Katy Perry - Witness
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2017 Ratings: #755 / 766
User Score
Based on 817 ratings
2017 Ratings: #821
Liked by 8 people
June 9, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Capitol / Label
Dance Pop, Pop / Genres
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katyperry.com / Website
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The Guardian
While her “edgy” new image might not appeal to everyone, K Pez still has a flair for tunes that quickly seep into the collective consciousness – and it’s kookier than ever.

The all-new ‘woke’ Katy isn’t just about giving you decent things to dance to on a Friday night or up-tempo fluff for your gym playlist. Instead, she’s pushing the sleek, chart-friendly empowerment of ‘Roar’ and ‘Firework’ even further.

Entertainment Weekly

Still, this is a Katy Perry record, so she wisely serves up a few sugar rushes ... Hearing these tracks alongside the more serious fare on Witness ultimately creates the feeling of a record that’s all over the place. If there were a few more pure pop moments like those songs, Perry would’ve made something truly worth witnessing.


While she may have slipped down the pecking order, Witness proves she’s still a more interesting pop star than she’s often given credit for.

Rolling Stone

Perry has replaced the eye of the tiger with the heart of a contemporary night owl, making an album of mostly moody, dreamy, reserved music ... In turn, a pop icon blends into the rest of the radio.

Slant Magazine

Unfortunately, Witness lacks both the big hooks that propelled Perry's past hits up the charts and the conceptual and sonic focus to give her pop real purpose.

Time Out London
‘Witness’ is sometimes wide of the mark, but probably more considered than you initially think. And like Perry generally, its heart seems to be in the right place.
The Needle Drop

Witness finds Katy Perry heading in exciting new sonic and lyrical directions, but is sometimes held back by Katy indulging in safer, staler sounds and her usual cliches.

The Observer

Can she really be crying “woke” after a career pushing so much nudge-wink hedonism?

The Arts Desk

Unfortunately, while occasionally tasty, it cannot meet those comparisons, yet it’s still Perry’s most enjoyable and consistent album.

Consequence of Sound

Witness has great singles, forgettable singles, forgettable filler, and songs that go clunk. As a vehicle for Billboard hits, it’s perfectly competent, but by the second listen, your finger might be itching for the skip button.

Pretty Much Amazing
You can strut and vogue to it all night, but like those tequila shots you take between tracks at the club, you might feel bad about it the next day.
Drowned in Sound

Admittedly, I’m not exactly Katy Perry’s target market, but stuff like Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen or Melodrama by Lorde shows that you can walk that line between pure pop and indie cred (two things Perry does actually have), and at the same time make something enjoyable and artistic - it can be done, but you have to understand what an album actually is, and realise why the fuck you’re making one before you do, which is a fact sadly lost on Witness.

We all know it’s near-impossible for pop this focus-tested to drop truth bombs about America’s fractured state, but Perry’s efforts to finally transcend Top 40 confectionary with a cohesive album leaves her in a tough spot. She aimed for pop-game Chipotle, complete with enlightened prose on the cups. She landed at sad fast-food-chain salad.

Witness isn't a failure, and its good intentions, both politically and sexually, aren't insufferable as much as they are listless and unsatisfying.

A.V. Club

Everything about Witness—starting with its extended promotional cycle and ending with the album itself—feels like Perry trying to run away from her strengths .... In the end, Witness is collateral damage in Perry’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt at forcing personal growth.

The Independent

Her dance-pop here is identical to everyone else’s, which leaves Perry clutching at the single-entendre raciness of “Bon Appetit” (“Got me spread like a buffet/Bon appetit, boy”) and curdled imagery like “my love’s the bullet with your name on it” to secure a soupcon of bogus outrage.

Perry's insistence on delving deep into electronic dance doesn't play like a pop visionary charting new directions forward; it seems anxious, as if she can sense her youth -- and perhaps more importantly, her stardom among youth -- slipping away.
The Telegraph

For about half of Witness, Perry appears to be striving for meaning at the expense of catchy choruses. On the other half, it is as if she has lost her nerve and been persuaded to sing choruses that have no meaning.

The Young Folks
Katy Perry is trying to be both the colorful goofball and in-touch balladeer, but the balance still seems off. She’s trying to take herself a bit more seriously, which is fine, but she needs to come up with something new to say or a new way to say it or else her presence will become stale.
Perry interpolates trends into her sound but never fully commits, each new mid-tempo piano number pulling her farther and farther from her established persona which, pros and cons aside, was at least capable of delivering memorable, talked about bits of pop iconography.

It's not against the law to make pop music (yet), so Perry may want to consider not shitting all over the people who buy her music because she sees herself as more enlightened. It's as if she doesn't believe the rah-rah empowerment message splattered all over Witness applies to anyone but her.

Nobody should ever expect anything from Katy Perry, of course. She created the worst album of her career. The songs are forgettable, they have nothing good besides their production. For a pop album, you have to know how to make good songs, it seems that Perry don't know.

Katy said that this album was going to have a purpose, I'm trying to decipher it because it just appears a desperate way to get a new hit on Billboard.

Witness has songs so bad that the singles (Chained to the Rhythm & ... read more
Witness. The album that you all probably forgot about, which is... understandable. This album wasn't nearly as popular as her other 3 mainstream albums, really the only single that got successful in the mainstream was Chained To the Rhythm with its radio play. Which is something that kinda makes me confused because of how great this record is? And it seemed like everyone hated it. Maybe it was because of 'pop' music not being liked too much in general, so people went into this album thinking it ... read more
Disconnected. Meaningless. Perry tried to deliver something full of purpose but the album is bad and monotonous. There are no high points, there is nothing incredible. There are no well-made productions or high quality compositions. Composed only of disposable songs, which are incoherent to the purpose she so much desires to reach.
The slick polishing and the nocturnal dance-club vibes might put off some of the long-time followers, but this electronic-tinged redrawing provides a few infectious moments (mostly on the first half), and even though the dominant persona created for this album often leads to incongruencies in the tracklisting, Witness definitely presents occasional glimpses of beauty (especially on the Purity Ring produced cuts), powered by some sophisticated and detailed production. Either way, it is the ... read more
To be honest, the highs of this record are incredibly high. Actually some of her best songs land on this project. Witness's biggest problem is ultimately just way too much fat. I get KP wanting to give fans a bulky product after such a long hiatus, but this could have been so much stronger as a 10-11 song album. Here's the concrete issues in bullet form:

-"Bigger Than Me" is cheap padding, easily the biggest throwaway of the album
-"Save as Draft" was DOA given the ill-will ... read more
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Year End Lists

#46/Drowned in Sound

Track List

  1. Witness
  2. Hey Hey Hey
  3. Roulette
  4. Swish Swish (feat. Nicki Minaj)
  5. Déjà Vu
  6. Power
  7. Mind Maze
  8. Miss You More
  9. Chained To the Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley)
  10. Tsunami
  11. Bon Appétit (feat. Migos)
  12. Bigger Than Me
  13. Save As Draft
  14. Pendulum
  15. Into Me You See
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Added on: May 15, 2017