One Of The Boys is Katy Perry's second studio album that was released on June 17, 2008 by Capitol Records.
- One Of The Boys 4:07
- I Kissed A Girl 3:00
- Waking Up In Vegas 3:19
- Thinking Of You 4:06
- Mannequin 3:17
- Ur So Gay 3:37
- Hot N Cold 3:40
- If You Can Afford Me 3:18
- Lost 4:15
- Self Inflicted 3:25
- I'm Still Breathing 3:48
- Fingerprints 3:44
Katy Perry's change in record label, and adoption of a pseudonymous surname accompanied a shift from the Christian rock of her self-titled debut album.
She stated that she had been working on the album since she was 18 years old. During the making of the album, she was dropped from two record labels and went through two canceled albums.
During this time, Perry had written close to 70 songs. She collaborated with producers Greg Wells, Dr. Luke, Dave Stewart, and Max Martin among others on the album. She co-wrote every song on the album as well as writing three of the songs herself.
Once Perry was signed to Capitol, label head Jason Flom started work on a new album by convincing Dr. Luke to go back into the studio with Perry, with the two having already worked together on the abandoned Columbia sessions. Together with Max Martin, they wrote and cut "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n Cold".
Perry then collaborated again with Greg Wells, who she had also worked with on the Columbia album, creating the songs "Ur So Gay" and "Mannequin".
According to Perry's A&R Chris Anokute, they ended up with five new songs and then chose the six best songs from the shelved Columbia album to compile "One of the Boys."
When talking about the songs on the album, Perry said that she released the single "Ur So Gay" as an introduction to the album, saying: "The album will have a lot of the same characteristics [as "Ur So Gay"], though. There will be lots of storytelling, because lyrics are important to me. There are a few songs that will make you cry, but there are others to make you dance and sing. Every song is on the album for a specific reason."
Although Perry's musical style and way of composing ironic and bawdy songs has been heavily compared to the style of singers Avril Lavigne and Lily Allen, Perry was influenced by Queen (Freddie Mercury in particular).
All songs on the album were written by Perry, assisted by musicians Greg Wells, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Cathy Dennis, Desmond Child, Andreas Carlsson, Sam Hollander, Dave Katz, S*A*M and Sluggo, Ted Bruner, Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, Dave Stewart, and Glen Ballard.
The album includes several tracks that tell stories — a balance of sad songs and happier tunes. About these opposites, she said, "I think people can appreciate a songwriter who shows different sides..... I've put everything into [this album] and I feel like it's my baby."
The opening track is the title track where Perry express that she does not want to "be one of the boys of her love interest."
While describing the song, Charles A. Hohman from PopMatters noted that "she used to belch the alphabet and tape down her tits, but one summer, the tomboy lifestyle just didn't hold her interest, so she started 'studying Lolita religiously' and noticing guys noticing her."
The second track is the lead single "I Kissed a Girl" generated some controversy, dealing with the subject of lesbianism. The song was inspired by actress Scarlett Johansson.
Musically, it is a pop rock track. It contains influences of new wave and runs through a throbbing beat and an organic instrumental thump, according to About.com's Bill Lamb. The track features instrumentation provided by drums, guitars and bass. The song sparked controversy for its homosexual themes.
The album's third song is "Waking Up In Vegas", the song has been described as a power pop and pop rock song; it deals with trips with friends to Las Vegas.
"Thinking of You" is the first ballad of the album. It is a downtempo pop rock song, as the singer reflects on settling for the second best: "You said move on, where do I go?"/"I guess second best, it is all I will know", she sings.
Reviewing the song, editor CT from Billboard described it as: mid-90s No Doubt pop/rock palette.
The fifth track is "Mannequin". "Ur So Gay" was composed as a tool of revenge PErry on her ex-boyfriend where she satirizes his exaggerated emo style and metrosexual attitude. It is a trip hop track with a moderate tempo.
In the seventh track "Hot n Cold", Perry discusses the theme of uncertainty and the ups and downs of relationships. It is a synthpop song which utilizes guitars and synthesizers.
"If You Can Afford Me" cops a mixed message about female materialism. Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine compared it with Madonna's song "Material Girl."
"Lost" and "I'm Still Breathing" are both ballads; in the first ballad, she sings: "I leave the gas on/Walk the alleys in the dark", the verse use a metaphor for a dying relationship.
"One Of The Boys" debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200 with 47,000 copies sold during its first week. It was certified platinum by the RIAA.
As of February 2017, it has sold 1,710,000 copies in the United States and 7 million copies worldwide as of August 2010.
"One Of The Boys" received generally mixed reviews from critics.
On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, it has received a score of 47, citing "mixed or average reviews".
A highly positive review came from Kerri Mason of Billboard, who felt it was "packed with potential hits."
Blender magazine wrote: "Perry's creative-writing-class punch lines don't always justify her self-congratulatory drag-queen tone. But she hiccups quirkily enough, and myriad big-name producers (from Dr. Luke to Glen Ballard) keep the new-wave synth hooks hopping."
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave it two out of five stars, remarking it "sinks to crass, craven depths that turn One of the Boys into a grotesque emblem of all the wretched excesses of this decade."
Uncut wrote "Gwen Stefani should be nervous" while Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine criticized Perry's vocal performances, and compared the title track to "No Doubt's 'Just a Girl' sans personality and conviction".
Alex Miller of NME discouraged music consumers with "even a passing interest in actually enjoying a record" from buying it.