If you were to ask my opinion in regards to pop singer Katy Perry, I would say mixed… and that’s being both respectful and kind. Personally, she’s not my favorite by any means but I’m no hater. That said, I was absolutely shocked (appalled sort of) when Perry’s Teenage Dream was mentioned in the album of the year category at the Grammys in 2011… Yeah, I’m still not over that. But after a somewhat quiet year for pop stars with the exception of Justin Timberlake’s smash The 20/20 Experience, it is great that Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are making their way back.
So Katy decided she was going to roar back with single “Roar” from her upcoming October effort, Prism. Overall, “Roar” is actually better than I expected it to be – and yes, my expectations were low for KP, sorry girl. I know there is plenty of criticism, and I’m not saying it’s up to the elite level of her gargantuan hits, but let’s look at the positives. Perry sounds stronger vocally than she has on some cuts. I’ve never been in love with Perry as a vocalist – like never… but I do like the fact that this cut seems to go for more vocal prowess and prominence compared to other records. I mean, maybe that high D that she hits is Also if another positive is to be cited, the production and overall sound of the track is nice. It’s not the second coming, but the heavy drums, piano ostinato, and the lazy sounding synth is solidly produced.
Is “Roar” a great song? Um No. I think it has some good attributes, but there is definitely room for more. Perry could’ve definitely used a collaborator, be it a rapper (Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, etc.) or even another singer to add more of the bite she’s going for. The roar isn’t as loud as it could’ve been. Also, I could’ve done without the nonsensical syllables during the chorus as well as those sometimes annoying vocal slides; they bug the bleep out of me. As far as the writing, I appreciate where KP is going, but it’s certainly not a road not already tread. I mean, I’m all for empowerment, but still, didn’t Christina Aguilera do this sufficiently with “Beautiful” more than a decade ago? Alicia Keys also did it pretty soundly with “Superwoman” in 2007.
Katy Perry| “Roar”| Capitol | US Release Date: August 12, 2013