Lady Gaga. Where do we start when we talk about Gaga? She came on to the scene as the eccentric one, notorious for her extravagant outfits and theatrical performances. And let’s not forget her amazing pop tunes. Between The Fame and The Fame Monster, Gaga released some amazing pop anthems. Paparazzi, Poker Face and Bad Romance. Who doesn’t know those songs? But then something went wrong. Gaga released music that (to my personal taste) wasn’t up to her usual standard and especially the Artpop era was incomprehensible to me. That wasn’t the Gaga we knew and loved. While I kind of liked some of the songs on Artpop, the majority was disappointing.
Gaga released a jazz album in the meantime with Tony Benett and starred in American Horror Story, but now she has returned with a new album. Joanne is named after Gaga’s aunt who passed away at the age of nineteen because of lupus. Gaga has always felt a spiritual connection to her aunt even though Joanne died before Gaga was born. It makes sense that she would name her fifth studio album after her aunt.
But the question is, is the album good? Well, yes it is. It is not a predictable album, at least, not when you consider we are talking about Lady Gaga. There are no overly extravagant songs about partying. The songs are still melody-driven but there are barely any electronical sounds used. Gaga has opted for actual instruments and a country vibe. The theatrics are missing and all that’s really left is Gaga’s voice, which is fantastic. I think Gaga never really needed the theatrics, but it was the thing that set her apart from other pop stars back in the day. While I truly enjoyed her theatrical performances back in the day, I think it is refreshing to see her wear normal clothes and have her focus on her talent.
When I listen to the album, I don’t necessarily hear a hit that will take over the radio by storm. But to be honest, much of the best music is not necessarily commercially successful. I particularly enjoyed the ballads, Joanne and especially Million Reasons and Angel Down. The music is beautiful and I find the lyrics very touching.
And if you say something that you might even mean
It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
I prefer A-Yo and Dancin’ in Circles when we’re talking about the more uptempo songs. Once again, the lyrics are well-written, as is the music. Gaga is an accomplished songwriter and musician. Even if you are not a fan of hers, that is one thing you cannot deny.
Lady Gaga has evolved a lot. She is no longer just the weird theatre nerd who wears a meat dress to school and who sings about partying and having sex. Gaga has shown that she has deserved her place in the world of pop music. She has shown that she is an excellent songwriter. Yes, her music is no longer shameless pop. Joanne is a complete story that sometimes makes you want to dance and will also touch your heart. And isn’t that what music should do?
I just hope that I will be able to catch Lady Gaga live this time around when she will go on a tour. If you want to listen to music that will make you feel, Joanne is definitely a recommended album to listen to.