Katy Perry's career trajectory grows stranger by the day. She burst onto the scene with a few mega hits on her freshman album, then soared even higher on her sophomore effort. Since then, however, she has been slowly alienating her fans in an effort to evolve into what she almost seems to believe the music world wants her to be, throwing rappers onto her records and getting into highly-publicized squabbles. "Witness" was another step in the wrong direction.

About "Witness"

"Witness" is the fifth studio album from American pop artist Katy Perry. With the backing of Capital Records and with two executive producers - Max Martin and Katy Perry herself - the record was released on June 9, 2017.

Katy Perry began working on "Witness" in February 2016, shortly after she finished her world tour in support of her fourth record. She began writing the songs last June and reportedly wrote 40 potential songs, admitting that she was leaning in a different direction stylistically for the album. It shows on the final product.

Katy Perry tries something new

The album could be considered "electropop," but "Witness" feels much darker than that. Nothing really pops out in a shining glimmer of hope and light. Everything is brooding, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Everything is hidden behind a veil - Katy Perry feels anything but vulnerable.

One can make the claim that "Witness" is tied together well, at least musically.

Flip the coin, though, and the same argument can be made that the whole album sounds the same, with identical track after identical track. None of the singles even work hard to differentiate themselves.

Every track sounds incredibly vapid. There's no message of hope or empowerment - if there is, it's indistinguishable from the static that fills every track.

It's just an aesthetic gown that doesn't fit the mold Katy Perry had already cast for herself.

The first single from "Witness" is "Chained to the Rhythm," which features Skip Marley. Compared to most of the other songs, it may actually be a leader of coherence on the album. Ironically, one of the messages of the song is that it's hard to escape from the rhythms and chords of the traditional popular music scene.

Katy Perry learned that lesson the hard way, it seemed.

"Bon Appetit" is even less imaginative. It's a three and a half minute metaphor for sex, which is slightly more up her alley in terms of Katy Perry's career beginnings. But the song never really goes anywhere. Plus, the inclusion of Migos feels more like an attempt to rack up views than to represent a vision.

"Swish Swish" is the last single from "Witness" at the moment. Featuring Nicki Minaj, the track is arguably the highlight of the entire alum, if only for its sheer catchy quality. The song moves so slowly, however, that not much is being said. It just comes off as a surface-level diss track directed towards Taylor Swift.

(Note: Even the diss track wasn't effective.

Taylor Swift decided to release her entire music catalog on Spotify at the same time "Witness" was released. Point: Swift.)

What the album is lacking most is the voice that carried through previous records. There are no moments where Katy Perry shows off the vocals people have known she possesses since "Firework." There also no songs that really stand out in a major way. Everything just sounds stale.

Final thoughts on "Witness"

A musical shift isn't the only change Katy Perry is taking on. She's set to become a judge on the rebooted "American Idol" when it returns to television next year. Then, people will be watching her from a different vantage point as she judges and mentors young talent instead of showing off her own.

Almost seems like a microcosm for "Witness."

Best Song: "Swish Swish" (feat. Nicki Minaj) - "Swish swish bish, another one in the basket."

Worst Song: "Tsunami" - Seems like the kind of song that can go everywhere...yet somehow goes nowhere.

Rating: D