Track Review: Katy Perry, ‘Rise’
Katy Perry returns after a three-year hiatus with Olympic single “Rise.” “Rise” should rise up the charts, but doesn’t supplant her best work.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from pop superstar Katy Perry. Perry’s last album, Prism, spawned mega-hits with “Roar” and “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J. After a three-year hiatus, Perry returns with “Rise,” the official song for the Olympics. Given Perry’s success with uplifting records (throw “By The Grace of God” into the mix), not to mention her massive success, it’s not far-fetched she was selected for the gig.
To address the elephant in the room – does Perry have the ‘chops’ to nail a big ballad? Depends on who you ask. Clearly, Perry doesn’t have the powerhouse pipes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, or Christina Aguilera. That said, many musicians weren’t blessed with prodigious gifts on that level. Perry won’t be praised for her range, but she has a respectable voice – more than enough to pull off “Rise.”
“Rise” is predictable in script. In the case of an anthem intended for sports, that’s not a bad thing. It opens with poise and mysteriousness, eventually blooming into a full-fledged, resolute anthem. That means that mammoth drums signal Perry kicking “Rise” into the second gear. Vocally, Perry doesn’t overstretch, adding relatively safe, but pleasing vocal ad libs to intensify the emotions.
“Rise” has plenty of pros. The background vocals, prevalent towards the end, kick the record up a notch. Max Martin, who’s had a “hit or two” in his day, is “behind the boards.” Additionally, the most important part of the song is catchy – the chorus.
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
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in; think again
Don’t be surprised, I will still rise
An added bonus is the rhythmic pre-chorus, which changes slightly after the second verse. It balances being inspirational and memorable in itself.
“Oh, ye of so little faith
don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
victory is in my veins
I know it, I know it
And I will not negotiate
I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it
I will transform
All in all, “Rise” soars flies moderately high. This isn’t the second coming, but it’s pleasing. Furthermore, the last time we criticized a Katy Perry single (“Roar”), it went on the be a no. 1 hit. Undoubtedly, “Rise” will rise up the Billboard Hot 100. Worthy of the hype? It’s not on the level of “Roar” which would be the closest comparison, but it’s respectable.