The Breakdown

Katy Perry's retro tropical jam, "Chained to the Rhythm," tackles escapism in society in a bubbly way. A solid effort from Katy.
8.5

 

Artist:
Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley

Single:
Chained to the Rhythm

Release Date:
February 10, 2017

Taking a page from her peers’ books, chart topper Katy Perry comes back to the scene with “Chained to the Rhythm,” a tropical disco pop tune this time with a political twist. Katy has always been known for putting out self-empowering songs (“Firework”, “Roar”, and “Rise”) though none are politically charged. Considering how invested she has been lately in politics from being a vocal supporter of the then Democratic Presidential nominee, Secretary Hillary Clinton, to immersing herself in many social causes, so it comes as no surprised that her new song would also follow her new found purpose as an activist. It’s just a matter of if she wants to take a step in that direction and how far.

Under all that melodically infectious bubblegum pop lies an awakened Katy Perry criticizing escapism in society in a “Katy-Perry-way” as she sings about people putting on their-rose colored glasses to mask the ugliness of reality and just living as if all is well with the world. Is it ironic that a pop artist like Katy Perry, who makes catchy songs for the masses, would sing about criticizing escapism? In a way, and this move will definitely alienate some of her fans, however, I have to commend her for lending her voice, her status to raise issues that are plaguing our society right now. Bob Marley’s grandson, Skip Marley, also lends his talent to the song. The lyrics may not be in the same caliber as John Lennon or Bob Dylan’s works, though Skip’s short portion does elevate the song’s lyricism somewhat, nonetheless it gets the message across. The song’s biggest drawback may just be the instrumentation, since it does tend to get dull especially during the chorus considering it’s repeated twice. It’s not exactly a giant problem, but this may cause the song to sound repetitive and boring later on. This could’ve been easily solved by adding a bit of bells and whistles the second time it appeared. Still, “Chained to the Rhythm” may be Katy’s strongest lead and a solid entry to the pop music landscape this 2017. If this is the direction her next album takes, the upcoming Katy Perry album may just be the most thought provoking Katy album yet…in a “Katy-Perry-way.”

8.5/10

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