The Bottom Line
Reportedly completed in only four days, "Wide Awake" represents a continued maturation of the sound of Katy Perry. There is a polished elegance to the song's music and lyrics that is a major leap beyond the hits that first brought Katy Perry to our attention. There is a melancholy tone that matches her recent personal upheavals. However, the overall impact is one of strength to face anything the storms of life bring.
- Melancholy mixed with strength in the lyrics
- Katy Perry's singing
- Lush electronic production
- No significant negatives
- Written by Katy Perry, Bonnie McKee, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, and Henry Walter
- Produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut
- Released May 2012 by Capitol Records
Guide Review - Katy Perry - "Wide Awake"
We can almost feel Katy Perry's eyes open wide as she sings, "I'm wide awake!" to open this song. The subtle echo effects and interweaving with the first verse are beautiful and elegant. Katy Perry's singing has never sounded better. The lyrics of the song, crafted along with Bonnie McKee, have the impact of depicting a butterfly emerging from a cocoon following a period of ignorance and disillusionment. The Katy Perry who closes the song is a strong, powerful person ready to face any of life's challenges.
Musically, "Wide Awake" feels something like a cross between the ethereal sound of "E.T." and the anthemic eruption of "Firework." The result is more polished than either of those hits. The pillowy electronic sound of the production provides a beautifully lush cushion as Katy Perry sings about, "Falling from cloud 9."
"Wide Awake" continues Katy Perry's phenomenal streak of hits by maintaining links with her recent songs and moving forward at the same time. Nearly three minutes into "Wide Awake," following a quiet breakdown, her "Yeah" lead into the rest of the song is reminiscent of a similar powerful moment that occurs nearly at the same timing in "Teenage Dream." It might seem like there is a glut of Katy Perry hits on pop radio airwaves, but, at least for now, her newest hit is a deserved one. "Wide Awake" is one of the most well-crafted mainstream pop songs of summer 2012.