After the traumatic break-up of her 14-month marriage to British comedian Russell Brand, Katy Perry warned her record label to expect some “dark” material. But – as fans of her mighty new empowerment anthem, Roar, are now well aware – by the time she got into the studio, the pop star was “already shaking off the dust” and ready to let rip.
The fantastically fierce single gets Perry’s fourth record off to a mighty start. It’s a high-energy blast of catchy pop. But then so were many of the songs from her hit-loaded third album Teenage Dream (2010). The real difference is this: where California Gurls, Firework and Last Friday Night (TGIF) were generic big belters (formulated by Perry’s A-list team of co-writers and producers) that could have been delivered just as well by any large-larynxed talent show contestant, Roar is a song Perry really owns. She’s no longer an ambitious pop star on the make, flitting between her saucy seaside postcard image and blander plans for world chart domination. She’s now a woman driven to tell her own story.
In an interview for Billboard she says that while Teenage Dream was “highly conceptual super-pop art”, Prism is more honest and “vulnerable”. Consciously or not, she’s made a clever move, because while Lady Gaga has the former covered, Perry finds her strength and individuality in her raw vulnerability. Here she is looking frankly at a relationship in which “I stood for nothing/ So I fell for everything”. As she picks herself up for that big leonine chorus, the emotion blasts at you as if you’re in a wind tunnel.
( Take us down to the river Katy!Collapse )
( + on set of her Wal-Mart commercialCollapse )
( +pics of her on The Graham Norton ShowCollapse )