Katy Hudson (aka Katy Perry)

Several years before she scored a controversial worldwide smash hit about kissing a girl and liking it, brash pop singer Katy Perry recorded something that is arguably the polar opposite: a Christian music album, under her real name Katy Hudson. (She has since changed her name to avoid confusion with the actress Kate Hudson). The self-titled 2001 CD Katy Hudson was released on the now-defunct Red Hill label. The singer was 16 years old at the time of its recording.

Perry’s hit 2008 album One Of The Boys is a generally repellent collection of noisy, in-your-face pop songs, long on attitude and short on song craft. Perry is essentially the Alanis Morissette of the late ‘00’s, having been mentored by Glen Ballard on creating angst-ridden songs which are unlike the ones she recorded as a teenager.

Katy Hudson - Katy Hudson

At first, the Katy Hudson album doesn’t sound completely different from her newer work; the first two tracks have a similarly edgy pop sound with recognizable vocals. Also, the message of “Spit” gets lost in excessive hard-rock noise. But much of the album manages to break out of these mundane trappings to show greater depth and more vocal range. “Faith Won’t Fail”, “Search Me”, and “When There’s Nothing Left” are fairly transcendent expressions of faith. On “My Own Monster”, Katy’s emotions sound real as she begs the Lord to deliver her from evil. “Naturally” and the droll “Growing Pains” have an arty Fiona Apple feel. (This similarity may have been accidental. Katy is the daughter of two non-denominational church pastors, and she was reportedly not allowed to listen to secular music when she was a teenager).

Katy Hudson is not an extraordinary album. After all, Katy was only 16 when she recorded it. However, it does show that she is capable of far more than the obnoxious contemporary trash-pop found on One Of The Boys. Now that she has succeeded at becoming famous, let’s hope that she will utilize more of her talent for her next pop offering.

(Side note: For those who are fans of Perry’s One Of The Boys album, it is worth noting that its Wal-Mart-only bonus track “Cup of Coffee” and its iTunes bonus track “I Think I’m Ready” are better than most of the album’s proper tracks. Go figure.)

Katy Hudson “Katy Hudson” (Red Hill RHCD 2223) 2001

Track Listing:

1. Trust in Me
2. Piercing
3. Search Me
4. Last Call
5. Growing Pains
6. My Own Monster
7. Spit
8. Faith Won't Fail
9. Naturally
10. When There's Nothing Left