REVIEW: KATY PERRY – ‘WITNESS’ 49

As one of the most commercially successful pop stars of recent years, Katy Perry has achieved critical acclaim and support from fans and critics on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to her releases that date back to 2008. Sadly, her latest collection, Witness, which was released on Friday, isn’t quite a fitting testament or new chapter in the story of that success and instead, it falls spectacularly short – at least in this reviewers’ opinion – of what it should or could have been.

Opening with its title track, things don’t get off to a great start. Instead, even with Perry’s soft voice taking centre stage, by the time the chorus hits, it’s become a tangled mix of semi-electro rhythms and instrumentation that’s rather hippy – but not in a good way.

“Roulette” has one of the best (read: simple but catchy) choruses featured on the whole album, even if it is lyrically weak – it comes across like the thoughts of a teenager’s diary being turned into cheesy lyrics -and “Swish Swish”, featuring Nicki Minaj, is little more than a few minutes of Perry spouting disses at people. Fortunately for both Perry and the listener, the collection does have some few brief highlights.  “Power” is the first – the drum beat on the track is reason enough to listen – and “Mind Maze” is the other, if only because the rather cool (and I for one don’t use that word very often) vocal manipulation that adds a little flare to proceedings.

Sadly however, as soon as the highlights arrive, they disappear and in their place come more disappointments. Even recent single “Chained To The Rhythm” pales in comparison to the pop-tastic chart smashes of her past such as “I Kissed A Girl” and “Roar”, though, given the menagerie of disappointing tracks it finds itself surrounded by, it comes across as one of the best, if not THE best, song on the album.

“Bon Appétit” – with its muted chorus and rather bland production – was never going to set the charts alight (the reality is it didn’t), and “Pendulum” might as well just be the title word repeated over and over again – it’s almost certainly going to get skipped over by those who give it even a single listen.

Ultimately, this album feels like it was created at a time when Perry didn’t know who she really was or what she wanted from her music – if that’s the case, it certainly shows. What also sets this collection apart is, if you care enough to read the credits, it’s the first of Katy’s career that hasn’t been co-written/produced by the powerhouse duo of Max Martin and Dr. Luke, though given Luke’s recent ongoing legal issues, her perhaps not wanting him involved can be forgiven. Martin still retains a considerable amount of involvement on the album, but it falls utterly and unbelievably short of his careers’ best efforts.

Quite how Perry will recover from this album not matching the popularity of and acclaim earned by its predecessors remains to be seen, but she’s certainly got quite a battle ahead – one which may just be made slightly easier by those fans who continue to like her for her past successes.

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RAG N BONE MAN CONFIRMED FOR 2018 BRIT AWARDS 13

We are so pleased to announce the 2017 winner of the BRITs Critics’ Choice and British Breakthrough awards Rag’n’Bone Man will be performing live at this year’s award ceremony on 21 February. He will join an already exceptional line-up which so far includes Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith and Stormzy.

In the last year, Rag’n’Bone Man has broken the record for fastest-selling UK male debut of the decade with his 3x Platinum No. 1 album  ‘Human’ which has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide.

Rag’n’Bone Man said: “Jheez! 2017 has flown by super quick. Its pretty mental to think that I bagged two awards at The BRITs last year and now I’m heading back to perform. I’m looking forward to being a part of the celebration with everyone. It’s going to be a good one for sure!”

BRITs Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Rory epitomises how dreams can come true. He has had the most amazing 12 months and I’m so delighted to see him back where it all started.”

The 38th BRIT Awards will be hosted by Jack Whitehall at The O2, London and broadcast live on ITV. We can’t wait for Rag’n’Bone Man to bring his talent to the stage.

The nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards will be revealed at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ on Saturday 13 January. The show broadcast live on ITV will be hosted by Emma Willis and includes live performances from Clean Bandit, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Liam Payne and Paloma Faith.

FOO FIGHTERS CONFIRMED FOR BRIT AWARDS 2018 25

We are so delighted to announce that four-time BRIT winners and one of the world’s most successful bands Foo Fighters will perform on The BRITs stage for the first time on 21 February.

The international superstars will deliver one of their legendary live performances alongside performances from Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Stormzy and Dua Lipa.

Foo Fighters have sold more than 25 million records and sold out countless world tours. The band’s acclaimed ninth studio album ‘Concrete and Gold’ was their fourth to hit No.1 in the UK charts on release in September, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries.

BRITs Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Sony Music UK & Ireland Jason Iley said: “Anyone who was lucky enough to witness one of their shows on the recent sold out UK tour, or their set at Glastonbury – which was undoubtedly one of the best performances the festival has ever seen and a night that will be talked about forever – will know why Foo Fighters are the biggest and most exciting rock band in the world. Quite remarkably they have never performed at The BRITs, so I am over the moon to confirm a massive BRITs exclusive to have them grace our stage.”

With four BRIT Awards under their belt winning International Album in 2008 and International Group in 2008, 2012 and 2015 we can’t wait for Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee to bring the incredible Foo Fighters energy to The BRITs stage.

The nominations for the 2018 BRIT Awards will be revealed at ‘The BRITs Are Coming’ on Saturday 13 January. The show broadcast live on ITV will be hosted by Emma Willis and include live performances from Clean Bandit, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Liam Payne and Paloma Faith.