Katy Perry's "Roar": Why This Song Sucks



[Editor's Note: In this new column, award-winning music critic/goofball (and hip-hop coloring-book purveyor) Shea Serrano writes about his life and times. Better put on your shoes because your socks are about to be blown off.]

History: Katy Perry was born in 1984, except back then people called her "Katy Hudson" because that's her real name. In 2001 she was like, "You know what? I'm gonna release a Christian album," so that's what she did. It flopped.

Then she was like, "You know what? God can't take me to the top, bro, but I know what can," and so she changed her name to Katy Perry and swapped out our Lord and Savior for a bra that squirts out whipped cream. She's since sold approximately 10 million albums. "Roar" comes from her new album, Prism. It's not that great, but because she's not talking about Jesus Christ it was able to top the charts. Pretty cool world. Here's why it sucks.

Atmospherics: It sounds like Katy Perry heard "Brave" by Sara Bareilles and really, really liked it a lot and so she tried to make it herself.

It's not unlike the time one of my sons watched a video of a crocodile eating a deer and was like, "OH FUCK, DADDY! I WANNA BE A CROCODILE!" And so he ran upstairs, and two minutes later screamed for me to come, and when I got there he was standing all the way naked except for the plastic bag that he had hanging betwixt his butt cheeks. "I'M A CROCODILE," he shouted. "DO YOU SEE MY TAIL?" He wasn't a crocodile, and that wasn't a tail. He was a jackass with a grocery bag wedged into his tiny butt.

"Roar" is basically that: a plastic bag wedged into Katy Perry's butt. That's a little thing called a perfect metaphor.

Analysis: The song is about standing up for yourself, which I guess is fine enough. But three pretty dark and nasty things get revealed about her in the video:

1. Katy Perry is ungrateful

She and a handsome man are in the jungle following a plane crash. The handsome man is boldly leading Katy Perry through the jungle, attempting to find help. Katy Perry is for some reason not feeling him. So she begins to sing about never arguing or causing any sort of fuss in the relationship.

That's when a tiger springs out and eats the handsome man. Katy Perry is barely shaken at all. As she more or less sings: "HAHAHAHAHA. In your face, bitch. Oh, by the way, I'm standing up for myself now! Because you're dead. Because that tiger just ate you."

Lady bros, just a quick tip: If your boyfriend/fiance/husband is doing something you don't like -- watching a dumb TV show or not putting his dirty dishes away or whatever -- you don't have to feed him to an animal. Just be like, "Yo, homie. Can you not do that please?" He'll be like, "All right, cool." Boom. Relationship fixed, and nobody dies.

2. Katy Perry isn't that great at hunting

Katy Perry makes friends with a monkey. The monkey's like, "Yo, why don't you use your heel to make a spear," which is pretty goddamn smart, really. She's like, "Good idea." She makes the spear and the monkey is like, "Fuckin' a, bro. We're eating good tonight." Then Katy Perry goes hunting...

Continue to page two for more on why this song sucks.

She throws the spear into the jungle. And it's truly impressive. Except do you know what she catches with her spear? A banana. A DAMN BANANA. She's like, "Bam! Here you go, monkey," very proud and whatnot.

And the monkey is like, "Did you seriously just make a spear and then throw it at a banana, dummy? Because you know you can just walk over and grab them, right? Like, bananas don't run away."

Monkeys have their shit together, bro. They don't need you wasting their time spearing bananas.

And the third dark and nasty thing revealed about Katy Perry in the video is....

3. Katy Perry is annoying

The climax of the video is Katy Perry vs. The 900-Pound Tiger Who Ate Her Boyfriend. She lures him into a cage by waving a stick at him, which probably isn't how people really catch tigers.

He walks up and growls at her and Katy Perry is like, "Bap, bap, bap, bap, bap, we need to talk about our relationship, bap, bap, bap," and then the tiger is like, "Jesus Christ, bro. Stop talking. I should not have eaten your boyfriend; I should've eaten myself. I should've chewed off and eaten my own body because that would have been less awful then this."

Even tigers don't wanna listen to Katy Perry.


1) Katy Perry likes Sara Bareilles but not enough to not steal her music 2) Monkeys are smart 3) Tigers are smart


The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever "Where Did My Dick Go?" The Gathering of the Juggalos' Best Overheard Quotations I Pissed Off Megadeth This Week, My (Former) Favorite Band The Top Ten Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender at a Music Venue


Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.