Circle The Drain
Label: Capitol Records
The concept of youth as a metaphor -- for love, for fun, for emotional turmoil -- couched in an '80s teen movie aesthetic suits Katy Perry, who is both a bit juvenile and fond of a good gimmick (see: girl-kissing). The slew of solid pop fare here starts off in party mode ("Last Friday Night"), then spends the second half getting all angsty ("E.T." nails it, but stabs at seriousness like "Who Am I Living For" are a bit hard to swallow). And then there's the oh-so-subtle "Peacock," which is perhaps KP's most distinctive song to date -- and sounds almost nothing like her.