It is supposed to be “purposeful pop,” but Kay Perry’s latest album, Witness, doesn’t feel that purposeful and could use more pop of the kind that introduced her to us with Teenage Dream.

The happy-go-lucky, double entendre-dropping pop star with a dash of rock thrown in, is who Perry has always been. With hits from “I Kissed A Girl,” and “Roar” to “This Is How We Do,” Perry established herself as a force to be reckoned with in pop music. Frequent collaborators Dr. Luke and Max Martin were an important part of that successful equation.

katy perry album

But on Witness, the magic is all but gone. The consciousness Perry is going for never quite gels and what you are left with is something in the middle – a watered down version of the earnest pop Perry strives for. “Chained to the Rhythm” might be the best effort, with synth infusions that move you along to the groove. But even here, Perry’s troops are branded wasted zombies.

On the Max Martin-produced “Bon Appétit,” you are left wanting more. Martin does not conjure up the same stardust as he has in the past and Dr. Luke with all his troubles is nowhere to be found. Collaborations with Mike Will Made It like “Tsunami” fall flat but others are more successful with the input of indie band Purity Ring on “Mind Maze.”

Diss track “Swish Swish” represents the lowest point on Perry’s latest outing, uninventive in its put-downs whose rumored fire is aimed at Taylor Swift. Perry’s greatest problem with Witness is not knowing who she wants to be and for an artist, being directionless is a hard battle to win and on Witness, Perry loses. The good news is that the music industry is all about reinvention and Perry definitely has a few more acts up her sleeve.

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