Top positive review
Lady Gaga has embraced her iconic Dance Pop sound again and moves herself and the genre forward.
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020
There are a few artists I consider close to my heart and Lady Gaga is one of them. Her first two efforts, The Fame and The Fame Monster, both came out when I was in my early 20's and it was a particular time I look back very fondly on. Born This Way was what I consider a fully realized evolution of Lady Gaga after exploding with The Fame. Admittedly it took me a few years to get into Artpop, but once I did, I really loved it. Cheek to Cheek I adored, it was a really awesome collab with Tony and Lady Gaga singing out worked very well.
Then came Joanne. Ironically I only started loving Artpop about 6 months before Joanne was released and Joanne was a massive shift in style, and it was a shift I still don't enjoy. While there were good songs on that album and the whole concept was a very meaningful, I felt it was a half embraced direction. You could tell Gaga was struggling, and she was self admittedly. You can check my review of it on my Profile page.
So this brings us to Chromatica, Lady Gaga's much anticipated follow up four years after Joanne and it is a return to form. I was excited when I heard the lead single Stupid Love and it brought Gaga back to her roots. If you were worried, there is nothing to fear, this is no throw back cash in. You can hear Gaga has grown since her last foray in this electronica sphere with Artpop. The production is fantastic, the music is great and Gaga sounds excellent. It is a very crisp album.
Chromatica may also be the most cohesive album to date from Lady Gaga. The songs all gel very well together and the musical theme just flows. There is no jarring style change throughout the album and that isn't to say the album is boring or predictable, quite the contrary. The album was crafted so well, it's over before you know it and that's with 16 tacks. Ariana Grande and BlackPink are a nice addition(salty Black Jack here, wished 2NE1 could have done this as their style fits Gaga's so well, sadly they were disbanded) to Rain On Me and Sour Candy. However, Elton John's presence on Sine From Above really brings that song to the next level. Elton and Gaga sound great together and his singing is powerful.
The album features some deeply personal lyrics for Gaga and it's pretty apparent. Chromatica marries The Fame's synth and dance beats, mixed with a touch of the more complex compositions of Born This Way, without sounding overly busy like some of Artpop and Joanne. The beauty really is the more simplistic approach to the music; the 80's synths, 90's techno, thumping bass, with soaring vocals and fun electronica. The Chromatica I, II and III all have great orchestral sound to them and each introduces the phases of the album.
Chromatica, to me, really shows Gaga embrace the sound that put her on the world stage, the sound she seemed to be running from for more than half a decade. Gaga shows that she can continue to evolve that sound without it getting tired or dated. In doing so, Gaga has single-handedly moved her genre forward and raised herself up a level at the same time.
Welcome back Lady Gaga.