She burnt her blue wig in the short promo video for the single “Roar”, but any tweaks to the Katy Perry formula are cosmetic on her post-Brand album. Self-help and sauce remain the remit, which might have been less tiring if “Roar”, “Walking on Air” and “This Moment” offered forms fresher than, respectively, the robo-stutter of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, weary Italo-house pianos and strenuous stadium bluster to enliven their empowerment-speak.
“Birthday” is lewd fun – “big balloons” feature – and “By the Grace of God” will touch anyone still upset about Perry’s divorce. Otherwise, the restorative route towards self-love trotted out in “Love Me” is one that only devoted followers of Perry’s marital affairs need concern themselves with. KH