A little over a week ago, Katy Perry made her big comeback. The pop star released ‘Chained To The Rhythm’, the first single taken from her upcoming fourth major label album. I gave A Bit of Pop Music’s Fan Panel a bit of time to sit with the track and now they are ready to share their verdict. While A Bit of Pop Music’s own review described the release as her “well deserved comeback to the highest regions of the charts”, the panel seems to be a little less ‘chained to Perry’s rhythm’!
Jarrod, New Zealand
“I enjoyed ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ on the first listen and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. I was surprised with the lyrical content in the verses. I feel like Katy Perry is reading white Americans who wear rose colored glasses and live in their bubble. In other words, ignoring all the damage minorities are facing caused by the decisions of their new President or just in general. The beat has a seductive dicso feel to it. It’s not an obvious club banger but after blasting it on speakers it very much could be, considering I couldn’t not dance when the catchy chorus kicked in. I’m hoping ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ is accompanied by a video just as low key impressive as the song.”
“‘Chained to the Rhythm’ is a bit peculiar to me. I am not particularly fond of it, but I also don’t hate it. I like the disco-esque beat coupled with some modern lyrics. Skip Marley’s rap is a bit odd, but in a good way. Who knew a reggae rap would work well with a disco tune? That is probably the part I like the most about this song. I also enjoy the hook to the chorus, but the chorus itself is not really catchy, imho. But then again it might be a similar situation to ’24k Magic’ in the sense that you have to listen enough times to get hooked. All in all while I appreciate Perry’s attempt for eccentricity, I am not in love with it yet. Hopefully, shell manage to get it right for her follow up single.”
Marjolein, The Netherlands
“Over the past few years I have been quite a big fan of Katy Perry. From ‘Hot ’n Cold’ till ‘Roar’, I loved almost everything she did, but more recently I can’t really get into her material anymore.. The first time I heard the new song I was trying to memorize it after half an hour, but nothing in terms of melody did really stick. Although it does have an uplifting vibe, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, missing a climax. The chorus seems to be a bit to easy and does not capture my interest. When I heard ‘Rise’ for the first time I was not impressed but I liked that one after a while. Maybe ‘Chained to the Rhtyhm’ also need some more time but it looks like she just lost her magic.
“Katy is back and with her all the joyful campness of pop music. One of my favourite things about her music is that she can be serious without being pretentious or being relevant without taking things too seriously, and that is exactly the case with her latest tune. The lyrics are witty and multidimensional without being heavy. ‘Chained To The Rhythm’, although having probably the same subject background as Melanie Martinez’ ‘Dollhouse’, that is, some sort of critical view in an aspect of social alienation, the tune can easily communicate to the listeners in a lighter way, as it is a fluid soft pop rock tune. Although katy might not be the most technical singer, she overcompensates it with a gleeful vibe and her effortlessly repeatable tunes. And, in my opinion any song that is able to scape the cynical commercial scenario of songs about love or sexuality, should always be well appreciated. Well done Katy, hope your upcoming album will reflect such vibe of campness and bring back a bit of your first album’s flavour. mostly in the current political settings of our time, is always good to see artists that can do spirited music without being too heavy or too literal! I’d say 7,5/10 for it’s production and lyrical relevance.”
Tim, the Netherlands
“Funny thing: upon my first listen, I knew immediately this song was written by Sia. The ‘We’re all chained to the rhythm’-part is just too… obvious, I guess. That being said, it’s not just another version of an already existing Sia song: both for Katy and for Sia it’s pretty new in terms of sound. I feel like ‘Chained’ could’ve been a bit catchier though. It’s quite slow in pace and although the melodies are very hypnotic in some parts, I feel like some other parts are kinda missing something. Maybe if ‘song’ and ‘distortion’ actually rhymed… I do like this Katy comeback a lot more than her previous one (I’m not a fan of ‘Roar’, at all) and I’m hoping her new album will be a lot less generic and safe than Prism was – and this first single makes me believe it will be.”
Mixed reactions for Katy Perry’s latest single, but at least most of us see it as a step up from either ‘Rise’ or ‘Roar’. We will see what more Perry will have to offer this year!