Released: 9th February 2017.
Katy Perry returned to the pop scene on February 2017 with a politically-charged single. In this disco-pop creation, Max Martin leads the production credits, the well-known mastermind behind Katy 's biggest hits. The groovy synth chord progression gives throwback 80s vibes, while the galvanic chorus makes this song a dance-floor anthem. Co-written by Sia Furler, it has a sense of "Cheap Thrills" in it.
With "Chained..." Katy became a dance-floor diva, serving a modern pop culture moment similar to "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd. "Are we crazy? / Living our life through a lens." The critique on the social-media life of millennials and the undertones of their political choices are evident in this song: "Time is ticking for the empire / The truth they feed is feeble / As so many times before / The greed over the people / They stumblin' and fumblin' and we're about to riot / They woke up, they woke up the lions (woah)".
From a lyrical point of view, there is a call for waking up, "an uprising," underneath vague terms of "dancing to the distortion". The iconic Grammys and BRITs Awards performances caught the attention of many music critics and journalists, where skeleton-like figures were coming out of brick-crafted houses. The dystopian music video, crafted by Michael Kullen was nominated for 3 MTV Video Music Awards.