Teenage Dream is more than just the title of Katy Perry's newest album, out today -- it's the album's theme, too. Like 12 pages ripped out of a 14-year-old's diary, the songs find Perry singing about storybook brushes with love most likely inspired by her hot and heavy romance with soon-to-be husband Russell Brand ("Hummingbird Heart," "Teenage Dream," and the killer The Veronicas-meet-t.at.u. cut "E.T.") or belting out inspirational inverse wrist-slitters like "Pearl" and "Firework" that could easily convince the dumpiest, most hopeless outcast to run for prom queen.
Say what you will about Perry (and we're the first to admit she's not exactly the most talented singer in the game) -- but girlfriend is not messing around on this album. The first five tracks all have H-I-T tramp-stamped all over them and the rest of the album is solid. Even the cloying album closer, "Not Like The Movies," got me when the drum programming kicked in after the first chorus.
All in all, Teenage Dream isn't going to change your life (especially if you're not in 11th grade), but it'll definitely sweeten up your Friday night pre-party.
-- NOAH MICHELSON
Previously > Need To Know: TAB The Band