Teenage Dream is Katy Perry's third studio album that was released on August 24, 2010 by Capitol Records.
- Teenage Dream 3:47
- Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) 3:50
- California Gurls (featuring Snoop Dogg) 3:54
- Firework 3:47
- Peacock 3:51
- Circle The Drain 4:32
- The One That Got Away 3:47
- E.T. 3:26
- Who Am I Living For? 4:08
- Pearl 4:07
- Hummingbird Heartbeat 3:32
- Not Like The Movies 4:01
Prior to recording the album, Perry told Rolling Stone she would "definitely keep it pop", in order to not "alienate" her fanbase.
She began recording the album on October 13, 2009, stating that she had "lots of layers to get through, thankfully Greg Wells is there to do the peeling."
The work on the album involved collaborating with numerous artists and producers including Wells. Guy Sigsworth, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Rivers Cuomo, Kuk Harrell, Greg Kurstin, Benny Blanco, Darkchild, Cathy Dennis, Ester Dean, and Tricky Stewart, who told Rap-Up magazine in December 2009 that the sound of the album would be pop and rock (like "One of the Boys") though calling it a "different gear" for himself.
As for the visual component, Perry likens it to "going from Shirley Temple, Betty Boop to more of a Betty Paige [sic], pop art-sarcastic-fun-Lichtenstein picture: still bright, but the colors are more saturated, and it's more metallic fuchsia or purple than bubblegum pink."
On March 27, 2010, at 2010 Kids' Choice Awards, Perry told Jose Ordonez that she considered the album "a summer record". She added that her previous teases about the album still fit, saying "it's what I said I wanted earlier." She has also stated that the album is inspired by ABBA and The Cardigans.
According to Perry, she gave her producer Dr. Luke a mixtape of songs by the two groups in order to demonstrate how she wanted her next record to sound. Perry described the album as "more groove-driven". She added, "When I went on tour, as much as I love all the in-between songs, I felt I was missing some of the stuff that made people bounce up and down."
During a Rolling Stone photo shoot in April 2010, Perry revealed details about what would be the album's lead single, "California Gurls."
Allegedly, a response to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys's "Empire State of Mind", she stated: "everyone has the New York song, but what the fuck? What about LA? What about California?", adding that the song also took its inspiration from Prince
The song features California rapper Snoop Dogg. USA Today gave the song a positive review, calling it "an effervescent toast to summer fun".
Perry also claimed that working with producers Max Martin and Dr. Luke was "a wonderful collaborative effort."
The recording for the album finished on April 30, 2010. The album cover is a painting by Will Cotton, and was revealed on July 21, 2010 via a live webstream with Cotton, at his Art Studio.
On July 23, 2010, the album's official track listing was posted on Perry's official website.
For the recording of the album, Perry had recorded at a multitude of recording studios such as Playback Recording Studio, Roc the Mic Studios, Conway Recording Studios, Rocket Carousel Studio, Studio at the Palms, Triangle Sound Studios, Silent Sound Studios, The Boom Boom Boom, Henson Recording Studios, Capitol Studios, NightBird Recording Studios, and Eightysevenfourteen Studios.
In June 2010, Perry stated some of the album's content "is a bit sugary sweet but when you listen to the record head to toe I think it's completely appetizing. I didn't want to have just club songs. People are living real lives, working jobs, having relationships. There's definitely a bit more substance and perspective on this record."
The music of "Teenage Dream" is derived from a wide variety of rock and pop genres, while heavily incorporating different musical styles not heard on her previous releases; disco and electronic are examples.
Musically, the album is considered to be a departure from Perry's previous album, "One of the Boys" which was pop rock and soft rock driven.
It features a very wide range of rock music subgenres, which include disco rock, glam metal, indie rock, pop rock, hard rock, electronic rock, rock and goth rock music.
The album opens with the title track and second single "Teenage Dream", is written as a throwback record to Perry's teenage years.
It is a power pop and electropop song which features a "distinct retro sound" and contains influences of disco, pop rock, and industrial music. The song has been compared to several disco artists, including Madonna and The Cardigans.
The second track is "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", the song recalls a true experience that Perry had while partying in Santa Barbara which included streaking in a park, dancing on tables, and partying at a club.
Musically, the song is styled in the genres of disco, indie rock, and Hi-NRG while also taking influence from dance-pop.
The lead single, "California Gurls", continues the "retro sound" carried from "Teenage Dream", and is written as an answer song to "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, and pays tribute to the beach lifestyle of California.
The song utilizes the genres of disco, funk-pop, and electropop music while bearing influence of new wave music within its composition.
Written in tribute to The Beach Boys, the song has been compared to the song "September Gurls" by Big Star, as well as the group Flanger.
The fourth track is the self-empowerment song "Firework". Written in a disco-rock style which runs over the backing track, consisting of a mix of violins and house music. The song has generated comparisons to artists such as Coldplay and Leona Lewis.
According to Perry, the song was inspired by Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road", and she has said on many occasions that it is her favorite song from the album.
"Peacock" is a dance-pop song, with an up-tempo house music beat. Lyrically, the track contains a double entendre with suggestive wording. New York magazine writer Willa Paskin observed that Perry did the obvious with the song's hook ("she used a common word for penis and made it mean penis!").
Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone noticed the two songs shared a drum hook, and thought of "Peacock" as a sequel to Gwen Stefani's 2005 single, "Hollaback Girl".
"Circle the Drain" is a rant song where, lyrically, Perry is telling off a self-destructive drug-addicted ex-boyfriend. Its candid lyrics also discuss the strains his addiction put on both of them.
In the track's chorus, she sings about how she wants to be his lover, not someone who has to take care of him, such as a maternal figure. Perry also sings about how he had ultimately lost large opportunities. The song is styled in the genres of disco-rock and gothic rock tones.
The sixth single from album is "The One That Got Away", which is a rock and pop ballad.
Perry stated that she wrote the song "about when you promise someone forever, but you end up not being able to follow through. It's a bittersweet story. Hopefully, the listener learns from hearing it and never has to say they had 'the one' get away."
The eighth song, "E.T." is a song about "falling in love with a foreigner." A remix of the song features Kanye West. Musically, the track is an electronic and hip hop ballad influenced by drum n' bass, rave, and techno.
The eleventh track is "Hummingbird Heartbeat" was inspired by Perry's boyfriend at the time, Russell Brand. Musically, it is a 1980s-styled hard rock song that contains a mixture of elements from rock and electronica. Lyrically, the song compares the feeling of being in love to the speed of a hummingbird's heartbeat.
The last track is "Not Like the Movies" a power ballad about a love relationship where a woman does not feel in love and still waits for the man of her dreams, or "charming prince", as a Terra reviewer put it. Its melody was compared to Britney Spears' "Everytime" and Evanescence's "My Immortal."
"Teenage Dream" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 192,000 copies during its first week. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
As of 2017, the album has sold 3,000,000 copies in the United States and 6 million copies worldwide as of 2013.
Teenage Dream received generally mixed reviews upon release from music critics.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic criticized the album as "desperate vulgarity" and "tiring."
Mikael Wood of Spin gave a mixed review, noting that the album "won't disappoint parents looking for reasons to worry about their kids".
Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone described it as "heavy on Eighties beats, light on melody, taking a long dip into the Daft Punk filter-disco house sound."
Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune gave a negative review to the album, criticizing the production, calling it "Frankenstein-like", as well as calling Perry's vocals "robotic" and lacking "any elegance or nuance".
Matthew Cole of Slant Magazine called it "over-produced bad-girl debauchery," claiming that Perry has "found a way to lower the bar."
The Los Angeles Times gave it three stars, saying: "On 'Teenage Dream,' the songs alternate between weekend-bender celebrations of hedonism and self-help-style affirmations encouraging listeners to get an emotional makeover. Either way, acquisition is the goal: of a great love, a happy hangover, a perfect pair of Daisy Dukes".
Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly, stated: "Beneath the fruity outfits and fart jokes, Perry is clearly serious about the business of hit songcraft; that doesn't make Dream nearly cohesive as an album, but it does provide, intermittently, exactly the kind of high-fructose rush she's aiming for."