Sounds like – Perry’s 2010 smash hit, “Firework”, grows up into a young woman who’s just a touch jaded and a bit more assertive after a very public divorce from a ridiculous British caricature (Russell Brand).
What do clips of a burning powder-blue wig, a snarling white Persian cat, a confectionery-crusted coffin and an 18-carat faux-gold semi all have in common? Believe it or not, Katy Perry and it’s all in support of the singer’s upcoming fourth studio album, Prism.
In the last few weeks the formerly candy-coated coquette has been laying to rest, quite literally, her edge-of-innocence Teenage Dream persona. Via a cleverly crafted (albeit cheeky) guerilla marketing campaign, the singer has been teasing fans with a more assertive and adult image for her upcoming record – think of it as less Katy, more Katherine. The final dazzling gem was of course set to be the highly anticipated single, Roar, originally due to hit the airwaves on August 12.
CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG
Sadly, pirates not only stalk the high seas, but also the supposedly secure virtual vaults of musical stars the world over and in Perry’s case, an eager Katy Cat-burglar got their mittens on the new single and leaked it 48-hours earlier than planned. The track has since been force released on iTunes, but now that the cat’s out of the bag (no pun intended), how does Katy’s latest measure up?
Roar, thematically, is not terribly different from some of Katy’s bigger, past hits. The single seems to act as a bridge connecting the effervescent empowerment anthem that is Perry’s biggest pop hit to date, Firework, through the more introspective and self-exploratory Wide Awake, into more assured and assertive territory; here Katy seems to find a more powerful timbre and strives with added confidence to break through the purr of self-doubt into a bona fide roar.
We should warn those who suffer from lactose intolerance, that this track is chocked full with the usual Katy Perry cheesy lyricism. As if “Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag?” (from “Firework”) wasn’t cringe-worthy enough, the single drops a dollop of rhyming queso throughout, with lines such as “went from zero, to my own hero”. The Grammy committee is undoubtedly considering this one for Song of the Year – end sarcasm.
Sonically, for all of the promise of a new and improved Katy, Roar is standard Katy Perry fare and could easily be nestled in anywhere on Teenage Dream. While not as sugary as perhaps California Gurls (insert nauseous sensation here) or whimsical as Teenage Dream, the track retains the sweetly melodic pop-rock sensibility that has served her brand well and earned this chanteuse a record-setting place in Billboard history as being the only female to achieve five Hot 100 #1 tracks from a single album, tying with King of Pop Michael Jackson himself.
With that undeniable pop powerhouse hook (I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, cuz I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!) and easy to sing-along lyrics,I am confident that what Roar lacks in innovation it will make up in pop radio success.
ROAR OR A MEOW?
So while Roar isn’t exactly the giant, artistic evolutionary leap we expected from the sex kitten, her attempt of morphing into a ferocious tigress has at least fallen into a more modest bracket of achievement; perhaps a convincing bobcat?
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