To Know
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Katy Perry's Witness - What You Need To Know

The pop superstar returns this week with hugely anticipated new album Witness and here is everything you need to know about it...


A little background…

It’s been four years since Perry’s last album PRISM, an album that arrived after the bubblegum pop perfection of Teenage Dream, an album which yielded eight hit singles and over six million in sales by the time it was all said and done. Despite handsome sales, over four million across the world in all, it wasn’t a universal hit.

Written and recorded in the aftermath of the singer’s divorce from Russell Brand, the album explored much darker themes and focused more on the spiritual and divine than anything she’d attempted in the past.

After touring that album in 151 arenas across the globe and taking over $200 million in the process, Perry then took a long break, returning briefly in the summer of 2016 for ‘Rise’, an anthemic belter written for the Olympic Games, which is nowhere to be seen on this album.

At the time of the single’s release she told reporters she was still in the “research and development phase”, a phase that lasted right up until the start of 2017 when she finally returned with ‘Chained To The Rhythm’, which leads us onto Witness…


Who’s producing it?

Perry has called in plenty of firepower for album number five, starting with Max Martin, he of mega-hits for Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding and so many more, he’s on five tracks, including the album’s opener and title track.

Pop mainstays like Sia, Shellback and Ali Payami are also on there a number of times, as is Jeff Bhasker, who found some time away from stewarding Harry Styles’ debut album to work with the singer on a track titled ‘Pendulum’.

There are some slightly more leftfield choices. Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard have worked with Perry on the album’s closer ‘Into Me You See’, Jack Garratt has written ‘Power’ with her, while Megan James and Corin Roddick, better known as electronic duo Purity Ring, are on three tracks.  


Any special guests?

Three. First up is Nicki Minaj who delivers a fiery verse on ‘Swish Swish’, then we’ve got rapper collective Migos, who feature on new single ‘Bon Appetit’, finally the reggae-tinged ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ includes some reggae royalty in the shape of Skip Marley, grandson of Bob himself.


What does it sound like?

The spirituality and space of PRISM has been kicked firmly into the long grass, this is a slick and extremely sassy pop album with real bounce and swagger, which borrows much more from EDM and the Iggy Azalea end of hip-hop than from Florence & The Machine.


Does it deliver?

If you’ve liked what you’ve heard so far with the singles, there’s a lot more on the album itself. After the darkness of PRISM, this is the singer having a whole lot of fun.


Katy Perry’s new album Witness is out now and available here in hmv’s online store.

Witness Katy Perry