As Halloween has become another hyper-commercialised holiday celebrating all things weird, sinister and scary, it only makes sense that Mother Monster herself would release her fifth studio album ten days before the world’s biggest annual costume party.
The album is said to be titled Joanne in remembrance of Gaga’s late paternal aunt, whom she is thought to resemble. The album contains 14 tracks which vary between slow and upbeat songs. In 2009 with The Fame Monster, we saw Gaga burst onto the pop music scene and redefine popular culture as we know it. In 2010 Gaga released her second album with the LGBTQ anthem Born This Way as the title track, on which she defined her sound with electro-dance beats, while experimenting with more of a rock sound on songs like Yoü and I. Some of the songs on Joanne remind me of the perfect blend between pop and rock that made Yoü and I such a hit. In 2013 Gaga’s art inspired album Artpop was truly an artist’s canvas showcasing more experimental tracks, where we saw her starting to use the different genres on her musical palette. In 2014 Gaga showcased her diversity when she teamed up with music veteran, Tony Bennet, to a record a jazz album entitled Cheek to Cheek.
Since then little monsters worldwide (including myself) have been waiting to see what Gaga would do next. As Gaga is an advocate of gender-bending, her musical repertoire can only be described as genre-bending. Like Madonna, Gaga is a master of reinvention. Joanne’s rock/country vibe tends to remind me of Madonna’s Don’t Tell Me. The reconstruction of ‘country’ music seems to be a popular trend in music at the moment, as Beyoncé also contributes to this new hybrid-genre with the song Daddy Lessons on her new album.
In terms of Joanne as a whole, there are songs that I absolutely love and that I’ve been playing on repeat, but there are also songs that I’m completely indifferent to. I might come around to loving them as well or they might get deleted from my iPod in a week’s time. However, these are my favourite songs from the album:
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate Gaga queen of the desert? As with previous albums, Gaga’s complete artistic and personal aesthetic transform to suit her current music and let me just say that I’m totally on board the underboob and lower butt cleavage train.
Singles from the album like Perfect Illusion will no doubt have had and continue to have plenty of radio airtime. Which is great because it means that there will inevitably be some conservative oom or tannie ignorantly singing along to a Gaga track on Jacaranda, only to have Martin Bester initiate a shame spiral when they hear that they’ve spent the past three minutes of their lives devil-worshipping. It’s one of the small joys in life that little monsters everywhere should strive to enjoy.
I was really sad to hear that Gaga and her fiancé called it quits, but if Taylor Swift has taught us anything it’s that heartbreak makes for a killer album, which is exactly what Joanne is.
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