Album Review – ‘Joanne’ by Lady Gaga

This is whole new version of Lady Gaga. We all know during her recent album eras, she has been a pioneer of many things. From some outrageous dresses and fashion moments (like the meat dress) and showing up to the Grammys in an egg!!…she has always been bold and we salute her confidence and individuality. From “Bad Romance” to “Born this Way” and “Poker Face”, Mama Monster has gave us some of the most catchiest pop, rock dance songs of the century.

But this time (as I said this is latest and new version of Gaga), Gaga jumps into soft-rock and country. Joanne can be described as a soulful, soft-rock, country album with the touch of pop and rock music. The album is filled with strong emotions. And the album features Gaga’s best and fierce vocals till now. Seriously, it gives me goosebumps. The album is titled on the name of her aunt who died at the age of 19 due to complications arising from lupus. The aunt’s death has influenced the album. The first single “Perfect Illusion” came out September 9 and the music video was released during Scream Queens Season 2 premiere. The album debuted at number 1 in USA.

The album was released on October 21, 2016.

Joanne kicks with “Diamond Heart”. It gives you pop-rock vibes. This song sets the tune for the album. Gaga sings ‘I may not be perfect…but I’ve got a diamond heart’. The lyrics are of autobiographical nature. The title is a reference to her engagement ring from her fiance Taylor Kinney. Gaga told that this song is about “American Dream” and chasing it. The songs talks about her job as a go-go dancer before she was famous. OK track. I liked it!

Here we go!! Next on the list is “A-Yo”. It’s one of my favorites and catchiest song on the album. Hand-claps, brass-beats, country music, and a little pop-ish.. I loved it! It is reminiscing the music played in dive bars. I literally went ~Gaga~  over this track.

The title track “Joanne” starts with acoustic guitar playing and Gaga singing about her late aunt. It is one of the most emotional ballad on the album. Gaga sings ‘heartfelt’ lyrics. “Take my hand…Stay Joanne…Heavens not ready for you…Every part of my aching heart needs you more than the angels do..” …just perfect and emotional. Heart-wrenching!!  Gaga also revealed that the track it also about herself. “There are two sides of me, one which is a true rebel and the other is my father’s daughter. This is my middle name. This is the middle on the center of me.”

“John Wayne” is a total cowboy reference!… guitars playing and electronic music. “I just love a cowboy, I know it’s bad, but I’m, like, can I just hang off the back of your horse and can you go a little faster?” Gaga sings in the beginning. The music video kicks right after where “Million Reasons” ended. This track reminded me of Taylor Swift’s “I Wish You Would”. It has too much guitar! An average track.

“Dancin’ in the Circles” ..yes you guessed it right! It is a light dance track. Gaga sings and guitar plays. It’s much of the Artpop Gaga here. The track alludes to her previous relationships. Lyrics talks having a good time by oneself!

“Perfect Illusion” is about your man not loving you anymore. Gaga sings ‘It wasn’t love..It was a perfect illusion.” She sings it multiple time. The songs is a rock one with guitar playing and Gaga singing some sky-high notes. And oh, the key change around two minutes, it literally gave me goosebumps.!!

“Millions Reasons” is a country track. Songs’s composition consists of piano and guitar instrumentation. During the song’s chorus, Gaga sings, “You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go / You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show”.

“Sinner’s Prayer” consists of instrumentation from bells and whistles. It is a country song with R&B and pop.

Gaga explained:

This song is about singing to a man just telling him, ‘Look I just don’t want to break the heart of any other man but you, but I know that I’m a sinner.’

Lyrically, Gaga wanting her man to love her as she is! Not bad, not good!

“Come To Mama” has the folk-ish music. ‘Everybody’s got to love each other…” Gaga sings about accepting one another. It has brass and drum beats. A ’70s inspired track with biblical references. The lyric about “a forty-day flood” alludes to Noah while “stop throwin’ stones at your sisters and your brothers” is taken from one of Jesus’ aphorisms, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

“Hey Girl” features Florence Welch, lead singer of Indie-rock band Florence and the Machine. The structure of “Hey Girl” is unique within Gaga’s catalogue and sees Welch and Gaga exchanging lines, one after the other. Florence’s vocals take prominence. A down-tempo funkish song. I liked it!

“Angel Down” explains Gaga’s feelings towards the world of today, as well as her spirituality. The track, a mid-tempo ballad, is the final track on the standard edition of Gaga’s fourth solo album. “Angel Down”, was inspired by the death of Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by George Zimmerman in 2012. Gaga sings lyrics like “Shots were fired on the street, by the church where we used to meet”

The album got a meta score of 67/100. Plus I didn’t get the deluxe tracks!

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