Lady Gaga moves from pop-synth to country, soft-rock in an attempt to show a side of her we haven’t seen before on her newest album, Joanne.
The pop icon’s fifth studio album, named so for her middle name as well as her aunt’s name, shows listeners a new side of Lady Gaga. Take away the fame and the eccentric costumes, and you are left with the raw Stefani Germanotta, who reveals her true self on her most intimate album yet.
In a recent interview with The New York Times’ Style Magazine, Gaga explained the album is “the middle and center of me,” which is why Gaga used her middle name as the album title. Joanne passed away when she was only 19, and it was at this age that Gaga decided to go for her dreams.
For those who were expecting more Gaga-esque hits, Joanne may disappoint. But, for those who appreciate more down-to-earth tunes, the album could be played on repeat. Joanne is similar to Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which does not include the expected dance-pop songs, but it reveals a personal side to the artist not seen on other albums.
The story behind the title justifies this new sound, but if looking to hear something close to standard Gaga, listen to “A-YO,” which sounds like a toned down version of Artpop’s “MANiCURE.” The first single of the album, “Perfect Illusion,” also offers a fast-paced, dance-worthy beat with lyrics that could get stuck in anyone’s head.
“John Wayne” also has the potential to become a popular favorite for those who seek original Gaga music. The John Wayne cowboy imagery reinforces one of the album’s tones — country. The song has a heavy beat that makes feet tap and heads bop. This song is sure to be added to many pump-up playlists.
Gaga shows that she’s made the album as personal as possible with the track “Dancin’ in Circles.” The song features lyrics such as “touch myself to pass the time” and “up all night tryin’ to rub the pain out.” There is no shame in this album — Gaga is writing about whatever she wants to. Self-expression is the main purpose rather than the desire to break the charts.
The entire track list offers personal insights into the superstar’s life. “Joanne” is an emotional ballad where Gaga sings directly to her aunt. The lyrics and soft melody show how close Gaga and Joanne may have been, something that is relatable to those who have lost a loved one.
“Diamond Heart” offers hints at Gaga’s past as a go-go dancer in New York, her sexual assault and her relationship with former fiancé Taylor Kinney. The intimacy of the personal and emotional lyrics is what makes this album so unique.
The album flows from song to song to create the most passionate album Gaga has ever delivered. The mixture of country and soft-rock prove that Lady Gaga is an artist who knows no bounds, and she does not need flashy costumes to prove it. Joanne will make people recognize that underneath the elaborate facade of Gaga, there is a regular New Yorker.