Everyone (and I mean everyone) has a view on Lady Gaga.
Whether you’re her biggest Monster or think she’s copying Madonna, there’s always an opinion.
For me, I have very fond memories of her work. From picking up a cheap copy of this unknown artist (it was the artwork that got me in the music store) to trying to replicate the music video for ‘Venus’ at a visit to Hearst Castle, she’s always had an impact on my musical tastes and creativity.
With the last few albums being a bit of a snooze, there was a lot riding on ‘Chromatica’, her sixth studio album, but thankfully it’s spectacular.
First, let’s talk about the listenability of this album from end to end. Even some of my favourite albums have the odd song you want to skip for whatever reason, but this collection of songs is listenable from start to finish.
Moving swiftly from song to song, you’re buoyed along by the energy and positive vibes from each. But don’t be fooled, the lyrics are among her most personal to date.
I always love the contrast between really happy sounding music and intensely personal lyrics. She balances this out perfectly and it remains a relatable collection. It’s easy to want to keep listening on repeat.
That being said, I feel like the album misses a deft producer’s hand, like Stuart Price, to segue the songs together.
While Gaga and BloodPop do a good job with the sequencing of songs and the creation of different acts, it could have been that little bit more polished.
I also feel like a lot Gaga’s lower register is lost in the heavy production applied to the majority of songs. It’s a shame not to let her full range show more.
Following many people’s views on their favourite songs, mine are probably a bit left of centre.
Album opener ‘Alice’ harks back to her best and really sets the tone for what’s to come. We’re exposed to her wonderland and it’s an exciting proposition.
‘Sine From Above’ is a welcome change of pace and with Elton John making an appearance (although heavily altered), it feels fresh and they sound great together.
Finally, album closer ‘Babylon’ really brings the party home. With its direct references to the ’80s ballroom scene, gospel choir backing vocals, speak-singing and a catchy-AF beat, it’s hard not to keep singing “that’s gossip” to yourself all day (with all the harmonies of course).
What Lady Gaga has managed to do with ‘Chromatica’ is distract us all for 43 minutes while the world crumbles around us, creating a safe sonic escape.
To visit her world, even for a short space of time is a privledge and despite a very dodgy album release campaign, it’s been the positive pop impact we need.
I’m here for great pop music and with ‘Chromatica’, it’s just what she’s delivered.
VERDICT : 5/5.
MUST LISTEN : Alice, Sine From Above, Babylon.