Katy Perry is obviously no stranger to the uplifting anthem. She’s topped the charts with inspirational anthems like Firework and Roar for years, mixed in with her own brand of sugary pop music to break the monotony. It’s a trend she always returns to, however, and it comes as no surprise that she’s leant these talents to the Rio Olympics in the form of her new single, Rise.
Despite its connections, however, the song does little to inspire listeners. While the lyrics fall into the predictable realm of clichés, as these style of songs are almost expected to do, it presents itself as a mid-tempo electronic R&B track, almost foreboding with its trap beat falling behind dark booming synths, giving a surprising twist to the track even as she sings her lyrics that are meant to inspire—When you think the final nail is in / Think again / Don’t be surprised / I will still rise. It’s a strange combination when you view it as a standalone track, and more so as an Olympics track; while the change from bright, airy tracks with outright positivity is interesting, it feels out of character and out of place for such an event.
It’s safe to say that Rise isn’t exactly Katy’s finest moment. There are some decent starting points to be found in both the beat and the lyrics, but as they find themselves misplaced and attached to each other rather than being worked into more fitting separate songs, it makes for a confusing and awkward package. An odd choice for both the Olympics and for Katy Perry herself.