Chromatica: Album Review



Hannah Mirsky, Music Beat Reporter

9 / 10

Lady Gaga is back to her dance pop roots with her sixth solo studio album “Chromatica.” The uplifting album is released as issues going on in the world are bringing people down. With the songs about changing negative mindsets and doing what is best for yourself to get over the hard times, it was great timing for this album.

I think people forgot how great Lady Gaga is at creating pop songs. When I heard the first track “Alice,” I knew the album was not going to lose its energy. The last music Gaga put out were her songs on the “A Star is Born” soundtrack which were similar in sound with her previous album “Joanne.” That album was slower, contained more ballads, and pushed her boundaries on the type of pop music she had been known to make. “Chromatica” is the Gaga everyone grew up listening to and her sound aged well. An upbeat and high energy pop album never gets old.

This album is nostalgic and very reminiscent of her earlier albums. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, one of the producers working on “Chromatica,” Burns, described that they wanted the album to feel familiar yet fresh and new. We have not heard much of this type of Gaga music since she released “Artpop” back in 2013. I always felt that “Artpop” was a little before its time so to see Gaga bring back the house and electronic sound to her music, I think it is more fitting for where music has gotten to Gaga’s music had always been rooted with house music, which was created in the 80s, and that influence is heard throughout every album.

There are three different interludes that separate yet tie together the album. Those short sections of instrumental music help read the album like a story, giving it a clear narrative. It leaves time for the audience to understand what happened and what will come next. I think it was a smart addition. The songs following the first interlude were the most reminiscent of her first two albums, especially “Free Woman” and “Fun Tonight.” They were really thoughtful songs but still had me wanting to get up and dance. The house music really picks up in the songs after the second interlude with tracks “911” and “Sour Candy” featuring BLACKPINK.

Gaga collaborated with Ariana Grande on one of her promotional singles “Rain On Me,” which is a very uplifting and solid song. The song describes how Gaga would rather be “dry” than be rained on but decides against it. The rain symbolizes the tears she would rather be crying than drinking to erase her problems. Comparing this topic to previous albums where she sang about abusing alcohol, this was one of the songs that seemed to persevere past the issue she had dealt with in the past.

“Sine From Above” featuring Elton John was one of the only songs I was disappointed with. Elton John has always sung theatrical songs, and Lady Gaga has been influenced by him for her entire career. They could have collaborated on a song more in that range but they did not go for that. The song was more powerful, almost like a revelation, which really paired well with Lady Gaga’s vocals, but I do not think Elton John was the correct choice for the song.

Lady Gaga’s voice is very theatrical throughout the tracks, giving me the feeling that she looked to Madonna’s music for inspiration. Her final track “Babylon” is sung the way Madonna sings “Vogue” very confident and proud. Gossip is accustomed to the lifestyle of any celebrity but especially to the mysterious, yet natural pop singer that is Lady Gaga. Like a true diva would sing it, she struts through the song with those words chaining her down and she wears them proudly.

I think it was important that Lady Gaga paid tribute to her past music with “Chromatica.” There are not a ton of artists that can pull off this music genre, fusing pop and house together. Whenever other artists attempt it, it does not sound like the music that they would produce. This music that Lady Gaga creates is so out there, yet sounds so natural. Her songwriting was on point and she produced a really solid album.