Picture this: Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” is number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Taylor Swift just won her first Country Music Award and Katy Perry is about to drop her smash-hit debut single “I Kissed A Girl.” It’s April 2008 and the world is COVID-19 free.
This week in Poptimism, we hop back in time to appreciate Katy Perry’s first pop album “One of the Boys,” after the artist transitioned from her debut in gospel music, believe it or not. Released April 28, 2008, “I Kissed a Girl” catapulted Perry to superstardom with its provocative lyrics and infectious production.
The whole pop-rock album is a spring essential and features a variety of upbeat jams and heartfelt ballads that have stood the test time. Perry co-wrote each track, exploring themes of fitting in, heartbreak and unrequited love.
Opening on the doo-wop influenced “One of the Boys,” Perry sings about how boys see her as “one of the boys” versus a romantic partner. The track is pure bouncy fun. The ideal setting to digest this track is on a porch swing downing some homemade lemonade.
Pop powerhouses “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold” add massive nostalgic flavor to the album and are classic bangers. The former track may have questionable queerbaiting lyrics (coming from the straight Perry) but it was 2008. We can’t change the past — but we sure can jam to it.
The satirical, cringey “Ur So Gay” adds some bite that definitely wouldn’t slide today either. Perry was quite the provocateur in her heyday. That said, it’s still a blast with its twisted, downtempo production. Just ignore the lyrics, it’s not like they were ever Perry’s strong suit.
Just because we’re being poptimistic doesn’t mean a healthy cry or two wouldn’t do some good. Pop on the heartbreaking “Thinking of You” and let out the emotions you’ve got stored in. Maybe we can relate to thinking of the person we really want to be with — after all, we were thrown from campus in one fell swoop.
Headbanging “Waking Up in Vegas” and “If You Can Afford Me” allow us to live vicariously through people who are able to leave the house. Jam like you’re at the club, even if you’re in your former bedroom that’s been turned into your mom’s meditation room.
The latter half of the album especially contains whimsical and soothing production that will put you at ease. Lay on the grass (if you can go outside), pop on some shades and soak it all in. Music is healing — between the bangers and the dream pop, this album is sure to take you to a better place.
“One of the Boys” is available on all music streaming services.