100 songs of the decade: Roar – Katy Perry

 100 songs of the decade: Roar – Katy Perry

Written by: Katy Perry, Dr L***, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee and Henry Walter
Produced by: Max Martin, Cirkut and Dr L***
Album: Prism
UK release: September 2013
UK chart peak: 1

Roar is a bit Katy Perry By Numbers in the sense that it taps into the same theme as tracks like Firework and Part Of Me, delivering messages of empowerment and self-belief that you couuuuld say are a little on-the-nose and trite. You could also make arguments for songs like Chained To The Rhythm and Wide Awake being technically ~better~, and I very nearly did include the latter in this 100 Songs set.

But fuck it, Roar is massive.

I had a show on at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, and this song had its premiere the day we arrived in the city. I listened to it every day on the walk to the performance venue, and ladies, I GOT my LIFE. An anthemic call-to-arms, it builds to one hell of a pyro-friendly finale (I absolutely love Katy’s ad-libbing over the last chorus) and – sidebar! – it’s also deservedly THE big showstopper in Max Martin’s new musical & Juliet. Six years on from its release, it still gives me the get-up-n-go, you know?

  • I’ll be writing about my favourite 100 pop songs of the decade; one a day for the last 100 days of 2019. They’re in no particular order, except the Top 10 – which will (obviously) come in late December.
  • See the full list so far here.
  • You can follow the rolling, daily-updated playlist below, or here.

Shaun Kitchener


Scriptwriter for the theatre and TV (currently Hollyoaks) and freelance entertainment ~reportage.