Tasty Tracks of 2012: Wide Awake by Katy Perry

The final single from Katy Perry's Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection is doozy: a mix of pounding 808 drums, shimmering synths, and confident singing. "Wide Awake" is  a transformation song not all that different from Madonna's "Ray of Light" or Alanis Morissette's "Thank U." It's a fitting conclusion to this period of Perry's career, as it chronicles her goal to remain optimistic and strong through what must have been an exciting but stressful time. Most importantly, though, it's a good piece of anthemic pop full of great moments, like when the she wails, "Til' I woke up on / On the concrete" with a growl that let's us know she's been hurt but is persevering, or the way her voice soars  during the bridge as she sings, "I am trying to hold on / God knows that I tried / Seeing the bright side / I'm not blind any more." It's a transcendent moment, both because it's Perry's best vocal since she debuted her single, "Teenage Dream," and because it marks the end of one exciting chapter and (hopefully) the beginning of another for one of this decade's most likable and successful pop stars.

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