Ranking Every Katy Perry Studio Album

Katy Perry

Katy Perry is one of the most notable musicians to emerge in the late 2000s. Her success can be seen in a number of things. For example, Katy Perry has sold more than 143 million records around the world. Similarly, every single one of her studio albums released under Capitol have exceeded one billion streams on Spotify. Having said this, some of Perry’s studio albums have been better than others, though people’s opinion on their ranking can see significant variation from person to person.

6. Katy Hudson


For those who are unfamiliar, Katy Perry is a stage name. Her full name is Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, which should explain why her eponymous debut studio album in 2001 was called Katy Hudson. Regardless, said album was very different from its successors. In those days, Perry was still making contemporary Christian music, which is perhaps unsurprising considering that she grew up in a religious household in which secular music was not permitted. On the whole, Katy Hudson wasn’t very well-received. It received mixed reviews from the critics. Furthermore, it is said to have sold just 200 copies before the record label went out of business. As for Perry herself, well, suffice to say that it wasn’t too long before she switched over to secular music. Something that would eventually make her one of the most successful musicians in the entire world.

5. Witness


Witness would be Perry’s fifth studio album. There was a fair amount of interest when it came out in 2017. After all, Perry had released her previous studio album in 2013, completed a world tour in 2014 and 2015, and then went on hiatus for the sake of her mental health. As such, there was a gap of four years between the two studio albums, which resulted in some notable changes. To name an example, Perry decided to discard her on-stage persona in preference for her real self, as shown by how she switched over from her long, dark hair to to a pixie cut with her natural blonde hair. Unfortunately, Witness wasn’t quite as good as what most people would have liked. Some of its tracks such as “Chained to the Rhythm” were well-liked. Unfortunately, a lot of critics considered the rest to be fillers. The songs weren’t bad, but to be perfectly honest, they weren’t capable of standing out among either Perry’s body of work or the rest of the field.

4. Smile


In 2020, Perry released Smile, which would be her latest studio album. Its name is no coincidence. As the story goes, Perry experienced serious depression because of her breakup, her pregnancy, and other issues, with the result that she experienced suicidal thoughts. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that Smile is focused on emerging from darkness into light, meaning that it has themes of both self-help and self-empowerment that resonate with a lot of people out there. Reception-wise, Smile didn’t exactly meet with universal applause on the part of the critics, who often praised her maturation but criticized her very familiar sound. However, the latter isn’t necessarily a bad thing for people who listen to Perry’s music because they like the iconic sound of Perry’s music, particularly if they are craving something that is fun and uplifting in nature.

3. One of the Boys


One of the Boys was long in the making. As mentioned earlier, Perry made a decision to switch over to secular music after the less than impressive reception of her once-eponymous debut studio album. However, that doesn’t mean that she just released a new studio album right away. Instead, Perry is said to have written almost a hundred songs while working her way through a couple of cancelled releases as well as a couple of times being dropped by her record label. Eventually, she managed to bring everything into alignment to release One of the Boys, which is the album that made her a star. Yes, the critics had mixed opinions about it. A lot of them thought that the songs on the album were of inconsistent quality, with the result that some were worth listening to while the others were much more forgettable. However, the more important part is that the album went on to become a multi-million seller, thus making it very clear that Perry had managed to establish a following for herself.

2. Prism


As strange as it sounds, Prism was once meant to be a darker sort of studio album, which to be fair, is understandable considering that Perry was depressed after her ex-husband Russell Brand left her towards the end of 2011. However, the album winded up becoming more dance-inspired than expected. Moreover, it was quite good in this regard, as shown by how it was another multi-million seller. Prism was Perry’s fourth studio album, so it benefited a great deal from the gradual refinement of her musical skills over time. As such, it was a very likeable set of songs on the whole that are well-worth a listen.

1. Teenage Dream


Teenage Dream was Perry’s third studio album. It is aptly named, seeing as how it is focused on themes of personal growth, young love, and self-empowerment to a considerable extent. Amusingly, Teenage Dream is the album that has somehow managed to become better and better-regarded over time. Initially, it was seen as fun but often formulaic and either unable or unwilling to break from pop convention. Nowadays, Teenage Dream is seen as one of the more memorable releases from a golden age of pop music, so much so that it often makes lists of the best albums for the decade. The album isn’t what most people would consider to be high art. However, it never pretended to be. Instead, Teenage Dream is exactly the kind of music that comes to mind when one thinks of its name. Moreover, it excels at its chosen role.

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