The first song to be released off of the upcoming album, Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ is now available to listen to. The song’s official video was recently released and the song has already become her fourth number-one single on the Billboard Top 100, where it currently sits at the top of the charts. So, it would appear that Katy Perry is having quite the moment. After years of being a one-hit wonder, she decided to shake things up a bit by enlisting the help of her friends from Hollywood to help her write and sing on her next album. The end result is ‘Roar’, an album full of anthems and empowering tunes that Perry has called her “most personal album yet”.

What Is ‘Roar’?

Well, ‘Roar’ is a genre-bending pop album that merges hip-hop, indie rock, and dance-pop. It also features an appearance by the legendary Frank Zappa, who contributed some guitar to the album. The first single released off of ‘Roar’ is ‘Roar’, which was backed by an aggressive dance tune that, according to Perry, is geared towards her “millions of female fans”. The song was originally meant to be featured on the 2013 album ‘Katty Perry’. However, after ‘Roar’ debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 100, she decided to release it as the lead single off of ‘Roar’ instead.

The second single released off of ‘Roar’ is ‘Chained to the Rhythm’, an uncharacteristically soft pop tune that was written by Max Martin and Shellback. The song’s chorus contains a sample from the 1968 Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune ‘Make Me Feel Like a Woman’. This sample appears to have been cleared by both Bacharach and David, as they were present at the recording session for ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ and participated in the songwriting process.

The next single released off of ‘Roar’ is ‘Shake It’, a funky number that samples the bass line from English rock band Genesis’ 1980 song ‘Land of Confusion’. This song was co-written by Mike Posner (who also features on the album) and produced by Noah ‘40′ Shebib. According to Perry, ‘Shake It’ is “about breaking out of your comfort zone” and is one of the most personal songs she’s ever written. She said this about the song:

“The reason this song is so special to me is because it’s incredibly personal. I wrote it after my breakthrough album ‘PRISM’, which introduced a darker, edgier side to my music. I wanted to explore that more on my next album. I think the fact that this song is so personal is why it worked out so well in the studio. There are parts of this song that I still can’t believe I actually wrote. I can still listen to it and tear up, because it’s so relatable.”

While the songs on ‘Roar’ range from light-hearted to dark-hearted, they are all connected by one unifying theme: empowerment. As Perry explained:

“I wanted to make this album about feeling strong and unapologetic. I think a lot of us felt stifled growing up, with too many rules and not enough freedom. This album is about reclaiming your voice. It’s about standing up for yourself, even if you think you’re the only one and falling in love can help. It’s about facing your fears, realizing how strong you are, and becoming comfortable in your own skin. ‘Roar’ is a celebration of that.”

Robert Pattinson

Yes, Katy Perry’s boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, appears on the album. The two worked together on the writing and composition of ‘Roar’, as well as its title track, ‘Roar’. In the album’s credits, only one of their names is listed: “Additional vocal production by” is followed by the word “Katy” and then “Perry”. So, although he didn’t take part in the creative process, Robert Pattinson is officially credited as one of the album’s co-writers. In the studio, they worked their usual magic, conjuring up a collection of pop and rock songs that they could work on together. According to Perry, “Roar’ is about growing together as people and celebrating love. It’s about being willing to look past our differences and see the beauty in each other.”

You’ll notice that ‘Roar’ is missing something. On the back cover of the CD, there’s a shot of Katy Perry smiling, with her hands raised in the air. The same shot is on the reverse side of the disc’s inner gatefold. However, when you actually listen to the album, you’ll notice that this pose doesn’t quite match up with what’s going on inside. There’s no sign of a smile, no twinkle in her eye. For the most part, ‘Roar’ is a very serious collection of songs that celebrate a woman’s strength and the power of love.

Production Notes

‘Roar’ was recorded in several different studios, including Conway Studios in Los Angeles and Platinum Studios in New York. It was mixed by Joe Visker, who previously worked with Perry on her 2012 studio album ‘PRISM’, and features several guest appearances, including Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, and Matt McBroom. One of the most interesting aspects of ‘Roar’ is the wide range of influence that can be heard throughout the collection. As Perry explained:

“I’ve always been more of a hybrid artist. I’ve been writing songs since I was a kid and started playing guitar when I was 15. Then, I studied music and played in bands for a while, until I decided to pursue a solo career. From then on, I wrote songs almost daily. I was fortunate enough to meet with some of the greatest managers in the industry, who helped me formulate a plan and secured me a record deal. I then began working with top producers, who helped me shape my voice. For ‘Roar’, I wanted to reach back to the roots of what made me successful in the first place: my music. I wanted to infuse as much of my identity into this album as possible. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting to change with the times and continue to evolve as an artist. I just want to continue creating music that makes people feel something. Music that makes them feel something is the best kind.”

The songwriting process for ‘Roar’ was an extremely collaborative one. As Perry previously stated, she and her team of songwriters started with a collection of piano-prepared demos, which they later fleshed out into full songs. In addition to Robert Pattinson, several of the album’s collaborators have spoken about this process, including Max Martin and Shellback, who collaborated with Perry on her previous album ‘PRISM’. A few of those collaborators participated in the writing and recording of ‘Roar’, including Max Martin, Shellback, and Mike Posner. A few songs on the album were written by Perry alone, including the album’s opening track, ‘Roar’ and its title track. ‘Shake It’ was also co-written by the actress and singer, Eva Longoria, and produced by Noah Shebib. ‘Doing it My Way’, co-written by Max Martin and Shellback, is an uncharacteristically personal reflection on Perry’s part. For years, she has kept private journals in which she has recorded her thoughts and feelings. Doing it My Way’ is presumably about having the courage to be yourself, no matter what others think or say about you. So, it would appear that ‘Roar’ is an album about personal growth and self-acceptance.

Frank Zappa

Yes, ‘Roar’ features another incredible guest appearance, this time by the legendary Frank Zappa. As previously stated, Zappa contributed some guitar and bass to ‘Roar’, as well as his song ‘Intermezzo’, which was used as the album’s interlude. In addition to guitar and bass, Zappa also contributed keyboards to the recording session, including the organ part for the song ‘Gotta Make You Feel Me’). As for why he was chosen to appear on the album, Perry stated: