Katy Perry has finally revealed some details about her highly anticipated third album; namely, that it will be called Prism and you can get your hands on it Oct. 22. But Perry has been talking about the album since she graced the cover of Vanity Fair in 2011. Among the tidbits about her religious upbringing and her then still-going marriage to Russell Brand, Perry started preparing the audience to see a new side of her.
“My career is like an artichoke,” Perry told Vanity Fair. “People might think that the leaves are tasty and buttered up and delicious, and they don’t even know that there’s something magical hidden at the base of it. There’s a whole other side [of me] that people didn’t know existed.”
She ended the article (not currently archived online) by saying that fans can expect her to get much darker for her next album — which she’d already started plotting over two years ago. This “darker Katy Perry” narrative has been repeated by the singer to Rolling Stone, Vogue and Interview (to whom she said in 2012, “Yeah, well, my music is about to get real f***ing dark, so…”).
It’s also going to be our first listen to songs written by Perry after her divorce. Even though she has been plotting to show us her dark side for some time now, she may have gotten license to go even darker with that seismic shift in her personal life.
But what does the dark side of the woman whose rise in fame correlates to a bra that sprays whipped cream? Here are a few of the roads she might go down, and none of them are candy-coated.
Go Full Alanis
This would be the most obvious choice for Perry. She’s a longtime and documented fan of Alanis Morissette’s debut album (and hallmark of ’90s female dark anger gone mainstream) Jagged Little Pill, going so far as to track down Morissette’s producer, Glen Ballard, to work on music early on her career. Anyone who saw Part Of Me, Perry’s 3-D film, saw that early footage of Perry as a scraggly haired, acoustic-strumming waif.
The word prism is a term “used figuratively with reference to the clarification or distortion afforded by a particular viewpoint,” per its dictionary definition. If Perry were to go the full Alanis route — waling instead of merely singing about intensely personal things — she would be giving us both a clearer and more distorted view of her life. The old truism that only two people can ever know what happened in a relationship may be accurate, but her finally penning some songs about it (“Wide Awake” doesn’t count — anyone worth their salt knows she wrote it circa her Travie McCoy break-up) will certainly provide insight into her true emotional state. It’s unlikely she can top the harsh honesty of “You Outta Know,” but she could at least attempt an anthem to stand alongside it, “You’re So Vain” and countless Taylor Swift hits in the collection of break-up revenge songs.