It was seven years ago that Katy Perry first sassily introduced herself to the world via quotable lyrics, memorable costumes and some sexy cherry Chapstick.
Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ Spends 200th Week on Billboard 200 Chart
Her debut Capitol album, One of the Boys, dropped seven years ago today, on June 17, 2008, and the accompanying single “I Kissed a Girl” went on to rule the radio all summer long. (Technically, the first single was the buzz-building pre-release “Ur So Gay,” but that’s honestly best left forgotten.)
In honor of the anniversary, we rounded up five underrated Perry gems from both One of the Boys as well as her later albums. For purposes of this discussion, we’re defining “underrated” as “never officially released as a single,” because “Teenage Dream” can be both a massive success and still honestly be a little bit underrated — yes?
5. “If You Can Afford Me”
If a Katy Perry song is supposed to make you want to get up and dance with your friends at a bar (or at least motivate you at the gym), then Perry quickly succeeds with this One of the Boys catchy tune demanding that guys do just a little bit better. Please.
4. “One of the Boys”
Enter Perry, the guys’ girl who wants to be seen as datable and not, you know, one of the dudes. The title track off her first album set up Perry as both a wide-eyed innocent and her knowing older sister (credit Perry’s already-quite-developed kooky stage persona).
3. “Hummingbird Heartbeat”
The lyrics are basic, but the earworm melody was perfectly at home on Teenage Dream — and it’s a shame that the tune was never released (along with seemingly everything on the album) as a single. The tune was a perfect showcase of Perry circa 2010: Goofy, playfully sexy and with a vocabulary that works on both an 8-year-old and women a bit older than that.
2. “Legendary Lovers”
Perry typically only goes for a ballad a time or two per album cycle, so when a handful of them showed up on Prism, it seemed like Perry was turning over a new leaf (or at least temporarily ditching the whipped-cream bra). The best of the bunch is the stellarly produced “Legendary Lovers,” which finds a sitar and a tabla among the background sounds, giving it a distinctive and memorable sound to complement Perry’s emotional singing.
A truly hidden gem of the Prism era (she’s rarely performed the tune live), “Ghost” succeeds on the strength of its message. If Teenage Dream was all about falling in love, then “Ghost” is the painful aftermath that finds Perry lyrically moving on with a perfect kiss-off.
What’s your favorite Katy Perry non-single?