Katy Perry - Smile
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2020 Ratings: #744 / 753
User Score
Based on 815 ratings
2020 Ratings: #765
Liked by 30 people
August 28, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Capitol / Label
Dance Pop / Genres
katyperry.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

75
The Young Folks

Perry’s Smile is a message sent from her slightly outdated pop world, but at its best, it can indeed make you smile and make you dance despite your most cynical inclinations.

70
Spectrum Culture

Smile is leaps and bounds ahead of Witness and even the splendidly boring Prism, which in itself is a miracle.

67
Entertainment Weekly

Smile still feels like the too-familiar work of a star committed to remaining pleasantly, fundamentally unchanged.

67
A.V. Club

Katy Perry has grown up, but in doing so, she’s abandoning some of the best things about “Katy Perry.”

60
Slant Magazine
Rather than build on any of the sounds she experimented with in the past, the singer seems content to stay in her lane.
60
The Telegraph

For all its good intentions, Witness felt tired. But on Smile, Perry sounds rejuvenated. It’s a relief to hear her double down on what she does best: fizzy bops, huge hooks and about as much emotional subtlety as a sledgehammer.

60
The Independent
There’s nothing on this record to equal the giddy delight of Perry’s greatest hits. No fireworks to light up the dance floor, but enough to raise a smile.
60
The Arts Desk

There’s still a bit too much self-help book redemption here ... But in the darker corners of this record, there’s a definite sense of a more mature and grown up pop star emerging.

60
Rolling Stone

On Smile, she stops trying to keep up with the Halseys and happily defaults to the fizzy bombast that is her stadium-size safety zone.

60
The Line of Best Fit

Pop music is escapism, which in this day and age is beyond needed, but Smile feels like it’s just kind of there.

60
musicOMH

Creatively, it is definitely a return to form for the pop superstar. Unfortunately, there is a staggering lack of growth present in this album, surprising considering most of the foundation for Smile’s marketing was focused on Perry’s career rebirth, coinciding with the star’s impending motherhood.

60
The Observer
The US pop queen flits between styles on a fifth album that lacks focus.
60
PopMatters

Think of Smile as Katy Perry doing the work to (eventually) get her groove back: she's recharging. Smile plays like a necessary centering exercise, indulging her insecurities and less surefire instincts.

60
AllMusic

She's not ready to yield the spotlight yet there's a distinct sensation that she's following fashions on Smile, not setting them.

57
Pitchfork

Katy Perry’s bubbly, cliché-ridden pop feels especially unsuited for life in a pandemic. But despite all her garbled platitudes, she remains a master at executing chart-topping formulas.

50
No Ripcord

The album falls around a narrative of self-growth and perseverance, particularly after the failure of Witness, but going back to Prism’s concoction of flavorless production and lyrical cliches doesn’t help anyone.

43
Consequence of Sound

Smile is utterly committed to bombastic aphorisms and the soaring positivity — and anonymity — of a megachurch.

40
NME
It’s frustrating, as this is the woman behind some of the most fun – and biggest-selling – songs of all time. But as much as you want ‘Smile’ to be a return to form, her fifth album’s songs fail to grip.
40
The Sydney Morning Herald

In July on Instagram Perry promised an album about her "journey towards the light". These are lofty ambitions for a star who cut her teeth on absurdist pop jaunts, and sadly the result is milquetoast, at best.

40
The Needle Drop

Everything pretty much goes downhill after Smile's opening track.

20
Clash

Taken as a standalone piece of art, 'Smile' truly isn’t worthy of your time. It’s a “Live, Laugh, Love” cushion, it’s a faux-inspirational quote over a stock image of a sunset, it makes “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” seem like a deep philosophical rumination on the transient nature of existence.

Doublez
45
As is the case in her albums, Smile is boring, marked by a mechanical, predictable and generic interpretation, without the few interesting subjects reaching you. To top it all off, this new album shows how Katy Perry has remained stuck in another era, without having reinvented herself, not even a little.

It's been a long time since Katy Perry became a woman, also comforted by the latest events in progress. When she conquered her star status around the theme of the teenager, Katy hadn't ... read more
Kengoji
NR
If Future Nostalgia was Horse Tranquilizer then Smile is Fentanyl. It's not even a nuanced death. Most listeners will immediately fall over dead from the corniness of 'Never Really Over' including me but I'm a man of focus, commitment, sheer fucking will so this album isn't going to keep me down for long. After a while, I wished I stayed in my eternal slumber. By the horrid track 'Not the End of the World' I realized something. The retrobutnotreallykindaretro aesthetic has gotten incredibly old ... read more
RakkSmells
45
Never Really Over is such a great single. Zedd's production is just so sharp and clean and Katy's vocals on the chorus are just so addicting.

Everything from that point on is...
Utterly okay.
Remarkably fine.
Thoroughly mediocre.
Exceedingly decent.
Spectacularly average.
Astonishingly meh.
Unfathomably forgettable.

It's like pop's answer to Dominic Fike's What Could Possibly Go Wrong, except with actually finished songs.
oh
55
yeah this was pretty boring. the only standout tracks were the singles, one of them being one of the best songs from 2019 (Never Really Over), and Daises is pretty good too. but other than that, it's just some standard generic pop. which is a shame because Katy's last album, Witness, was amazing. Smile is also a really bad song, probably my least favorite track. it sounds like Chained To The Rhythm but missing everything good about that track.

favorite tracks: Never Really Over, Daises, Teary ... read more
Jazpurz
20
Why are we here, just to suffer?

"You know, I really didn't think I had the strength to purchase that box of NEW Crest® 3D Whitestrips, but then like a shitty PA voice from heaven I heard Katy Perry tell me to smile. It was like I had been infused with holy spirit! Not only did I gain the strength to purchase that box of NEW Crest® 3D Whitestrips, but I purchased two boxes instead of one! Thanks, Katy! *Smiles and teeth sparkle* " - Satisfied customer

There was no way in ... read more
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Track List

  1. Never Really Over
  2. Cry About It Later
  3. Teary Eyes
  4. Daisies
  5. Resilient
  6. Not the End of the World
  7. Smile
  8. Champagne Problems
  9. Tucked
  10. Harleys in Hawaii
  11. Only Love
  12. What Makes a Woman
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Added on: July 8, 2020