By Kayla Upadhyaya, Managing Arts Editor
Published September 12, 2013
Katy Perry music videos look like they were taken from the pages of a cartoon’s storyboard. They’re colorful, frilly, absorbing. Her latest, for the chart-topping pop anthem “Roar,” strives for visual brilliance but is ultimately just a snoozefest.
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“Roar” essentially rips off the formula of Perry’s Matthew Cullen-directed “California Gurls” video by trying to create a hyper-embellished, tacky dream world. Here, candyland foliage and whipped-cream titties are replaced by jungle foliage and poorly CGI-rendered tigers. For some, the “California Gurls” vid was much too sweet, but it carried a self-awareness that “Roar” lacks.
Sure, “California Gurls” was busy to the point of visual exhaustion, but “Roar” almost feels hollow. It’s just Katy and some digital animals (oh, and an explorer dude who won’t stop taking selfies?) walking around. No choreography. No wildly dressed extras. No pregnant women with fireworks shooting out of their stomachs.
Despite its jungle-safari setting, the “Roar” video, like the song itself, is much too safe, perhaps appealing to the middle base of pop fans but never showing us that fun, ’80s-esque bounciness Katy rocks when she’s at her best (see: “Last Friday Night” video).
I’m still not positive what this means, but I’m pretty sure watching this video makes me feel like a plastic bag.