Lady Gaga inhabits anither winning persona on the chameleonic Joanne
No, it’s not a perfect illusion; Lady Gaga’s new album Joanne is that listenable. Released on October 21, 2016, Joanne is Gaga’s fifth studio album. The album deviates from Gaga’s usual pop sound, described by The Telegraph as “Americana-style blues and rock.” Out of the 14 songs, many draw inspiration from Gaga’s late aunt, Joanne Germanotta, who passed away in 1974 at the age of 19.
Joanne’s influence on Gaga’s music is very prevalent; the sound is very different in comparison to previous albums like ARTPOP. Gaga takes on the persona of her aunt to make the sound more relatable. In an interview with MTV, Gaga describes her music as “human.” In an interview with the publication, she said, “On this record I’m my father’s daughter, I’m my mother’s daughter, I’m my sister’s sister, I’m my friend’s friend. I’m my grandmother’s granddaughter.”
Listening to Joanne, one can relate to the content well. The album has received high praise for its sound as well as its lyrics, which are rawer than in her previous works. One of the album’s featured songs, “Joanne,” displays this new take on Gaga’s story. The haunting riffs of the guitar create a sense of authenticity, along with lyrics like “Take my hand/ Stay, Joanne/ Heaven’s not/ Ready for you/ Every part of my/ Aching heart/ Needs you more/ Than the angels do.” The bluesy and country vibes provide a very human element, in conjunction with themes like heartbreak.
Though the subject matter is down to earth, Gaga’s signature eccentricities are still conveyed in her music. Gaga mixes traditional Americana-style with her pop persona. “Grigio Girls” captures Joanne’s vibe while maintaining Gaga’s signature style. The song itself has pop and dance elements to it. This song in particular is very effervescent in contrast with the album’s other titles, perfectly authenticating the highs and lows that develop along with the human condition.
Other songs worth taking the time to listen to include “Perfect Illusion” and “Hey Girl,” which features Florence Welch. Even for those who do not typically listen to Lady Gaga’s music, the album contains a variety of sounds and universal experiences. From Joanne’s breezy ballads to its cheery choruses, the album might make you want to just dance.