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on June 23, 2008
After lately hearing plenty of songs I like that don't have a CD full of similarly good stuff to back them up, I was pleased to finally find a must-buy when I was impressed by "I Kissed a Girl" on the radio. Katy's CD is exactly the kind of debut I like, showing off a range of song styles but still fitting firmly within the pop genre. I'll begin by debunking two criticisms I've heard: The CD is supposedly too slickly produced, and some say she tries to be edgy without going far enough. Such cookie-cutter criticisms should be saved for cookie-cutter groups. Claims of overproduction ring false when you can occasionally hear vocal slips that add humanity, and as for edginess I think one of the things that pleases me most about this CD is that Katy is very good at pulling off brash and irreverent flair without being obnoxious. I wish I could say the same of a lot of other acts.

Pop is Katy's strong suit but her songs mostly resist pigeon-holing past that point. Not a single song fits the bubblegum Disney mold, another bogus criticism I've seen aimed her way. "I Kissed a Girl" is almost bouncy rock, unlike anything else I've heard on the radio. The title track, "Waking Up in Vegas", and "Self-Inflicted" are the closest to "classic" pop that she gets; the latter two are among the best tracks on the CD. "Hot n Cold" is another mold-breaker though, reminding me very much of an early '80s sound with a more modern twist to some of the vocals. And I would be remiss not to mention "Ur So Gay", easily the most playful song on the album but one I would hardly classify as pop; hearing only this single would give anyone a very distorted picture of Katy's repertoire because it's little like any of her other songs musically, but among the rest it doesn't feel out of place.

While most of the rest of the CD is likable pop, there are a few slower ballads like "I'm Still Breathing", "Lost", and "Thinking of You". Each of these is different in some way, but "Thinking of You" has the strongest melody and complements that with beautiful vocals. Two days after first playing the CD, this song found its way back into my head and I was pleased to remember it so well.

Katy Perry is a breath of fresh air in an industry that seems to like churning out one-hit wonders with boring CDs, one-style-fits-all vocalists who have no ability to mix it up, or in-your-face yet unoriginal attitude. I like her style, range, and voice, and she manages through it all to be boisterous but not annoying. For me this is a winner.
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on May 19, 2009
When I heard Hot And Cold on the car radio I recalled liking I Kissed A Girl during summer 2008, so I bought the album on the strength of those two songs, on the offchance that I would like some of the rest of it.

I must add here that I am a 56-year old male British accountant, with taste firmly rooted in the 60s, and the last album I bought where I unequivocally enjoyed every track was Blue Hotel by Fox in 1977.

Well, now there is another one. One Of The Boys joins a very small club - there isn't a track on it which I don't like.

Let me get my reservations out of the way first. While I very much like the quality of Katy Perry's voice - she's a husky pop shouter with a delicate breathiness in her upper register (I suspect, from Youtube clips, that she requires some studio assistance to deliver a vocal take with no tuning issues, but that's not a major problem on a record!) - I don't much care for a) the Alanis Morisette-style vocal mannerisms (viz. the register-changing yodel), b) the croaking groan at the ends of lines and c) the intakes of breath (stylistic choice, or poor mic technique and/or poor production?). I'm also not a big fan of breaking words up ar tificially (if you see what I mean).

But I love the songs - each and every one of them. Every one has a strong melodic hook, and I love melody more than anything. The lyrics, though sometimes gauche, are funny, witty, and often heartfelt (and, even when not, they still tell an entertaining story - how can you resist an album where the second line is "I can belch the alphabet, just double dog dare me")?). And they are delivered with gusto and good humour in arrangements which are mostly spot on, if occasionally a little anonymous. I was delighted to see that Katy had a hand in writing all of them (and two of them solo).

I had a quick look at critics - they seem to be centred on ciriticing the fact that these songs are exactly what they are - fun. I don't think any big statement is intended here. After some seesawing back and forth, Katy has found the image she was looking for - Fruit, Betty Grable, big eyes, Minnie Mouse bows, and good-humoured theatricality, and this is reflected not only in her visual impact, but also in the material presented.

I loved every second of this album, and I can't wait for the next one.
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on July 12, 2008
...but somehow you get the idea that it's all in fun. This pop/rock recording makes for a fine debut. Katy does seem to have a bit of gender dysphoria...she kisses girls when drunk [and enjoys it], sometimes she feels like "one of the boys", and "ur so gay" and "hot n cold" depict her boyfriend has having some confusion of his own {PMS, indeed}. The lyrics, though are clean...well, there is a line in "if you can afford me" about not being a piece of a**...and I, at least, was left with the impression that she doesn't really mean it, and is just having a good time with us. "i kissed a girl" is not only not offensive, it's my favorite song on the album...really catchy.

Katy is a pretty girl, with a clear, strong, voice...she should go far. The album is well recorded, and presented, with great artwork. The recording may be a bit more "rock" than I like, but only a bit. She manages to take themes which some could use to gross us out, and make a real "feel good" album...that's an accomplishment, right there. You go, girl...

Addendum: I liked it when I first got it, but this is a record that actually IMPROVES with repeated listening...Very high recommendation. Six stars, at least.
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VINE VOICEon June 17, 2008
There's a lot to like about Katy Perry. Her song "I Kissed a Girl" is reigning high on the iTunes chart right now. For those unfamiliar with her, I'd place her sound and style in the genre of pop. Her sound is reminiscent of 80s pop and with a bit of a edge that makes her comparable to other new acts like Sarah Bareilles. Don't be fooled by the cover; Katy Perry's music is far from frilly and girly. In fact, often times it's the opposite as she spins out songs and lyrics that have caught the attention of pop royalty such as Madonna.

What you'll like about "One of the Boys" is the chances Katy Perry takes with her lyrics. The song "I Kissed a Girl" isn't truly groundbreaking or edgy but it's a rock-style song with Perry bending gender a bit, taking on the position of a 'girl gone wild' whose just out to have fun and experiment rather than looking for love. The other stand-out song "Ur So Gay" plays with the beat, with Perry's voice dripping and hanging off words and phrases as she rips into her loving boyfriend whose qualities brings questions to her mind. This is what makes Katy Perry so appealing; her music doesn't sound like anything being played on American radio and sounds very fresh and appealing to all audiences. Other stand out songs are "Lost" which is rather ballad-like without being overly mushy and features some great vocal work on her behalf, the very 80s-pop orientated "Mannequin" and "Self Inflicted".

What you may not like are the down-tempo songs that definitely feel like a let down compared to her up-temp songs. While these are okay, they distract and feel like filler-tracks or like something that any other new-act would put out. They sound far too safe for an artist that has the ability to pen some great lyrics and match it to a unique and fun beat. These tracks make the cd drag out and feel a bit unbalanced.

In all, a great debut that deserves your attention and is worth your money. Check it out.
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VINE VOICEon July 11, 2008
Hands down, the best thing about Katy Perry--and One of the Boys--is that she doesn't take herself too seriously. Every song is based in reality and makes its point clear, but there's also a tongue-in-cheek aspect to each track as well. Yes, this is pop in every single aspect, but it's also not trying to be anything else. If you're buying this CD in hopes of hearing something that's never been done before, well, I'm sorry but you'll be sorely disappointed. One of the Boys is simply a fun CD to put on and let play.

I'm sure most everyone was drawn to Katy Perry from her single, I Kissed A Girl, I know I was. Word has it though (and by 'word' I mean Amazon's product description) is that Katy found popularity with the digital release of Ur So Gay...but that's only hear-say. Whatever the case is, whichever song you heard first, this CD basically follows suit. Full of mostly upbeat, danceable songs, its really quite hard not to like this if you give it an unbiased listen.

Immediate hits, for those of you unwilling to sit down and listen to the entire disc, include (of course) I Kissed A Girl, Waking Up In Vegas, Ur So Gay, and Hot n Cold. For those who will actually give this CD some attention, Thinking of You, Self-Inflicted, I'm Still Breathing, and Fingerprints are all slower songs that beg for noteriety.

My favorite songs are I Kissed A Girl, Waking Up In Vegas, Thinking of You, Ur So Gay, and I'm Still Breathing. One of the Boys was everything I expected. I expected a fun romp through the pop genre...I got that. I expected some interestingly coy lyrics...got that. I expected to hear some great vocals...I also got that. I wasn't planning on being blown away or anything like that, so I came out insanely happy with what I was given. Pretty sure if you did the same you'd come out pleased as well. Enjoy!
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on August 24, 2008
Katy Perry may have started her career in the Christian genre, but this alt-pop goddess soars on her mainstream debut in the form of One of the Boys. Her smash single "I Kissed a Girl" is one of the catchiest songs this summer, and surely received most of its attention due to its off topic subject matter. "Ur So Gay" is another gem, albeit not nearly as catchy melodically, but more so lyrically as Perry lists all the reasons her ex is "so gay" even though "you don't even like boys"; I personally don't find any anti-homosexuality remarks here, but obviously songs like this have grabbed attention from those in the homosexual community for usage of the "Ur So Gay" moniker. But "Hot & Cold" stands to be just as catchy, if not more, than "I Kissed a Girl." One of the Boys is simply a delight to the ears, a piece of rock-infused pop that displays a powerful voice intermixed with some great songs. Sure, not everything here can match the incredible heights of "I Kissed a Girl," and yet moments of brilliance permeate throughout: for example, "Thinking of You" is a powerful ballad of heartbreak with a driving bridge and knowing lyrics. Overall, One of the Boys can easily be considered one of the best pop albums of the year, and deservedly so.
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on September 4, 2009
Katy Perry came on to the music scene with an in-your-face attitude about bi-curiosity with her hit song, "I Kissed a Girl". Unfortunately, radio is ringing out her album with both hands, trying to squeeze as much as they can out of her singles so that if you started out mildly enjoying her music, you despise it by month's end.

However, if you are lucky enough to avoid radio and you enjoy bubblegum pop, then you've come to the right place. Perry's album touches on many different subjects, from spending the night in Vegas to kissing girls to calling her ex gay. Perry ventures into territory that is normally considered taboo and for that she deserves merit. She's daring and flirty without being too over the top. She's stylish without looking slutty, and her music is quite easy to envision being the soundtrack to many an upcoming film in the future.

Below is a brief description of each track on the album and a numerical rating for each track. See if you agree. If you need to pick up a copy of this album, be forewarned. It is highly likely that you could end up getting an edited copy of "Ur So Gay" without even realizing it, since there is no parental advisory sticker or anything else to warn you of the difference. If you are into edited songs, then go right ahead. But if you prefer uncensored, you may want to acquire this song off of iTunes or another legal download service that offers the uncensored version.

Track 1: One of the Boys--(5)--a cutesie song to start off with, Perry is a tomboy but realizes the boys will never love her in the way she needs them to, they'll just consider her a buddy. She wants to shed the buddy image and grow into her own as a woman.

Track 2: I Kissed a Girl--(9)--the song that made Perry a household name. It rocks, it flirts and best of all, it brings a topic to the surface that most consider taboo and says basically, yeah, I did it, so what? Not a big deal. It makes being bad so much fun, even though it's not really being bad in the first place.

Track 3: Waking Up in Vegas--(8)--another big single for Perry with a catchy chorus and some amusing lyrics about how crazy life can get when you're spending the night in Vegas. So you're broke and covered in glitter. What'd you expect? You're in Vegas, baby!

Track 4: Thinking of You--(6)--the first ballad on the album, Perry is with someone else now but is thinking of the one that got away the whole time, regretting how things happened and wishing she could change the past and make him part of her present once again.

Track 5: Mannequin--(7)--a creative song about having a relationship with a man who shows absolutely no emotion whatsoever.

Track 6: Ur So Gay--(7)--a tongue-in-cheek break-up song where Perry calls out many different ways in which her ex sucks. She hopes he hangs himself with his H&M scarf. He's too skinny, he'd rather be on Myspace than spend time with her, and he has a small penis. Anyone who's ever been wronged by their man can sing along with this tune with an evil smirk on their face.

Track 7: Hot 'n' Cold--(8)--another radio-friendly single, this very catchy track examines an ambivalent relationship where they just can't make up their minds. They fight and break up. They kiss and make up. They've "got a case of love bi-polar."

Track 8: If You Can Afford Me--(7)--a song that closely resembles an 80's rock-type track, Perry exudes the important message that girls should have the self-respect to hold out for a man who truly deserves her. She's not a piece of ass and she can be bought, but you'd better be able to afford her because she doesn't come cheap, and she doesn't mean monetarily.

Track 9: Lost--(5)--a song about feeling lost, in despair and ultimately alone, it could quite possibly be an outlet for Perry trying to deal with her newfound fame.

Track 10: Self-Inflicted--(5)--a filler song, Perry excuses all of the scars and pain she is enduring because he is the weapon she chooses. Her wounds are self-inflicted and she's fine with that.

Track 11: I'm Still Breathing--(6)--another ballad on the album, here Perry realizes she is in a doomed relationship. She's pulling the plug and is willing to give him one last chance to say something, as long as he doesn't tell her he loves her.

Track 12: Fingerprints--(5)--she won't be unimportant, she is going to stand up and fight for her chance to leave a mark, be important--she'll leave her fingerprints on you.

Overall album rating: 6.5
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on July 21, 2008
It is strange how people tend to consider the word "pop" almost like saying a four-letter word in class while some fans applaud bands taking 10 minute songs filled with ever-shifting tempos and changes. While I will admit some bands/artists seem a bit too calculated and image-handled, sometimes you just know a good pop tune when you hear one. While Katy Perry's debut can be easily criticized for having hitmaker songwriters and producers and an overall "sheen" to it, the songs themselves are incredibly hooky and despite minor gripes, a good pop tune is a good pop tune, no matter who wrote it.

One of the Boys: While the album opener and the title track would seem enough to suggest this song would be awesome, it's only decent. The chorus is alright but nothing special and the music is kind of standard. Kind of disappointing. 6.5/10

I Kissed a Girl: A lot of newcomers tend to have that one song that gets everyone's attention and this track, with shades of Gary Glitter beats, lesbian experimentation lyrics and dance-y vibes, it's one of those songs where it's memorable but then you kind of overplay the thing. 7.5/10

Waking Up in Vegas: Probably tied for my favorite song on the record. Reminds me of Michelle Branch's "Breathe" which was sort of a great pop tune for people who aren't into pop starlets. The verses work well enough but then the chorus hits and will get stuck in your head. I'd be surprised if this wasn't a single. 9/10

Thinking of You: I have a feeling this will be a single since there is always gotta be that big ballad. It's a well enough song and I find myself not skipping it when I listen to the cd but there's something a little uninspired about it, Ballad 101 if you will. 7.5/10

Mannequin: Third favorite song and of course the first thing that will hit you is Katy's vocals which are quite passionate and "big" sounding with the music have the appropriate feel. Some might find it gets old or even annoying but I always liked it from when I heard it. 8/10

Ur So Gay: Another of the more well-known tracks but strangely I just don't care for it. Lyrically the record isn't exactly stellar but "you're so gay and you don't even like boys" is kind of unfortunate and it's a strange track musically as well. Odd piano chords, whistling out of a Western and horns, it's just...out there. 6/10

Hot N Cold: The other favorite off the record. Dance pop tune and while again, lyrically it's simple to a fault but that chorus is incredibly catchy and the rest of the song is enjoyable as well. Should definitely be a single and a cd highlight as well. 9/10

If You Can Afford Me: Enjoyable but potentially forgettable pop ditty and while I quite like the solo in its Cure-ness, the track as a whole is listenable but after awhile it just sort of fades until you re-listen again. 6.5/10

Lost: Another ballad though I like it a bit more than Thinking of You, mainly for Katy's vocals and the music in the background with synth, higher bell notes and acoustic guitars. And I quite like the vocal melodies that shows up at the bridge and the end. But again it might be too Ballad 101 for some...not that the record as a whole isn't immune to criticisms, mind you. 8/10

Self Inflicted: A bit more hard rocking than most of the tracks on the cd and reminds me of a better version of If You Can Afford Me. The chorus is fairly catchy and this weird vocal melody before one of the choruses is quite catchy. Slightly forgettable but still at least worth a listen. 7.5/10

I'm Still Breathing: Back to ballad mode and it's not as good as Lost is to me. Musically I guess it's well done and Katy's vocals are fairly good but the song as a whole is unmemorable for the most part and it's just decent. 6.5/10

Fingerprints: Picks up the pace and ends the record on a rocking note and it's pretty well done though it's not really Vegas or Hot N Cold-caliber though I quite enjoyed it anyway. The album has been hit-or-miss and thankfully the album at least ends on a good one. 8/10

The record is one of those kind that has some songs to back up the attention that she's been getting but then on the other hand pitfalls like lyrics and a similarity to other artists musically or in the vocals can vastly prevent someone from liking it. So in the end, it's kind of generic but didn't stop me from singing it afterwards.
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on June 18, 2008
Katy Perry hasn't been one to disappoint long-time fans (including myself) in the past. That said, she doesn't do that on her debut major-label record, 'One of the Boys'.

While many reviewers of this particular record have thrown around the words 'attention-seeker' and 'desperate' (rather loosely, I might add), I disagree. The album's tongue-in-cheek and sometimes controversial lyrics give it a unique touch among countless teen pop and bubblegum-flavored albums, which are essentially a dime a dozen in today's modern pop world. The album is hook-heavy and slickly produced, but Katy's raw, genuine talent for both singing and writing are quite apparent, mostly in the cleverness of songs like "Waking Up in Vegas" and "Fingerprints", which rank among the album's top songs. Songs like "I Kissed a Girl" and "Ur So Gay" (not-so-ironically, the album's lead singles) give the biggest dose of controversy to the album, with Katy (embarrassingly yet humorously) yelling the word "penis" at the end of the latter track.

While hardcore fans of Perry have long embraced her quirky personality, one worry that I have personally is that incoming fans may be turned off by it, especially since her persona appears on ever square inch of the record from front to back. Nonetheless, 'One of the Boys' places Katy in front of today's modern up-and-coming female solo artists such as Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles because the album has serious tracks (including standout "Thinking of You') and fun, upbeat tracks ("Hot N Cold") that combine all that is popular on Top 40 radio at the moment - pop, rock, and dance music.

In "Fingerprints", Katy sings "I want you to remember me"; well, that's exactly what I predict is going to happen for years to come. Welcome to the big leagues, Ms. Perry.
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on July 26, 2008
You can't help but like Katy - except for the people who don't. There's not an original thought going on in this CD, yet she still manages to make it all her own. Sure, "I Kissed A Girl," steals both its title and its theme from a better song, and "Ur So Gay," seems to have offended some who can't recognize the tongue-in-cheekness and recognize it for the novelty tune it is; sure, she sounds at times like a less-enthused Avril or some girl who's barely managed to escape the garage band she gigged with for 6 months... But Katy's tunes lodge in your head, there's enough clever word-play to make you smile, and she seems sincere enough. She might be this season's "Mika" - too soon to tell - but, like that disc, this one is fun and fanciful.
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