First debuted during her performance at the 2017 Grammys and accompanied by a giant white picket fence, Katy Perry’s “Chained To The Rhythm” is a subtle politically-charged dance track that aims to inspire. It strays away from her once bubblegum-pop sound and veers towards a disco song that feels as though it’s moving in slow motion. Though it may not be the most exciting track of Perry’s, the song is still upbeat enough to pass as a rousing single that pop music fans are hopeful for.
Filled with electronic sounds from a synthesizer, this song falls comfortably under the dance-pop genre. It’s not as jam-packed as the heavy dance tracks you would hear at a downtown club, however, with its upbeat, disco-inspired sound, “Chained To The Rhythm” will find itself spun repeatedly on Top-40 radio and in your head.
Skip Marley’s feature in “Chained To The Rhythm” gives the song its underlying hint of reggae, serving as a good enhancement to the song. The song could have worked well enough as a lone track for Perry, but Marley’s inclusion gives the song just a bit of a pop-reggae flavour that provides a little more liveliness.
The lyrical message within “Chained To The Rhythm” is skewed, as it is clear at times that the song is alluding to the current political state of the United States, acting as a nod toward those who are anti-Trump, and more generally, those who are ignorant toward what is happening within the world of politics in the US. Through the lyrics, Perry expresses her thoughts about being “trapped in [a] white picket fence” and “comfortable living in a bubble,” but goes on to pair these metaphor-filled verses with a chorus that focuses on drinking and dancing like a zombie to your favourite song. There is a strong chance that these metaphors are another commentary on the ignorance of citizens of the United States, but is buried deep enough in its radio pop hit sound for it to go over listeners’ heads.
Overall, Katy Perry’s “Chained To The Rhythm” is a sufficient single, as it’s just upbeat and lively enough for you to bob your head to in the car. Though I may not consider it one of Perry’s strongest releases (as it will be tough for her to surpass Teenage Dream), it’s still a song worth giving a listen to. “Chain To The Rhythm” is available on iTunes and Spotify, and the lyric video can be viewed here: