Katy Perry’s Rise: The latest in the earnest Olympian anthems
The artist’s Rio 2016 single follows pop’s tradition of cliched Olympic tributes by releasing a video in which she conquers the art of parachuting.
It’s day zero of the Rio Olympic Games and as everyone knows, nothing screams “Win the discus!” more than watching a pop star get smothered in a parachute while dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Katy Perry’s video for Rise, her Olympics song released before the opening ceremony on Friday evening, is a gymnastic extravaganza in which she attempts to launch herself from Utah’s Snow Canyon and Sand Hollow state park into the sky like a scabby-faced Cirque du Soleil performer. Along the way she is tangled in parachute cables, nearly drowns and scales a mountain. In fact, there’s so much billowing pink fabric and emphasis on triumph in the face of adversity that the three minutes of footage could double up as an advert for Always maxi pads with supermassive wings.
Perhaps the pressure of global competition, mixed with the responsibility of representing four years of athletes’ gruelling training schedules, is the reason why so many Olympic songs are totally bereft of fun. If its ropey lineage is anything to go by, an otherwise entertaining pop star is left with nothing but a list of empty verbs such as “rise”, “survive”, “thrive”, “dream” and – in the case of Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado’s 2010 Vancouver Winter Games soundtrack – “banging the drum”.
On Rise, glossy, cavernous production is paired with some relatively straightforward concepts, such as not conforming, rising, surviving, thriving, not negotiating, and, er, ignoring the vultures whispering “you’re out of time”. I’m no Chris Packham but I’m pretty sure beaks reduce a vulture’s ability to whisper . I digress. Anything is possibly if you try! Enjoy!