It’s been a long three years since the release of Lady Gaga’s panned album, ARTPOP. An album that, on paper, was suppose to take Gaga to the next level, set her back in execution with public reputation and artistic focus. Over the past three years Stefani Joanne Angelina Germonatta was on a hard PR clean campaign that included a jazz album with Tony Bennett, a Golden Globe winning performance on the FX hit show American Horror Story: Hotel, and singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50. With rumors about the project whispering all over social for well over a year, Gaga has finally given fans a taste of what to expect this time around.
Lady G enlisted the help from Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse) and Bloodpop (Britney Spears, Justin Bieber) on the new single, “Perfect Illusion.” The song on first listen is quite disappointing as it doesn’t have the immediate excitement that a Gaga song usually offers. Listen after listen you begin to realize that “Perfect Illusion” is at its core, a Lady Gaga song. It’s anthemic chorus hints at her earlier hits “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance”; Her odd annunciation incorporates the schizophrenic “Applause”; and the live instrumentation recalls her big power ballads “Brown Eyes,” “Speechless,” and “You & I.”
It wasn’t long after “Perfect Illusion” was released that Gaga started to spill the tea on the rest of the project. She started dropping song titles in radio interviews, including one titled “Hey Girl” that features Florence Welch. She announced the album title, Joanne, on radio, explaining that it is in honor of her late Aunt Joanne, whom she’d never met but feels a spiritual connection to. Not too long after she released the album cover to social media and it became very apparent that ‘simplicity’ is the name of the game for the Joanne era.
Some lucky little monsters have had a chance to preview the album at a listening party, many of whom are describing the album as very ‘country.’ It’s not the era the fans were hoping for, but Joanne seems like the era that Gaga deserves. For some time now it seemed as if the pop world was dictating her music as opposed to her inspiration being the driving force. I’m excited for the “Lazy Gaga” era as it feels like the most passionate she’s been in a long time.
Check out the CD label and tracklist to the standard + deluxe editions below! Joanne drops October 21st!