Review: Lady Gaga – Chromatica

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Funk-tastic

Chromatica is a dancy and pop-filled collection of collaborations that is definitely the energy we need right now!

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Four years after the release of Joanne and two years after her Oscar-winning performance in A Star is Born, Lady Gaga is back with a new studio album that has been in the works for over three years! Chromatica takes Gaga’s love for electronic music and incorporates it into her new album.

The featured artwork on the album cover, as well as the music videos for ‘Stupid Love’ and “Rain on Me” exhibit strong cyberpunk vibes; when you bare that in mind listening through the album, you can see just how well that fits the concept and could almost be the soundtrack to a futuristic game or film – especially tracks such as ‘911’. Sections of the album were split with three different tracks labelled ‘Chromatica’ I, II and III; they blended into the following songs, as if they were introducing different acts of the album’s narrative.

Several big names also collab with Gaga through the album: Ariana Grande makes a strong impact in single ‘Rain on Me’ which I listened to about three or four times in a row. It’s the perfect balance of primary and featuring artist which is, unfortunately, more than I can say for ‘Sour Candy’. She partners with K-pop group BLACKPINK here, but there is far more of the girl group than Gaga. It was almost as if it was a BLACKPINK single with Gaga as the featured artist, not the other way around. Regardless, they are two of my favourite songs on the album, somewhat different to what Gaga usually shows us, but in the way that incorporates elements of the other artists’ styles and music into those singles. ‘Sour Candy’ also reminds me of the pop songs of the 2000s from the likes of Kylie Minogue. I don’t know if anyone else found that, but I definitely did.

Her third collaboration within the album is with Elton John on ‘Sine from Above’. It’s lighter than the rest of the album, it’s opening less of the fancy numbers of the rest, and flows straight from the instrumental interlude  “Chromatica III” but delves into something more. Talking about how music can heal, which is the central theme of the album fixed into one song. ‘Sine’ in the title and lyrics is also displayed on the album cover – being the mathematical symbol for sound and also used as a placeholder album art for album pre-orders.

Chromatica is undoubtedly a fun record to listen to, and one that will get you up and dancing or toe-tapping in no time at all. But I found that while I never enjoyed 2013’s ARTPOP as much as I should’ve done, Chromatica brings something new and keeps me invested throughout its entirety. I think out of the entire album the only one that didn’t capture me completely was ‘Engima’ but it’s still a bop! ‘Babylon’, the album’s closing track reminds me of more classics Gaga songs while incorporating that electronic beat to bring the message of the entire album to a close. It feels optimistic and that we can move onwards from the growth period that music brings to us; using it as a platform for greater growth. Heartwarming support that I think we could all do with during these difficult times.

Though we had to wait just a bit longer for Gaga’s sixth studio album after being delayed from its initial April 10th release date, it was totally worth it. The most story-cohesive album Lady Gaga has had in years, this electronic and pop masterpiece has made me consider giving the electronic music another try.

Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is out now via Interscope.

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Second-year archaeology & history student and Culture Editor 2019/20. Loves archery and Assassin's Creed, and still hoping to one day find the doorway to Narnia.

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