All 226 Clichés Uttered by Katy Perry on Her New Album, Listed

Katy Perry is one of the most bankable contemporary pop singers—"Roar," the first single from her new album Prism, became her eighth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August. Prism is expected to sell about 300,000 copies its first week in stores. It is a dreadful album, way too concerned with preserving Perry's star than using said star to push sonically. It is also dreadful because Perry has absolutely nothing to say.

Her lyrics are rife with clichés and idioms that, like her sound, reiterate instead of inventing or even twisting for ironic wordplay. That much is clear from the titles of her songs: "Walking on Air," "Dark Horse," "By the Grace of God," "It Takes Two," and "Choose Your Battles" are but a few of Prism's offerings.

Without a shred of cleverness or wit, Perry shits out lyrics that would be groan-worthy coming from someone speaking idly on the subway. I calculated and the average time it takes her to drop a cliche after a song starts on the Deluxe Edition, 16-track version of Prism song is 11.4 seconds. Katy Perry is a pop cultural parrot. She is squandering her platform. She is the most flavorless pop diva to hold such a post in immediate memory.

Here is a full list of Prism's lyrical clichés:

  • Bite my tongue
  • Hold my breath
  • Rock the boat
  • The breaking point
  • I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
  • Brushing off the dust
  • The eye of the tiger
  • Floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee
  • I earned my stripes
  • I went from zero to [my own] hero
  • Under a silver moon
  • You are my destiny
  • Looking through my third eye
  • Take me down to the river
  • Keep my heart beating like a drum
  • Legendary lovers
  • Go down in history
  • Nothing’s going right
  • The clock is ticking
  • Running out of time
  • We should party all night
  • Cover your eyes I have a surprise
  • Healthy appetite
  • I’ll give you a taste
  • You can have your cake
  • Make a wish
  • Hot and heavy
  • Spinning like a disco ball
  • Living the life
  • Doing it right
  • Birthday suit
  • I’m walking on air
  • Just when I think I can’t take anymore
  • Angels cry
  • Raining down
  • From up above
  • What’s really on the inside
  • Dirty laundry
  • Never made me blink
  • I will love you unconditionally
  • There is no fear
  • Let go
  • Just be free
  • Come just as you are
  • You are worthy
  • I’ll take your bad days with your good
  • Walk through the storm
  • Open up your heart
  • Acceptance is the key
  • Will you do the same for me?
  • You better choose carefully
  • I’m capable of anything
  • Anything and everything
  • Your one and only
  • Don’t make me your enemy
  • You wanna play with magic?
  • You should know what you’re falling for
  • Do you dare to do this?
  • Dark horse
  • A perfect storm
  • Once you’re mine there’s no going back
  • Mark my words
  • Like a bird without a cage
  • Down to earth
  • Don’t walk away
  • In the palm of your hand
  • It’s a yes or no?
  • Just be sure
  • Before you give it up to me
  • Fresh as a daisy
  • Everything’s on me
  • It’s no big deal
  • This is how we do
  • Laid back
  • Straight stunting
  • Getting our nails did
  • Day drinking
  • This one goes out to the ladies
  • I see you
  • Shout out
  • Bring the beat back
  • That’s right
  • Everybody stares
  • It’s like she walked right out of your dreams
  • She’s with the band
  • That girl’s a trip
  • A one-way ticket
  • Catch her if you can
  • She’s so in demand
  • She’s got that je ne sais quoi
  • Tres chic
  • So fancy free
  • She’s the muse and the artist
  • A trail of stardust
  • Fasten your seatbelts
  • We are now approaching the runway
  • Get ready for takeoff
  • It’s like the wind changed your mind
  • We were best friends
  • We were building a life
  • Every promise of forever
  • Disappeared in front of my eyes
  • When I look back
  • You could be so cold
  • Now I see clearly
  • My vision’s 20/20
  • I see through you
  • I have made up my mind
  • I’ll be all right
  • Rest in peace
  • I’ll see you on the other side
  • I lost myself
  • You picked me for me
  • Get the best of me
  • Love myself the way I want you to love me
  • Second guessing
  • No more questioning
  • Changing seasonally
  • I’m gonna love myself the way I want you to love me
  • Who I am is who I’m meant to be
  • Take a backseat
  • No more standing in my won way
  • Let’s get deeper, let’s get closer
  • I want you to love me
  • Who called the race?
  • Can anyone stay in one place?
  • When you get to the finish line
  • Wish for more time
  • You just can’t push rewind
  • All we have is this moment
  • Yesterday is history
  • We’re just chasing our tails
  • Life is one big fast treadmill
  • Be here with me now
  • Our future is right now
  • Right in front of you
  • Don’t blink and miss
  • One of a kind
  • Once in a lifetime
  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
  • You speak to me, even in my dreams
  • Gonna keep you forever
  • I understand you
  • We see eye to eye
  • Wherever you go, so will I
  • Hard to find
  • To the bottom of the sea, I'd go to find you / Climb the highest peak to be right beside you
  • Every step I take, I’m keeping you in mind
  • My return to Saturn
  • Full of secrets
  • Running on empty
  • Out of gas
  • Thought I wasn’t enough
  • Found I wasn’t so tough
  • Laying on the bathroom floor
  • We were living on a fault line
  • The fault was all mine
  • Couldn’t take it anymore
  • By the grace of God
  • There was no other way
  • I picked myself back up
  • I knew I had to stay
  • I put one foot in front of the other and I
  • Looked in the mirror and decided to stay
  • Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way
  • Keeping my head above the water
  • Swallowing sand
  • I can finally see myself again
  • I know I am enough
  • I have to rise above
  • Call the bluff
  • The truth will set you free
  • In the name of love
  • I am not giving up
  • Lay me down at your altar
  • I’m a slave
  • Deep down in my soul
  • You make me bloom
  • All of your charms
  • I would surrender myself
  • Holy hell and heaven high
  • You have opened my eyes
  • I’m finally here
  • Under your spell
  • The way you make me feel
  • High as a kite
  • Lost in sweet ecstasy
  • Found a nirvana
  • Is Mercury in retrograde?
  • I can only blame myself
  • Throw you under the bus
  • Filling my cup
  • I only hurt myself
  • I can only take responsibility for me
  • It takes two
  • Two sides to every story
  • I’m not that innocent
  • I face my demons
  • I paid my dues
  • I had to grow up
  • I wanted to save you
  • I can only save myself
  • I can only be the change I want to see
  • I point my finger
  • I look in the mirror and it tells me the truth
  • Learned the hard way
  • Is it too late to change?
  • Hurt locker
  • Walking on a wire
  • Don’t know when you’ll blow
  • I tiptoe through your triggered mine
  • I’m on your side
  • All I really need is a little peace
  • I just wanna be your lover
  • This is not a competition
  • Last one standing
  • Choose your battles, babe, then you win the war
  • Digging your own grave
  • There’s so much to live for
  • I’m not fighting anymore
  • Red flags
  • Dancing on broken glass
  • Mind games
  • You somehow get me on my knees
  • If you wanna go then go
  • If you wanna stay then stay

Clichés are an essential part of not just pop music, but speaking. Knowing how to use them bespeaks a certain linguistic aptitude. I embrace them full-on and wholeheartedly. Dismissing someone outright for using them would be like throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and it would immediately invalidate someone like Aaliyah ("One in a Million," "Try Again," "Rock the Boat"). The thing about Aaliyah was that her clichés served as a down-to-earth contrast for Timbaland's utterly out-of-this-world approach to sound (and the space between it). Also, she had a way of wrapping her allure around a song and squeezing it to life. Katy Perry is merely competent at the offset—subpar material only makes her sound less crucial than she already is. I'd honestly rather listen to Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 than ever endure Prism again, and I hated the Timberlake record. Where event pop albums are concerned, Prism is at the bottom of the barrel.