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Katy Perry Rise: EW Review

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We gave it a B+

For Katy Perry’s first new music in three years, she’s going bigger than ever: the pop star teamed with studio wizards Max Martin and Savan Kotecha to craft “Rise,” an anthem that’ll be featured throughout NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics. And given the harsh reality of daily headlines these days, it’s also coming at a time when the world could use a morale boost. Perry said in a statement that she chose to release this song this month “rather than save it for my next album…now more than ever, there is a need for our world to unite.”

So will you hear this blasting at the next session for the UN General Assembly? Probably not — she had the inspirational anthem thing on lock with her killer 2013 hit “Roar,” which was also co-written by Martin. But Perry does succeed in the uplift department and “Rise” feels genetically engineered for sporting events and political rallies: it starts with brooding atmospherics and minor-key synths before exploding into a huge chorus, with Perry’s undeniable wail promising hope for dark times as she belts, “When you think the final nail is in, think again / Don’t be surprised / I will still rise.”

Gold Medal? Nah. But a silver one for sure. B+