Although Katy Perry dropped her Rio Olympics single “Rise” in 2016, it’s been almost four years since the release of her last album, 2013’s Prism. Now, she’s back with “Chained to the Rhythm”—the first single from her long-awaited fourth album—and she verified all the lyrics on Genius, too.
The song is produced by pop hit-makers Max Martin and Ali Payami, and co-written by Max, Aly, and Sia. It features Skip Marley—reggae icon Bob Marley’s grandson—who recently signed to Island Records.
“Chained to the Rhythm” is about living life in a bubble and being “lonely up there in utopia.” On the chorus, Katy sings about being carefree and enjoying music that makes you feel good:
"Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Yeah, we think we’re free
Drink, this one’s on me
We’re all chained to the rhythm
Skip Marley comes through on the bridge and sings:
"Time is ticking for the empire
The truth they feed is feeble
As so many times before
They greed over the people
They stumbling and fumbling
And we about to riot
They woke up, they woke up the lions
The song’s release culminates a recent guerrilla marketing effort in which disco balls with headphone jacks were strategically placed in cities around the world. Fans who hunted them down got to listen to “Chained to the Rhythm” before its official debut.
Katy is expected to perform “Chained to the Rhythm” at the Grammys this Sunday on CBS. The song will be part of her untitled fourth album, which doesn’t have a release date just yet. There’s not much information about the potential track list, but the song “Witness,” which leaked on SoundCloud after Katy’s Twitter was hacked last May, is thought to be part of the album.
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