Smile is the sixth studio album by Katy Perry. It was released on August 28, 2020, by Capitol Records, three years after its predecessor Witness (2017). Perry worked with a multitude of producers on the album, including Josh Abraham, Carolina Liar, The Daylights, G Koop, Andrew Goldstein, Oligee, Oscar Görres, Oscar Holter, Ilya, Ian Kirkpatrick, The Monsters & Strangerz, Charlie Puth, Stargate and Zedd. She described Smile as her "journey towards the light, with stories of resilience, hope, and love". Musically a pop album, Smile is characterized by its themes of self-help and empowerment.
Two singles preceded the album: "Daisies", the lead single, was released on May 15, 2020, and peaked at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100; its followup, "Smile", followed on July 10, 2020. Smile also contains Perry's 2019 standalone singles "Never Really Over" and "Harleys in Hawaii" in its standard tracklist. The Japanese and fan editions of the album further includes "Small Talk" and "Never Worn White". Upon release, Smile received mixed reviews from music critics, who were favorable towards Perry's maturing image, but criticized the production and lyricism.
On the Billboard 200 chart, Smile debuted at number 5 with 50,000 units, marking Perry's fifth top-10 album in the United States. The album reached the top five in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, the United Kingdom, top 10 in Austria, Ireland, and Italy, and the top 20 in Finland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Background and release
Smile was conceived following a period of Katy Perry's depression, public criticism, breakup with then-boyfriend and current fiancé Orlando Bloom, and her pregnancy. In March 2018, Ian Kirkpatrick announced he had worked with Perry on new music. In an interview with The Fader, he stated: "We did a couple of days and she is amazing." He further stated that working with Perry was "someone I've wanted to work with my whole life, and she was literally the most normal, no-ego person."
In March of 2020, Perry announced her intentions of releasing "a lot" of new music during the year's summer. In May, she announced "Daisies" as the album's lead single. The same month, Amazon Alexa announced the album's release date as August 14, 2020. In a June 2020 interview with Billboard, Perry discussed a new song, titled "Teary Eyes". She later confirmed the following month that "Never Really Over" will be on the album. The same month, the album's title was confirmed as Smile, after one of the songs on the album.
The album will also be released as a bone white vinyl, along with a picture disc one, a cassette, and a limited deluxe edition CD, with a lenticular cover, and titled "Fan edition", being the latter available for preorder so far on Perry's and Universal Music Czech Republic's official webstores. On August 2, 2020, a flash sale went up on her online store for five days. This sale featured five limited-edition alternate covers of the standard edition of the album that could only be pre-ordered during this sale. On July 27, 2020, she announced that the album release date had been pushed back to August 28 due to "unavoidable production delays".
On November 12, 2020, Perry released a remix of the song "Resilient" with Tiësto and Aitana.
Concept and artwork
Perry explained that Smile is about "finding the light at the end of the tunnel", and taking back your smile, and that the album comes from a place where she fell in after her career and relationship with Orlando Bloom hit a low point back in 2017. She discussed struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and stated that gratitude is what saved her life. Perry also defined the album as her "journey towards the light, with stories of resilience, hope, and love".
The album's artwork features Perry as "a glum clown with a red nose and a blue and white checkered suit above the title, Smile". It was unveiled via a Twitter game that involved her fans/followers tweeting about the album to "tweet to pop virtual balloons in order to uncover" the album cover. In August, Perry unveiled a limited edition collection of vinyl picture discs and alternative CD packaging for the album. Five alternative covers/vinyl picture disc were available for pre-order for a period of 5 days.
Perry performed "Only Love" with Darius Rucker at the American Music Awards of 2020 on November 22, 2020. It marked her first live performance after giving birth to her first child, Daisy Dove Bloom.
"Daisies" was released on May 15, 2020 as the album's lead single. It debuted at number 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The title track was released as the second single on July 10, 2020, along with the album pre-order. On December 21, 2020, Katy released "Not the End of the World" as a single, but in a separate EP titled Cosmic Energy.
Throughout 2019 and 2020, Perry released four solo songs, originally intended to be non-album singles. "Never Really Over", released on May 31, 2019, was announced to be on Smile by Perry in June 2020. "Harleys in Hawaii", released on October 16, 2019, was revealed to be on the standard track list upon the release of the album pre-order. "Small Talk", released on August 9, 2019, and "Never Worn White", released on March 5, 2020, did not make the standard track list, but ended up as bonus tracks on the "Fan edition" and "Japan edition" of the album.
Perry released "What Makes a Woman" as a promotional single ahead of the album on August 20, 2020. She also released an acoustic version exclusively on her Vevo page. In June 2020, she revealed "What Makes a Woman" is dedicated to her unborn daughter, stating: "That is a hope I have for my future child, is that she doesn't have any limits on any of her dreams, or what she wants to be, or who she thinks she is."
Other separate release
Some tracks from Smile were released on compilation EPs. "Tucked" was released as the first track on Camp Katy, "Resilient" was released on Empowered, alongside "What Makes a Woman" as the last track, "Cry About It Later" was released as the first track on Scorpio SZN, and "Not the End of the World" was released as the first track on Cosmic Energy.
|Smile track listing|
|1.||"Never Really Over"||3:43|
|2.||"Cry About It Later"||3:09|
|6.||"Not the End of the World"||2:58|
|10.||"Harleys in Hawaii"||3:05|
|12.||"What Makes a Women"||2:11|
|Target edition bonus tracks|
|13.||"Message from Katy"||3:31|
|14.||"High On Your Supply"||4:00|
|Fan edition bonus tracks|
|14.||"Never Worn White"||3:45|
|16.||"Daisies" (Oliver Heldens remix)||3:35|
|Japanese edition bonus tracks|
|13.||"Message from Katy"||3:31|
|14.||"High On Your Supply"||4:00|
|16.||"Never Worn White"||3:45|
|18.||"Daisies" (Oliver Heldens remix)||3:35|