Plot/Content Summary & Critical Evaluation: Pop music Diva Katy Perry’s third Album Teenage Dream is the quintessential pop album. With its upbeat music and girlie vocals, Perry has continued the evolution of her brand of pop, which could be called “candy pop.” She evokes youth and innocence with her pink bubble gum hair and her candy colored wardrobe, while maintaining one foot in the sexy and mysterious category. Her unique persona is a hit with teenage fans who flock to her concerts and to buy her music. Teenage Dream debuted and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 192,000 copies in its first week. It was later certified two times platinum by the RIAA, selling more than 2 million copies in the United States. The album has spawned five worldwide hit songs: “California Gurls” featuring American rapper Snoop Dogg, the title track, “Firework“, “E.T.“, which included a version featuring Kanye West, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)“. All have topped the charts in the United States and attained top-ten positions in more than twenty countries. All five singles also topped the Digital and Airplay charts, making her the first artist ever to have five number-one singles in the Airplay chart.” (Teenage Dream (Katy Perry album) from Wikipedia, data from Billboard Magazine).
Information about the Author/Performer: Born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in Santa Barbara, CA, in 1984, Perry grew up singing in churches. Both of her parents are pastors. Her career has included acting, in addition to music. (Katy Perry, 2011)
Genre/Format: Pop, Music CD
Reading Level/Interest Age: 13 and up
Why is this CD included? Hugely popular with teens, Teenage Dream was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2011: Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, “Teenage Dream” (the song) for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and “California Gurls” (the song with Snoop Dogg) for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Katy Perry. (2011). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katy_Perry#cite_note-GraffBold-11
Teenage Dream (Katy Perry album). (2011). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_Dream_%28Katy_Perry_album%29
Plot/Content Summary: Fans of the wildly popular television program Glee will swoon over the cast’s fourth volume, which contains music from a diversity of decades and musical styles. Teens will likely recognize Cee Lo Green’s smash hit “Forget You” sun by Glee guest star Gwyneth Paltrow and the cast. Highlights include Glee versions of: Ike & Tina Turners’ “River Deep, Mountain High,” Bob Marley’s hit “One Love,” Dirty Dancing’s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”
Critical Evaluation: The Glee Cast wins again with Glee: The Music, Volume 4, perfectly combining strong energy and exuberance with spectacular vocals and music. The amazing range of the vocals parallels the exciting mix of songs from many genres and time periods. Current chart toppers are interspersed with favorites from decades past to create an eclectic mix that is brought together by the one thing they have in common: the Glee Cast members and their drive for the highest quality of performances. There is something for everyone and the emotional ride ranges from sad to in love to angry to celebratory, and lots in between. Fans of Glee will delight in getting to hear their favorites in the car or on the go, and will keep coming back for more. This album is just plain fun.
Information about the Author/Performers: The Glee Cast who perform in this album are the actors and vocalists who star in the hit TV show of the same name. The main contributors to the album are the actors who play members of the fictional McKinley High School Glee Club: Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Dianna Agron, Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Harry Shum, Jr., and Ashley Fink.
Genre/Format: Eclectic Genre Mix, Music CD
Reading/Listening Level & Interest Age: 13 and up
Challenge Issues: The song “Forget You” was originally recorded by Cee Lo Green as “F*** You,” and included other profanity as well. In response: Green recorded a cleaned-up version, “Forget You,” which is the one the Glee Cast recorded.
Why is this CD included? The album is lively, fun, and very entertaining, and the Glee series is extremely popular among teens. The music from the program is also wildly popular, songs from Volume Four, “Teenage Dream” and “Loser Like Me”, “charted in the top ten in the US and Canada; the former is also the only single from the second season to have been certified gold in the US.” The album itself “charted in the top ten in Canada and the US” and is one of “the only two albums to have been certified platinum from the season” (Wikipedia, Glee Cast discography)
Glee Cast discography. (2011). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glee_Cast_discography