"Chained to the Rhythm" is the lead single from Katy Perry's upcoming fifth studio album. The song features guest appearance from Skip Marley, who also provided backing vocals and additional writing. The single was officially released February 10, 2017, receiving radio play through Apple Music's Beats 1 Station the night before.
The song broke a Spotify record for the most first day streams for a female artist in the United States with 3,062,293 streams. The song had a major debut on Pop radio, having a first day audience impression of 27.735 million.
The start of the new album era began on February 6, 2017 with an Instagram post made by Perry where she posted an image of her sporting bleached-blond hair in a pink wardrobe against a baby blue background, captioned "New life who dis". This was followed by an official announcement from the Recording Academy that Katy Perry will be performing at the 2017 Grammy Awards.  On February 7, 2017 billboards were placed around the United States revealing the release date of the song. The official single artwork was revealed through Perry's twitter an hour before the song's release. It was designed by Frederik Heyman.
Perry teased the song with a short clip which featured her dragging a chained disco-ball around her ankle while she wore high-heels. 60cm disco balls will be placed in key locations around the world, where people will be able to listen to 90 seconds of the song. Twitter stickers based off the single's aesthetics were released for a limited time to celebrate the release. The song recieved "on the hour" radio play for its release from numerous radio stations, including all of iHeartRadio channels.
Promotional photo shoot for the single/album by New York based photographer, Olivia Bee.
In a positive review, E!'s Samantha Scnurr wrote the song "sounds like a soon-to-be party classic with its easy pulse and disco elements, layered underneath the upbeat veneer, Perry delivers a strong message about awareness and activism—and, according to her, how it's lacking." NME reviewer Jordan Bassett praised the track as "like Daft Punk, but fun", and felt the production was "crisp-as-fuck". Writing for Vulture.com, Karen Brill was less favorable, questioning if the track was "pretty much just dance, without much subtext?" Another positive review came from Jason Lipshutz of Billboard, who felt that it amplified "Perry's new musical agenda at a time when she needed one" with its political themes. According to him, "the single is built around lyrics chastising us for being 'happily numb' and 'tone deaf,' and tries to gently puncture the bubble that we create when we drown out the world's issues."
Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine praised the song, writing that "a track with a hook that implores listeners to 'Come on, turn it up/Keep it on repeat' had better deliver the goods, and this one most definitely does." Josh Duboff from Vanity Fair considered the song "a departure from straight-forward firework metaphors and nostalgic teenage romance anthems." He noted, "the idea of the song is that we are chained to the 'rhythm,' perhaps not questioning our daily lives and existences as much as we should be." MTV's Anne T. Donahue have a positive review for the song, calling it a "hardly new terrain for Perry." She also described it as a "totally fine song that's easy to listen and dance to, and one that does justice to her career in pop."
Aya Tanimura directed a lyric video for the song, which was released on February 10, 2017. It features a hamster, named Mr. Parsons, inside a doll house, and a pair of hands is seen preparing miniature food for the hamster. Analyzing the video, Erin Jansen from wrote "we're shown footage of a hamster running tirelessly on a hamster wheel, a visualization of the popular idiom meaning to perform activities repetitiously without progress." She also stated "Paired with Perry's lyrics, there's definitely a message to be absorbed."
The official video was teased through Kathy Beth Terry's parody account, a fictional character created by Katy Perry to promote "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". The tweet, which is the first tweet from the account since 2012, read "ZOMG you guys…let’s go to Oblivia on Tuesday! My braces finally just came off and I want some funnel cake!!!". Perry quoted the tweet saying admission is free.
This video was officially released on February 21, 2017. The video was released through Perry's Vevo, with Mathew Cullen as director. The video was mostly shot at the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California - where Perry rides a stylised version of the Full Throttle roller coaster.
Synopsis and critical analysis
It was set in a futuristic theme park called "Obvilia". Mark Savage from BBC noted the theme is a metaphor for the infinite distractions of modern society. According to the Gil Kaufman from Billboard the video has "a number of not-so-subtle hints at Perry's feelings about the current political climate in the nation."
The video opens with Perry walking though the gates of the happiest place on Earth, where cotton candy is served in portions the size of giant umbrellas. In the video the guests are all taking selfies, eating child-sized sticks of candy floss and crowding around a sign for "the greatest ride in the universe". Perry is awestruck, just like the other guests. But she pricks her finger on a rose and temporarily she snap out of the "paradise". Perry goes on a roller coaster. Mark also noted that the ride she's on is "The New Revolution", the world's first vertical loop coaster, which featured in the final scenes of cult comedy National Lampoon's Vacation. The scene changes to other ride called "The Great American Dream Drop," in which a loving couple snuggle into a tiny house that gets swung around in the air and then violently plunged toward the ground. The next scene takes place at a petrol station, where Katy is whisked off her feet by men in sailor costumes, the scene shows another attractions as flaming glasses of blue "Inferno H2O," a tainted liquid that makes patrons belch fire, according to the editor Mark Savage, the liquid name is "a reference to the West's dependency on oil; but also to the looming crisis over the world's water supply, which some experts believe could lead to a war in Asia. Other attraction is a hamster wheel that is impossible to keep up with and plenty of arrows pointing the pliant parkgoers in the right direction. Near the end, she sits down to watch a 3D movie, Perry notices a disturbing homogeneity amongst her fellow park guests who are. Perry is swept up in a giant dance number after Skip Marley jumps out of a 3D movie to rap his cameo, after wake up, Perry sings a panic-stricken final chorus, the lyric "stumbling around like a wasted zombie" writ large, with Katy trapped in the middle of a mindless dance routine. The wake up call leads to the final where Perry's worried face staring into the camera in a moment of fear-filled awakening.
|February 12||59th Annual Grammy Awards (with Skip Marley)|
|February 22||Brit Awards|
|March 5||iHeartRadio Music Awards|
|Canada AC (Billboard)||26|
|Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)||25|
|Canada Hot AC (Billboard)||28|
|Mexico (Billboard Ingles Airplay)||26|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||30|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||20|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||5|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||24|
|US Hot 100 (Billboard)||4|
- ↑ http://ew.com/music/2017/02/11/katy-perry-chained-to-the-rhythm-spotify-streaming-record/
- ↑ http://www.idolator.com/7657319/katy-perry-chained-rhythm-photo-shoot-spotify-record
- ↑ https://www.instagram.com/p/BQMb2LCAURu/?taken-by=katyperry&hl=en
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/828782200522887168
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/829024081370451968
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/829903451031113729
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/829103308681777152
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/829344709801697281
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/829346621259288578
- ↑ https://twitter.com/katyperry/status/829366404629483520
- ↑ https://twitter.com/KathyBethTerry/status/832771161645731840
- ↑ http://www.nme.com/news/music/watch-katy-perrys-cgi-filled-chained-to-the-rhythm-video-1984437
- ↑ http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39042467
- ↑ http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7694364/katy-perry-trippy-futuristic-chained-to-the-rhythm-video-watch
- ↑ http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39042467