Lady Gaga returns to her roots in sixth album 'Chromatica' - The Breeze
Pop icon Lady Gaga has finally dropped her latest studio album "Chromatica" after postponing the release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After weeks of postponing the release of her sixth album, famed pop star Lady Gaga finally dropped her new album, Chromatica, on Friday; the original release date was April 10, but Gaga delayed the release because of the coronavirus outbreak. The album is dramatic and funky, a side shes subdued since her third studio album Joanne and her appearance in the musical film, A Star is Born. Both soundtracks highlight a more country-pop sound, while Chromatica doesnt shy away from the house-dance music and electro-pop tracks early Gaga fans are familiar with. The album is broken into three acts. This theatrical strategy is on-brand for Gaga, known to some as one of the most profound pop stars; she was even namedThe Queen of Pop byRolling Stone.The listener knows theyve entered a new act when an instrumental segue is played. The first track, Chromatica I, is purely instrumental, and the music swells with drama. The symphonic and refined instrumentation makes the prelude sound like the beginning track of a movie. With a seamless transition, the album moves to the track titled Alice, which highlights Gagas personal troubles with continuing on in life after facing hardships and fighting for contentment. She references the storybook Alice in Wonderland and sings, Im in the hole, Im falling down / So down, down / My name isnt Alice, but Ill keep looking for Wonderland. The next song on the album is Stupid Love, which is a prerelease accompanied by a popular music video with 86 million views onYouTube. In the Stupid Love video, red and blue are fighting, Gaga said onApple Music.It could decidedly be a political commentary. And its very divisive. The way that I see the world is that we are divided, and that it creates a tense environment that is very extremist. This pop ballad has been circulating weeks before Chromatica in its entirety was released. Upon listening to Stupid Love, one may think its just another summer pop song to be stuck in their head, but upon further listening its possible to discern there may be political commentary sprinkled into the song. Rain on Me, featuring Ariana Grande, was also prereleased. This song is the first ever Gaga and Grande collaboration. Its an upbeat pop song; Gagas quirky musicality and Grandes delicateness shine in the song, creating a satisfying juxtaposition. The emotional and house-inspired song, Free Women, is about Gaga overcoming sexual assault by a music producer. She sings in the chorus, I'm not nothing without a steady hand / I'm not nothing unless I know I can / I'm still something if I don't got a man / I'm a free woman, oh-oh (Be free). Throughout the song, Gaga seems to be taking back her narrative as a survivor and relishing in her strengths and ability to be free. Fun Tonight, an upbeat electro-pop song, is about Gaga facing the sadness and numbness in her life. Although the songs overall effect is bouncy and uplifting, the lyrics portray an entirely different emotion. Gaga sings distinctly throughout the chorus, Oh, oh, oh / I'm not havin' fun tonight. The second act begins with the song Chromatica II. This instrumental segue feels ominous but then swells into an exciting and dramatic transition for 911. 911 is a true electronic pop song. The listener may feel like theyre in another universe. Gaga disclosed that this song is about taking antipsychotic medication. She sings, My biggest enemy is me / pop a 911, then pop another one. Plastic Doll is a high energy pop anthem thats Gagas critique on what society expects of a perfect pop star and how she wishes to break free of that archetype. She sings passionately, Don't play with me / It just hurts me / I'm bouncin' off the walls / No, no, no, I'm not your plastic doll. Gaga has a few collaborations in Chromatica. In Sour Candy, she sings with a K-pop girl group called BLACKPINK. The song has hip-hop, electronic and pop influences. Sour Candy feels different from the other tracks in the album because the beat of the song sounds more in line with hip-hop than electro-pop; the overall sound was unexpected but enjoyable. The song Enigma pays homage to her third studio album, Artpop. This electropop track feels boldly Gaga because of her singing and the tracks backing. Seemingly about her fans and how fame impacts her mental health, Replay depicts her struggles with PTSD. She sings, I don't know what to do, you don't know what to say / The scars on my mind are on replay, r-replay / The monster inside you is torturing me. Bringing the listener into the third act, Chromatica III is a light and hopeful instrumental track that takes the listener into Sine from Above. In this song, Gaga makes the intentional decision to spell sine as it is, meaning a soundwave. Sine from above alludes to a literal heavenly or divine sign. This song is Gagas second collaboration with Elton John. Gaga and John sing in tandem, I heard one sine / And it healed my heart, heard a sine. 1000 Doves is an emotional electro-pop ballad. Gaga passionately croons over the synthesized music, Lift me up, give me a start / 'Cause I've been flying with some broken arms / Lift me up, just a small nudge / And I'll be flying like a thousand doves. The album comes to a close with high energy dance track Babylon.'' The song features Gagas low sing-songy voice, Strut it out, walk a mile / Serve it, ancient-city style /Talk it out, babble on / Battle for your life, Babylon. Chromatica isnt only a genuine, personal and eclectic Gaga work, but a comprehensive art form. Gaga strays away from the pop-country style she showcased on her fifth studio album Joanne and reverts back to her notorious dance floor-style music heard on her first three albums. Long-awaited, fans have plenty of music to look forward to dancing to when the party scene is able to resume. Contact Audrey Nakagawa at [email protected] For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.