Single Review: “Roar” by Katy PerryBy Joseph R. Atilano
More like meow…
Upon hearing even the first strains of the intro in “Roar”, it occurred right away to me that they were reminiscent of a very popular track in the past–”Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys. Just based on the similar progression of the keyboard beats in the background, that is what first got my attention musically. And there is that all too common wall of sound that accompanies the steady beat of the song.
In terms of how the song is structured, it is a near mirror image of “Firework”. Yet, there are a few noticeable differences in “Roar”. For one, the refrain part is repeated more often. Plus, “Roar” doesn’t come across much as a novelty tune like Katy Perry’s older previous hit “I Kissed A Girl”.
The theme of ”Roar” which is the lead single from her upcoming latest studio-release ‘Prism’ revolves around empowering oneself (again) and talks about overcoming daily struggles with a mighty resolve. The thing with the lyrics is that no matter how inspirational and frankly, a bit corny they can come across to listeners like myself, the underlying positive message in “Roar” can’t be ignored even if you can’t possibly have more ”overused” and generic lines like there are in this single. We have heard combinations of most of these lines– especially in the first and second verses of this song–from a multitude of different popular artists from the past.
Although I highly doubt if it was intentional to have a resemblance to these older popular tracks from the past, admittedly, there are just a limited number of ways to compose a song that will actually work for both the artist and the listener. That’s why you can’t really blame Katy Perry for the ending result as she wasn’t the only one who composed “Roar”. She is backed by the same team of songwriters who had worked with her in the past and they happened to serve for the production as well for this lead single. So, go figure why ”Roar” does sound strikingly similar to some of her older tracks from previous studio-releases and not only to works of other popular artists.
With all that said, there is no denying that Katy Perry is one of the hottest Pop artists around today in terms of popularity, commercial sales, and when it comes to how fast her concert tickets sell out. We can attribute these to the facts that she has a lot of name recall for the general public and that she is easily one of the most recognizable faces on television.
She also has an appeal about her that makes her likeable especially to teenagers and young adults and I believe that it is in these specific age groups where her target demographic is and where she has most of her fans coming from. Even with all the good things that can be said about her, I wouldn’t go as far to label her as a music genius or an icon by any stretch of the imagination. Let’s not be carried away here because Katy Perry just the right combination of attributes, both music-related and otherwise, that makes her rise above the rest of the current competition she is with in mainstream music.
Katy Perry is more like a complete package of an artist!
On an added note, aside from name recall and a few of the reasons I have stated why she is so popular, when you delve deeper and try to analyze what is happening at this stage of Katy Perry’s career, one can say that the goals management has for her are beginning to come to fruition. These goals, in my observation, are not only about bringing back her name to the utmost relevance in the spectrum of Pop music. It isn’t only about her single “Roar” possibly reaching the Number 1 position in the Billboard 100 and being played on regular rotation on mainstream Pop radio stations. In my opinion, the ultimate goal is to have a jump start in the first two weeks of opening sales when her latest studio-release ‘Prism’ is made available–first, in the States within the month of October and then, its release into the international market.
With all of that said and out of the way, if we were to merely judge on how “Roar” has so far appealed to listeners and how it has generally been well received by her fans, then “Roar” not only marks the return of Katy Perry but it continues where her once-dominant Pop reign had left off.
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