Lady Gaga welcomes us into the electrifying planet of Chromatica with her new sixth studio album released on May 29.
“Earth is canceled. I live on Chromatica,” Gaga told Zane Lowe during a promotional interview on March 2.
The 16-track album features three interlude pieces and 13 dance-pop songs that manage to seamlessly combine pop, EDM and synth elements with major theatricality.
The album is quintessential Gaga. An overall love letter to all her fans who’ve stuck with her, even back when she was getting crucified by the general public for wearing raw meat on the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet.
Being one of those long-time fans, I wasn’t personally as impressed as I hoped to be when she released her first single from Chromatica, “Stupid Love”. It’s a generic pop song where she mostly just repeats the same lyrics over and over with a redundant beat playing in the back.
Gaga has proved herself to be one of the most creative artists in the industry for more than a decade, so personally, I expected more with the single.
Her second single released, “Rain on me”, managed to restore much of my hope. A collaboration with singer Ariana Grande, the two women sing about healing from their past trauma in the powerful pop track.
“I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive, rain on me, rain, rain,” sings Gaga.
“Rain on me”, is a theme song for healing and strength. It sets the tone fantastically for the rest of the album, which is why I believe it should’ve been the first single instead of “Stupid love”.
Chromatica starts out with the interlude, “Chromatica I”. It’s a beautiful and short instrumental piece that smoothly transitions into the first actual song on the album, “Alice”.
“Alice” is an electro dance-pop song in which Gaga expresses her desire and everlasting hope to find her place in the world.
“My name isn’t Alice, but I’ll keep looking, I’ll keep looking for Wonderland,” she belts at the opening of the track.
The next few songs follow that same message and sound similar to the opening track, hence why they’re all under the first interlude.
The second interlude, “Chromatica II”, is my personal favorite and has the best tracks on the album.
Starting out somewhat like the first interlude, it begins softly and sounds like an instrumental that would be included in a ballet show. Toward the middle, it shifts and ends up sounding like an instrumental piece that would be played in a horror film during the most intense scene.
The songs that follow also hold the common theme of hope and strength displayed in the first set of tracks. However, they additionally grasp a theme of confidence that’s best displayed in the track, “Sour candy”.
“Sour Candy” features the popular K-pop girl group, BLACKPINK, and is easily the most replayable song on the album. Although short, it’s upbeat, cheeky and has an attitude. Both Gaga and BLACKPINK each showcase their original music styles in a way that blends together to make perfect ear candy for listeners.
The last song of the second interlude track, “Replay”, is my favorite on the album. Listeners can immediately hear the classic disco elements of the song in the beginning that carry on to the chorus along with the electro beats. The bridge provides intensity, with Gaga’s vocals only becoming stronger.
“You had the gun,” she sings out repeatedly during the climax.
Right after, listeners enter the last (and weakest) chapter of the album, “Chromatica III”. This interlude is the shortest and softest out of the two previous ones, and the song, “Sine from above”, comes after.
Accompanied by Elton John, the track provides a great message of healing and has inspirational lyrics. Its downfall proves to be the overall production of it, which seems all over the place.
It’s followed by the song, “1000 doves”, a track that, again, has great lyrics but another generic production. It also restricts Gaga’s strong vocals the most out of any track, making her sound not like the Gaga known and loved, but instead as a random pop singer.
Then comes “Babylon”. The last track on the album; the one that just so happens to completely redeem the previous two songs.
Drawing some comparison to Madonna’s iconic 1990 hit single, “Vogue”, Gaga fully utilizes her famous spoken-word vocals for this track. Her stern over-pronunciation of every word plays out in the best way possible, making listeners want to go back to the ’90s during New York fashion week and strut a catwalk.
Overall, the album is an extremely solid body of work and something fans of the singer will cherish.
Although she plays it safe with a few of the tracks, Gaga provides a number of songs that people will either love or hate, a pattern that she’s been consistent with her entire career. For that same reason, it’s what’s cemented her place as one of the most original and iconic artists of the decade.
In a time where most people would like a break from Earth, Lady Gaga thankfully gives out an invitation to escape with her to the planet, Chromatica, a place where the party never ends and anyone can visit.
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