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Chromatica: Lady Gaga's Return to the Throne of Pop

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Music
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON
2020-05-29
2021-06-19

Lady Gaga has shown us time and time again that she is one of the most versatile artists of our time, and with Chromatica, she comes back stronger than ever to the sound that made her a global star more than a decade ago.

It is her first studio album since Joanne (2016) followed by the soundtrack of A Star Is Born (2018), two projects for which she seemed to abandon, at least temporarily, her avant-garde and defiant attitude to show us a more personal side. But let us not confuse the explosion of sound in Chromatica with a lack of depth in what it conveys. In Gaga's words, [Chromatica] "is all about healing and it's about bravery as well.”

The album experienced a difficult pregnancy period, with various leaks and the postponement of the official release date due to the effects of COVID-19, but survived the delivery. Many could not wait, but those who did were able to enjoy the full experience. The themes that Mother Monster sings about are not new, and even some songs are reminiscent of previous eras. Still, they preserve their individuality and manage to offer a refreshing sound. Chromatica is a sci-fi explosion of colors worth listening to from start to finish —and in order— as the songs connect, and it may be Gaga's most coherent album to date.

The world rots in conflict. Many tribes fight for dominance. While the spirituals pray and sleep for peace, the punks of goodness fight for CHROMATICA.

The songs are accompanied by storylines that describe that connection. The string arrangement in the three interludes evokes the characteristic instrumentation of her friend and past collaborator Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine). Plus, they transition to subsequent songs, offering a thoroughly exhilarating listening experience.

The first one, Chromatica I, introduces us to the world of Chromatica and presents the following narrative: “The world rots in conflict. Many tribes fight for dominance. While the spirituals pray and sleep for peace, the punks of goodness fight for CHROMATICA.” According to Gaga, producerBloodPop® motivated her to keep going and helped her define the sound of Chromatica.

With Alice, she pays homage to the story of Alice in Wonderland in a twist of her own as she sings about perseverance in the face of adversity. When everything is difficult, we must remember that "there is always Wonderland."

In the first single, Stupid Love, she accepts that perhaps her insatiable desire for love is not so bad, because after all, for Gaga love is the force that connects us. Even though Gaga was a victim of sexual assault, she no longer defines herself that way; with Free Woman she declares herself free. Then comes Fun Tonight, a song in which sadness and happiness mix to deliver a personal hymn that reminds us of the importance of simply being with our feelings. In 911, Gaga admits that perhaps her biggest obstacle is herself; she can't always control the things your brain does, and she has to take an antipsychotic to help stop that process.

The filler songs in this project are notable for their absence, so perhaps it is better to pay attention to the three collaborations present. Ariana Grande joins for Rain On Me, an instant bop that empowers through tears. In Sour Candy, BLACKPINK and Gaga “raise the middle finger politely" in the face of the binary expectation that some have of women: they are either submissive or they are b*tches. Finally, Sine From Above pays tribute to her love of music, the reason it survives, and Elton John is the perfect companion.

This is a new journey, and in Chromatica I will dance my way through all the pain, and every transition I make is into a new me, which is consistently a miracle.

The album cover includes the mathematical function that best represents sound, through which Gaga intends to open "a portal that is a conduit for sound and language." Babylon is the perfect culmination of the album, “but it's really the start that occurs after every finish. (…) This is a new journey, and in Chromatica I will dance my way through all the pain, and every transition I make is into a new me, which is consistently a miracle.”

Chromatica offers an escape in the middle of the pandemic. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Gaga talks to us about the importance of music for healing, a fact that is more relevant given the current context: “I think the beginning of the album really symbolizes, for me, what I would call the beginning of my journey towards healing, and what I hope will be an inspiration for people who need healing through happiness, through dance.”

In short, listening to Chromatica translates into the experience one has when entering a club surrounded by friends, where the music takes control of the body and the mind flies out of it. Their sound strongly rooted in classic house and electropop, along with the contributions of great producers, build a versatile experience over which you can fill both tears and sweat. "I can't wait to dance with people to this music," he told Lowe, "to show them how much I love them." Perhaps it is not possible now, but soon we will be able to enjoy this work of pop in its maximum splendor, and join its army of “kindness punks”.

Chromatica is the sixth studio album by American singer Lady Gaga, released on May 29, 2020, by Interscope Records and subsidiary Streamline. It features collaborations from Ariana Grande, Elton John, and BLACKPINK.

Lady Gaga has shown us time and time again that she is one of the most versatile artists of our time, and with Chromatica, she comes back stronger than ever to the sound that made her a global star more than a decade ago.

It is her first studio album since Joanne (2016) followed by the soundtrack of A Star Is Born (2018), two projects for which she seemed to abandon, at least temporarily, her avant-garde and defiant attitude to show us a more personal side. But let us not confuse the explosion of sound in Chromatica with a lack of depth in what it conveys. In Gaga's words, [Chromatica] "is all about healing and it's about bravery as well.”

The album experienced a difficult pregnancy period, with various leaks and the postponement of the official release date due to the effects of COVID-19, but survived the delivery. Many could not wait, but those who did were able to enjoy the full experience. The themes that Mother Monster sings about are not new, and even some songs are reminiscent of previous eras. Still, they preserve their individuality and manage to offer a refreshing sound. Chromatica is a sci-fi explosion of colors worth listening to from start to finish —and in order— as the songs connect, and it may be Gaga's most coherent album to date.

The world rots in conflict. Many tribes fight for dominance. While the spirituals pray and sleep for peace, the punks of goodness fight for CHROMATICA.

The songs are accompanied by storylines that describe that connection. The string arrangement in the three interludes evokes the characteristic instrumentation of her friend and past collaborator Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine). Plus, they transition to subsequent songs, offering a thoroughly exhilarating listening experience.

The first one, Chromatica I, introduces us to the world of Chromatica and presents the following narrative: “The world rots in conflict. Many tribes fight for dominance. While the spirituals pray and sleep for peace, the punks of goodness fight for CHROMATICA.” According to Gaga, producerBloodPop® motivated her to keep going and helped her define the sound of Chromatica.

With Alice, she pays homage to the story of Alice in Wonderland in a twist of her own as she sings about perseverance in the face of adversity. When everything is difficult, we must remember that "there is always Wonderland."

In the first single, Stupid Love, she accepts that perhaps her insatiable desire for love is not so bad, because after all, for Gaga love is the force that connects us. Even though Gaga was a victim of sexual assault, she no longer defines herself that way; with Free Woman she declares herself free. Then comes Fun Tonight, a song in which sadness and happiness mix to deliver a personal hymn that reminds us of the importance of simply being with our feelings. In 911, Gaga admits that perhaps her biggest obstacle is herself; she can't always control the things your brain does, and she has to take an antipsychotic to help stop that process.

The filler songs in this project are notable for their absence, so perhaps it is better to pay attention to the three collaborations present. Ariana Grande joins for Rain On Me, an instant bop that empowers through tears. In Sour Candy, BLACKPINK and Gaga “raise the middle finger politely" in the face of the binary expectation that some have of women: they are either submissive or they are b*tches. Finally, Sine From Above pays tribute to her love of music, the reason it survives, and Elton John is the perfect companion.

This is a new journey, and in Chromatica I will dance my way through all the pain, and every transition I make is into a new me, which is consistently a miracle.

The album cover includes the mathematical function that best represents sound, through which Gaga intends to open "a portal that is a conduit for sound and language." Babylon is the perfect culmination of the album, “but it's really the start that occurs after every finish. (…) This is a new journey, and in Chromatica I will dance my way through all the pain, and every transition I make is into a new me, which is consistently a miracle.”

Chromatica offers an escape in the middle of the pandemic. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Gaga talks to us about the importance of music for healing, a fact that is more relevant given the current context: “I think the beginning of the album really symbolizes, for me, what I would call the beginning of my journey towards healing, and what I hope will be an inspiration for people who need healing through happiness, through dance.”

In short, listening to Chromatica translates into the experience one has when entering a club surrounded by friends, where the music takes control of the body and the mind flies out of it. Their sound strongly rooted in classic house and electropop, along with the contributions of great producers, build a versatile experience over which you can fill both tears and sweat. "I can't wait to dance with people to this music," he told Lowe, "to show them how much I love them." Perhaps it is not possible now, but soon we will be able to enjoy this work of pop in its maximum splendor, and join its army of “kindness punks”.

Chromatica is the sixth studio album by American singer Lady Gaga, released on May 29, 2020, by Interscope Records and subsidiary Streamline. It features collaborations from Ariana Grande, Elton John, and BLACKPINK.

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