Get Witness Katy Perry Album essential facts below. View Videos or join the Witness Katy Perry Album discussion. Add Witness Katy Perry Album to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Following the release of her fourth album Prism in 2013 and the end of the Prismatic World Tour in October 2015, Katy Perry told The New York Times in February 2016 that she was in the "research and development phase" of a new album. She decided to take a hiatus after the tour concluded to "give my mental health a break" before starting to write new songs the following June. Perry felt "refreshed" after the hiatus, and had over 40 tracks "in progress" before the year ended. In August, the singer stated that she aspired to make material "that connects and relates and inspires" and told Ryan Seacrest that she was "not rushing" her fifth album, adding "I'm just having a lot of fun, but experimenting and trying different producers, and different collaborators, and different styles." The album marked a departure from long time producer and co-writer Dr. Luke. In February 2017, Perry stated that the album was "definitely a new era for me" and "an era of purposeful pop" she was proud of. Later that month, she told Capital FM that "I've got something swirling, but I think I want to put out some songs first before I give them the full meal." The following May, Perry revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the album would include 15 of the 40 songs she wrote for it, and described the record as "fun and dance-y and dark and light."
Commenting on the concept of the album cover, Perry said,
"Music has allowed me to travel, which has reeducated my mind and changed my perspective on so much, so my education and my consciousness comes from my voice, and that's how I see, and that's how I witness you and that's how you witness me and that's why the eye is in the mouth."
In February 2017, Spotify announced that it would run a campaign to promote the album up to its release in the middle of the year. On May 15, Perry confirmed the album would be titled Witness and would be released through Capitol Records on June 9, 2017. She also announced that the concert tour supporting the album would be titled Witness: The Tour. It began in September 2017 and concluded in August 2018. Tickets purchased would include a copy of the album. The night before Witness came out, she hosted a live countdown for the record on her YouTube channel, which featured the singer performing and discussing tracks on the record as well as responding to fan questions. To accompany the album's release, Perry also broadcast herself on YouTube with a live-stream titled Katy Perry Live: Witness World Wide for four days, concluding with a live concert on June 12.
The album's lead single, "Chained to the Rhythm" featuring Skip Marley, was released on February 10, 2017. It went on to top the charts in Hungary while reaching number four in the United States. "Bon Appétit" with Migos followed as the second single on April 28, 2017. The track reached number 59 in the United States and number 14 in Canada. "Swish Swish", featuring Nicki Minaj, was released as the third single on May 19, 2017. The song peaked at number 46 in the United States, and number 13 in Canada. "Save as Draft" was released to American radio stations on June 26, 2017, and "Hey Hey Hey" was released in Italy as the album's fifth single on January 12, 2018.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 52, based on 19 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews". Wren Graves from Consequence of Sound gave the album a rating of C. He listed "Swish Swish", "Power", and "Déjà Vu" as essential tracks, but felt that most of the other songs were more of a "filler," and that a lack of cohesiveness with Perry's output made Witness inferior to her previous material. Kevin O'Donnell of Entertainment Weekly gave it a B rating stating, "Perry is reflective, anxious, and fired up on Witness," highlighting "Déjà Vu" and "Swish Swish" as the best tracks.USA Todays Maeve McDermott commended the album for being "sonically coherent" and noted it as a personal record, rather than the politically charged marketing campaign it had received.
Hannah J. Davies of The Guardian gave the album a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, writing that the singer "still has a flair for tunes that quickly seep into the collective consciousness" and praised "Swish Swish" as "a house-fuelled banger with undeniable groove," though felt that "Perry's heartfelt ballads feel tacked on in the face of all this weirdness." Leonie Cooper from NME gave it the same rating and noted that the album did not display any subtlety in the music, complimenting it for "[delivering] important messages about female autonomy to a young audience, it's surely better to shout than whisper."Idolator's Mike Wass also gave Witness a score of 4 out of 5. He did not feel it had "introspection or maturity," though praised "Miss You More" as "the kind of brutally honest anthem that Katy isn't given enough credit for," and dubbed it "the album's emotional core." Wass concluded that "Witness might be overly ambitious and is definitely a couple of songs too long, but dance-pop experiments don't come much more enjoyable than this."
Giving Witness 3 out of 5 stars, Christopher R. Weingarten wrote in Rolling Stone that it was comparable to the music of Halsey and Camila Cabello, and that the songs blended "into the rest of the radio." He also did not like how Perry's voice was "devoured in effects and reverb." Sal Cinquemani gave the same score, praising the empowerment themes within "Hey Hey Hey" and "Power", though ultimately felt that the record "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."
AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album 2 out of 5 stars, saying it felt "relentless and a shade desperate" and called the record "a conceptual muddle." He added that Witness "erodes whatever adult contemporary progress Perry made with Prism."The Daily Telegraph journalist Neil McCormick gave Witness the same rating, and panned the usage of the term "purposeful pop" for the songs. He found Witness to be musically repetitive, explaining that within the multitude of people working on the record, Perry's "individual talent" was lost making "Witness [sound like] someone trying to cover too many bases." Writing for The Independent, Andy Gill also rated the record 2 out of 5 stars. He criticized the production of the tracks, especially the ones by Max Martin, describing them as "identical to everyone else's." Mikael Wood from the Los Angeles Times shared a similar view in his analysis of the album. Wood was critical of the musical direction on Witness, the supposed "purposeful pop" being lost in the tracks and Perry's singing. He listed "Chained to the Rhythm" and "Swish Swish" as highlights. According to Jordan Sargent from Spin, the record "feels like it's making a bid for a level of artistic seriousness--a recognition of aesthetic vision--that Perry has never really been afforded." He felt that it indicated her "artillery of undeniable pop songs" had been "all but depleted."Variety writer Chris Willman did not feel album was "the kind of obvious smash to which all of America would plainly say: Baby, you're a firework," but asserted it "counts at least as a sparkler -- the kind you hold in your hand for 45 seconds in the summer, if not the enduring."
In the United States, Witness debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 180,000 album-equivalent units, which included 162,000 pure album sales. It became Perry's third album to the top the country's chart after Teenage Dream (2010) and Prism (2013) both debuted at number one. The record had the highest opening in the US for a female since Lady Gaga's Joanne in 2016 and became the second album by a female artist from 2017, after Halsey's Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, to open atop the chart.Witness dropped to number 13 on the Billboard 200 the following week, earning 28,000 album-equivalent units and selling 18,000 copies. According to Billboard, it was the country's eighth-highest performing album of the 2017 summer season, earning 431,000 album-equivalent units in the nation by September 2017.Witness also became Perry's third album after Teenage Dream and Prism to open at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 23,000 units in its first week. The record subsequently descended to number four one week later. That November, it received a Platinum certification from Music Canada (MC). The album additionally entered at number one in Spain, and fell to number 13 in its second week.
In New Zealand, Witness entered the albums chart at number two. In Australia, it also debuted at number two on the ARIA Albums Chart with opening sales of 5,794 copies. Selling another 2,069 the following week, it reached a total of 7,863 copies sold within the nation. The record has since been certified Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In Japan, the album opened at number 22 on the Oricon Albums Chart, and moved up to number 19 the next week. In the United Kingdom, Witness debuted at number 6 on the UK Albums Chart, where it became Perry's third top 10 album, following Teenage Dream and Prism. According to the Official Charts Company, it opened with 16,153 album-equivalent units in the nation. As of January 2018, Witness has sold more than 840,000 copies worldwide.
^"Czech Albums - Top 100". ?NS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201724 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
^"Slovak Albums - Top 100" (in Slovak). ?NS IFPI. Retrieved 2017.Note: On the chart page, select 201724 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data