My, how time flies. Can you believe it has already been two and a half years since pop superstar Katy Perry released her fourth studio album Prism to the masses? Featuring chart-topping singles including “Roar” and “Dark Horse”, and mediocre filler efforts like “Birthday” and “This Is How We Do”, the album maintained the artist’s dominance in the genre. Now, out of nowhere, and likely to compete with a new release from Britney Spears, the “Teenage Dream” songstress shares “Rise“, an uplifting, potent effort that serves as the USA theme for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics.
“Rise” may be the typical, supposedly inspiring, pop anthem that Perry has been painfully cranking out for the last few years (“Firework”, “Part Of Me”, “Roar”), however, given the underlying premise for the unexpected new release, the energy and euphoria are amped up to exciting and empowering levels this time around. Though released as the Rio Olympics theme, the power ballad doubles as a needed call for unity, a likely response to recent attacks in Orlando, France and elsewhere.
Even though the song radiates with a message of perseverance and strength, there’s a dark, gloomy and ominous vibe that surrounds the new single. With the support of a thumping, synth-pop beat produced by Max Martin, Perry insists that every person get back up on their feet after a fall. “When, when the fire’s at my feet again, and the vultures all start circling, they’re whispering, ‘you’re out of time’, but still, I rise,” the artist courageously belts on the radio-ready chorus.
While not the official lead single off Perry’s anticipated fifth studio album, “Rise” could be an appropriate tease of the material that is to come. The serious tone and emotive vocal performance create a new, rousing and successful sound for the transforming artist. While her career has been all about the bright splash of color and overuse of club-tinged beats, Perry’s effortless ability to conform to a moody piece of pop has always been her strongest feature.
When paired with a supporting visual featuring feats and fails of past Olympic games, “Rise” takes on another exhilarating life that should easily resonate with any listener and viewer. There’s been a recent trend to erase dance inspirations from the pop music scene, in exchange for a more subdued approach and overall feel. Perry’s release follows that trend. Though we’ve heard her call of the champions many times before, this passionate plea will push many to fight to thrive, not just survive.