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)
Recorded September 2006–March 2008
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 44:01
Label Capitol
Katy Perry chronology
Katy Hudson
One of the Boys
MTV Unplugged
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 the making of the album, 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. All songs were written by the singer, with assistance of some other producers and writers. It was composed in a pop-rock style. A EP, Ur So Gay, which contains the album's promotional single, "Ur So Gay", was released to generate interest on the singer and the then-upcoming album.

One of the Boys received mixed reception from critics. Some deemed it as being filled with "potential hits", while others criticized Perry's vocal performance. The album debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, with 47,000 copies sold on its first week. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and also reached the top ten in countries such as Austria, Canada, Germany, Mexico, and Switzerland. One of the Boys earned Perry two Grammy Award nominations, and has sold 5 million copies worldwide.

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


Her change in record label, and adoption of a pseudonymous surname accompanied a shift from the Christian rock of her self-titled debut album.[2] Perry has 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 notable 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:

Themes and style[edit]

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

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 actually influenced by artists and bands like Queen (Freddie Mercury in particular[7]), The Beach Boys, Heart, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, and Alanis Morissette.[8] 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."[9]

Her first EP, Ur So Gay, which contains the album's promotional single, "Ur So Gay", was composed as a tool of revenge by the singer on her ex-boyfriend,[10] where Perry satirizes his exaggerated emo style and metrosexual attitude. The lead single "I Kissed a Girl" generated some controversy, dealing with the subject of lesbianism. The song was inspired by actress Scarlett Johansson.[11] In the second single "Hot n Cold", Perry discusses the theme of uncertainty and the ups and downs of relationships. Other songs like "I'm Still Breathing" and "Thinking of You", both ballads, recounted failed relationships. According to the singer, "Lost" is the most personal song on the album, because its theme is similar to her biographical events. "Waking Up in Vegas" deals with eccentric and crazy trips with friends to Las Vegas. Just like "Ur So Gay" and "Hot n Cold", the songs "Mannequin" and "If You Can Afford Me" are mocking and critical of relationships with ex-boyfriends.

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was first released on June 17, 2008. It was released in separate editions: the standard edition; the Australia Tour edition,[12] which contains the standard CD plus a bonus CD with exclusive songs, an acoustic version of "Thinking of You" and remixes; the special edition,[13] which is packaged in a digipak and contains four bonus tracks; and the Japan re-issue.[14] Europe, Japan, and iTunes editions 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.[15] 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".[16] 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."[17] 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.[18] 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."[19][20] To promote the album Perry embarked on three tours, Warped Tour 2008, and her first solo world tour Hello Katy Tour with 89 shows performed, and as opening act in No Doubt's Summer Tour 2009.


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 thirty 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.[21] 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.[22]

"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.[23] The video for the single was released on December 23, 2008.[24] 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.[25] It was released to Australian radio on March 23, 2009, where it became the fourth most added song in its release week.[26] 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
Source Rating
Metacritic 47/100[27]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[28]
The A.V. Club (D-)[29]
Blender 3.5/5 stars[30]
The Boston Globe (mixed)[31]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[32]
The New York Times (mixed)[33]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[34]
PopMatters (4/10)[35]
Slant Magazine 2/5 stars[36]
Spin (3/10)[37]

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".[38] Despite the unfavorable reception, the album did garner some positive reviews, particularly from a writer for Billboard magazine: "not since Jagged Little Pill has a debut album been so packed with potential hits."[39] 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."[40] More often, however, reception was negative. 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."[28] 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".[38][41] Alex Miller of NME discouraged music consumers with "even a passing interest in actually enjoying a record" from buying it.[42]

Chart 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.[43] The album has sold 1,700,000 copies in the United States as of September 2015 and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[44][45] The album has been on the chart for eighty-four weeks. In Canada, the album debuted at number ten, and peaked at number six, It has since been certified double platinum by Music Canada.[46] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted, and peaked at number eleven on the UK Albums Chart. It has since been certified platinum. In Australia, it debuted at number eleven, the album has been certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting over 70,000 copies sold.[47] In New Zealand, the album debuted and peaked at number seventeen. It has since been certified Gold, shipping over 7,500 copies.[48] One of the Boys has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.[49]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "One of the Boys"   Katy Perry Butch Walker 4:07
2. "I Kissed a Girl"   3:00
3. "Waking Up in Vegas"  
4. "Thinking of You"   Perry Walker 4:06
5. "Mannequin"   Perry Wells 3:17
6. "Ur So Gay"  
  • Perry
  • Wells
Wells 3:39
7. "Hot n Cold"  
  • Perry
  • Gottwald
  • Martin
  • Dr. Luke
  • Benny Blanco[a]
8. "If You Can Afford Me"   S*A*M and Sluggo 3:18
9. "Lost"  
Bruner 4:16
10. "Self Inflicted"  
  • Cutler
  • Preven
11. "I'm Still Breathing"   Stewart 3:48
12. "Fingerprints"  
  • Perry
Wells 3:44

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



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[90] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[91] Platinum 20,000x
Belgium (BEA)[92] Gold 15,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[93] Platinum 60,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[94] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[95] Gold 15,000^
Europe (IFPI)[96] Platinum 1,000,000*
France (SNEP)[97] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[98] 3× Gold 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[99] Gold 35,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[100] Gold 40,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[101] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[102] Gold 15,000*
Sweden (GLF)[103] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[104] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[45] Platinum 1,700,000[44]

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

Credits and personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to One of the Boys:

  • Chris Anokute; A&R
  • Nick Banns; Engineer
  • Benny Blanco; Drums, producer, programming
  • Doug Boehm; Engineer
  • Jeff Bova; Programming
  • Ted Bruner; Composer
  • Paul Bushnell; Bass
  • Michael Caffery; Drum engineering, drum producer, engineer
  • Andreas Carlsson; Composer
  • Daniel Chase; Keyboards, programming
  • Desmond Child; Composer
  • Angelica Cob-Baehler; A&R
  • Scott Cutler; Composer, guitar, producer
  • Cathy Dennis; Composer, 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; Composer, 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; Composer, programming
  • Shayne Ivy; Design, illustrations
  • Dave Katz; Guitar, programming
  • David Katz; Composer
  • Stephanie Kubiak; Coordination
  • Bill Malina; Engineer
  • Max Martin; Composer, guitar, producer
  • Katy Perry; Composer, piano, producer, vocals, human whistle
  • Anne Preven; Composer, producer
  • Bill Reichenbach, Jr.; Horn section
  • Tim Roberts; Assistant
  • S*A*M; Producer, composer
  • Ed Sherman; Art direction
  • Gary "G" Silver; Production coordination
  • Sluggo; Producer
  • Dave Stewart; Composer, guitar, musician, producer
  • Butch Walker; Musician, producer
  • Greg Wells; Bass, beats, composer, engineer, guitar, musician, piano, producer
  • Steven Wolf; Drums
  • Emily Wright; Engineer
  • Joe Zook; Mixing


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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Blackout by Britney Spears
NRJ Music Award for International Album of the Year
Succeeded by
One Love by David Guetta