One of the Boys (Katy Perry album)

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One of the Boys
Katy Perry - One of the Boys.jpg
Studio album by Katy Perry
Released June 17, 2008 (2008-06-17)
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 44:01
Label Capitol
Producer
Katy Perry chronology
Ur So Gay
(2007)Ur So Gay2007
One of the Boys
(2008)
MTV Unplugged
(2009)MTV Unplugged2009
Alternative cover
Special edition cover
Special edition cover
Singles from One of the Boys
  1. "I Kissed a Girl"
    Released: April 28, 2008
  2. "Hot n Cold"
    Released: September 9, 2008
  3. "Thinking of You"
    Released: January 12, 2009
  4. "Waking Up in Vegas"
    Released: April 21, 2009

One of the Boys is the second studio album by American singer Katy Perry. It was released on June 17, 2008 by Capitol Records. During its production, Perry was dropped from two record labels and went through two canceled albums. She collaborated with producers Greg Wells, Dr. Luke, David A. Stewart, and Max Martin, among others, on the album, and wrote all of its songs with assistance of other producers and writers. The EP Ur So Gay, containing the promotional single of the same name, was released to generate interest in the singer and the album.

The album is Perry’s first on a major label, following her self titled debut, which was released on Red Hill Records. It received mixed reception from critics, with some deeming it as being filled with "potential hits" and others criticizing Perry's vocal performance. Nonetheless, it debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, selling over 47,000 copies in its first week of sales, and also peaked within the top-ten charts in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and Switzerland. One of the Boys earned Perry two Grammy Award nominations, and has sold 7 million copies worldwide, having been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album's lead single "I Kissed a Girl" became Perry's first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single; the second single "Hot n Cold" reached number three in the United States, while topping the charts in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and Austria. The third single "Thinking of You" reached the top-thirty in the US, while the final single "Waking Up in Vegas" became a top-ten hit. To further promote the album, Perry embarked on three tours: the 2008 Warped Tour, her first solo world tour, the "Hello Katy Tour", and served as an opening act in No Doubt's 2009 Summer Tour.

Background[edit]

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.[2] The singer stated that she had been working on the album since she was eighteen years old. During the making of the album, Perry was dropped from two record labels and went through two canceled albums. During this time, Perry had written close to seventy songs.[3] Perry collaborated with producers Greg Wells, Dr. Luke, Dave Stewart, and Max Martin among others on the album.[4] Perry co-wrote every song on the album as well as writing three of the songs herself.

Once 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.[5] When talking about the songs on the album Perry said that she released the single "Ur So Gay" as an introduction to the album:

Music and lyrics[edit]

Themes and influences[edit]

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,[6] the singer was influenced by QueenFreddie Mercury in particular.[7] 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."[8]

Songs[edit]

Perry performing "I Kissed a Girl" at the Life Ball in May 2009 in Vienna, Austria

The opening track is the title track One of the Boys, where Perry express that she does not want to "be one of the boys of her love interest", 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."[9] 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.[10] Musically, it is a pop rock track.[11][12] It contains influences of new wave[13] and runs through a throbbing beat[14] and an organic instrumental thump, according to About.com's Bill Lamb.[15] The track features instrumentation provided by drums, guitars and bass.[15] 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.[16] The song 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.[17] The fifth track is "Mannequin". "Ur So Gay" was composed as a tool of revenge by the singer on her ex-boyfriend,[18] where Perry satirizes his exaggerated emo style and metrosexual attitude. It is a trip hop track with a moderate tempo.[19] 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.[20][21][22] "If You Can Afford Me" cops a mixed message about female materialism.[9] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine compared the song with Madonna's song "Material Girl" (1984).[23] "Lost" and "I'm Still Breathing" are both ballads, in the first, she sings: "I leave the gas on/Walk the alleys in the dark", the verse use a metaphor for a dying relationship.[23]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was first released on June 17, 2008. It was released in separate editions: the standard edition, the Australian Tour edition,[24] which contains the standard CD plus a bonus CD (which was also released as a separate EP on the Australian iTunes Store)[25] containing an acoustic version of "Thinking of You" and remixes, the special edition,[26] which is packaged in a digipak and contains four bonus tracks, and the Japanese re-issue.[27] The European, Japanese, and iTunes editions of the album all contain bonus tracks.

Perry performing the opening act for YouTube Live in 2008

Upon its release, the singer has been heavily criticized for her song, "Ur So Gay", considered by the site The New Gay to be homophobic.[28] The author of the publication added, "It's time to Katy Perry to stop talking nonsense" because "the song trots out a number of tired gay stereotypes to condemn one of Perry's ex-boyfriends and includes a paradoxical chorus".[29] Jane Czyzselska from The Guardian commented that "Perry's song is a rather sweet, refreshing antidote to the avalanche of overtly sexualized boy-grinds-girl songs."[30] She promoted the song in Portugal, and it was not very well received by the public. Her first single, "I Kissed a Girl", became a worldwide controversy. Despite the context, Perry is heterosexual. She has been strongly criticized by the LGBT community, who believe that the singer used music to make money and not on behalf of homosexuals, and by critics who claimed that music leads the girls to be lesbian.[31] The song was criticized by the local headquarters of the evangelical Havens Corners Church, which has set the following sentence in its garden in September 2008: "I kissed a girl and liked it. So I went to hell."[32][33] To promote the album Perry embarked on three tours: the Warped Tour 2008, her first solo world tour, the Hello Katy Tour, with 89 shows performed, and No Doubt's Summer Tour 2009 as its opening act.

Singles[edit]

The album's lead single, "I Kissed a Girl" was released in late April and subsequently soared up the charts. "I Kissed a Girl" was a commercial success. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the 1000th chart-topper of the rock era. The song has since become a major worldwide hit, and along with the United States, it has topped the charts in more than twenty countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The second single, "Hot n Cold", made it onto the chart after the album came out due to digital downloads. It was released in early September, and peaked at number three on the US charts, making it Perry's second consecutive top five single.[34] On November 14, the song became Perry's first number one on radio airplay. It is officially one of the ten best-selling digitally downloaded songs of all time after its initial run.[35]

"Thinking of You", the penultimate single, was originally planned to be the first single from the album, but was scrapped for "I Kissed a Girl" due to its surge in popularity. "Thinking of You" received a video in late April 2008, but the video was removed from YouTube and replaced by a new video after the single was re-released as the third international single from the album. Perry shot the second video with director Melina Matsoukas in the first week of December 2008.[36] The video for the single was released on December 23, 2008.[37] The track peaked at number twenty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week of February 12, 2009 where it remained for the next two weeks before declining to number thirty-one in its seventh week on the chart. "Waking Up in Vegas" is the fourth and final single from the album. It went for radio adds on April 21, 2009 in the US.[38] It was released to Australian radio on March 23, 2009, where it became the fourth most added song in its release week.[39] Perry performed it on American Idol in May, resulting in a surge of sales for the song. The music video was shot by Joseph Kahn during March 2009 in Las Vegas and officially premiered on the iTunes Store in the US, and Australia on April 28, 2009.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic47/100[40]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars[41]
The A.V. ClubD-[42]
Blender3.5/5 stars[43]
The Guardian2/5 stars[44]
NOW2/5 stars[45]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[46]
PopMatters4/10 stars[47]
Slant Magazine2/5 stars[48]
Spin3/10[49]
Uncut3/5 stars[50]

The album received generally mixed reviews from critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received a score of 47, citing "mixed or average reviews".[51] A highly positive review came from Kerri Mason of Billboard, who felt it was "packed with potential hits."[52] Blender argued, "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."[53] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album 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."[41] 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".[51][54] Alex Miller of NME discouraged music consumers with "even a passing interest in actually enjoying a record" from buying it.[55]

Commercial performance[edit]

One of the Boys debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, with 47,000 copies sold in the first-week released.[56] The album has sold 1,710,000 copies in the United States as of February 2017 and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[57][58] The album has been on the chart for ninety- two weeks. In Canada, the album debuted at number ten, and peaked at number six, It has since been certified double platinum by Music Canada.[59]

In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at number eleven on the UK Albums Chart, and has sold 697,000 copies as of February 2017.[60] It has since been certified 2x platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.[61] In Australia, it debuted at number eleven, and has been certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting over 70,000 copies sold.[62] In New Zealand, the album debuted and peaked at number seventeen. It has since been certified Gold, shipping over 7,500 copies.[63] One of the Boys has sold 7 million copies worldwide as of August 2010.[64]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."One of the Boys"Katy PerryButch Walker4:07
2."I Kissed a Girl"2:59
3."Waking Up in Vegas"
3:19
4."Thinking of You"PerryWalker4:06
5."Mannequin"PerryWells3:17
6."Ur So Gay"
  • Perry
  • Wells
Wells3:39
7."Hot n Cold"
  • Perry
  • Gottwald
  • Martin
  • Dr. Luke
  • Benny Blanco[a]
3:40
8."If You Can Afford Me"S*A*M and Sluggo3:18
9."Lost"
Bruner4:16
10."Self Inflicted"
  • Cutler
  • Preven
3:25
11."I'm Still Breathing"Stewart3:48
12."Fingerprints"
  • Perry
  • Wells
Wells3:44

Notes

Personnel[edit]

  • Chris Anokute – A&R
  • Nick Banns – engineer
  • Benny Blanco – drums, producer, programming
  • Doug Boehm – engineer
  • Jeff Bova – programming
  • Paul Bushnell – bass
  • Michael Caffery – drum engineering, drum producer, engineer
  • Daniel Chase – keyboards, programming
  • Angelica Cob-Baehler – A&R
  • Scott Cutler – guitar, producer
  • Cathy Dennis – background vocals
  • Darren Dodd – drums
  • Ned Douglas – engineer, programming
  • Michael Elins – photography
  • Mike Fennel – drum engineering
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner – mastering
  • Aniela Gottwald – engineer
  • Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald – producer
  • Sean Gould – engineer, guitar
  • Gary Grant – horn section
  • Paul David Hager – engineer
  • John Hanes – mixing
  • Jerry Hey – horn arrangements, horn section
  • Dan Higgins – horn section
  • Sam Hollander – programming
  • Shayne Ivy – design, illustrations
  • Dave Katz – guitar, programming
  • Stephanie Kubiak – coordination
  • Bill Malina – engineer
  • Max Martin – guitar, producer
  • Katy Perry – piano, producer, vocals, human whistle
  • Anne Preven – producer
  • Bill Reichenbach, Jr. – horn section
  • Tim Roberts – assistant
  • S*A*M – producer
  • Ed Sherman – art direction
  • Gary "G" Silver – production coordination
  • Sluggo – producer
  • Dave Stewart – guitar, musician, producer
  • Butch Walker – musician, producer
  • Greg Wells – bass, beats, engineer, guitar, musician, piano, producer
  • Steven Wolf – drums
  • Emily Wright – engineer
  • Joe Zook – mixing

Awards and live performances[edit]

Performance Song
2008 Spike Guys' Choice Awards
So You Think You Can Dance
  • "I Kissed a Girl"
2008 MTV Video Music Awards
Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2008
  • "I Kissed a Girl"
51st Grammy Awards
  • "I Kissed a Girl"
2009 NRJ Music Awards
2009 Echo Awards
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[109] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[110] Platinum 20,000*
Belgium (BEA)[111] Gold 15,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[112] Platinum 60,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[113] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[114] Gold 15,000^
France (SNEP)[115] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[116] 3× Gold 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[117] Gold 35,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[118] Gold 40,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[119] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[120] Gold 15,000*
Russia (NFPF)[121] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Sweden (GLF)[122] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] 2× Platinum 697,000[60]
United States (RIAA)[58] Platinum 1,710,000[57]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[123] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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