Calling all Little Monsters! Lady Gaga is back and better than ever.
The eclectic artist released her highly-anticipated new album Joanne, marking a new Gaga. In contrast to her earlier hits that propelled her to the top of the charts and made her a bona fide pop superstar, Joanne explores a different sound. One that works.
The album starts off strong with “Diamond Heart,” an upbeat song that lets Lady Gaga show off her powerful voice and underrated range. Upon first listen, it’s vaguely reminiscent of “Applause,” from her last album Artpop. However, it holds a deeper lyrical meaning focusing on self-love, featuring the lines “I might not be flawless but you know I got a diamond heart.”
The title track is a standout for its delicate guitar melody and folk sound, new musical territory that suites Lady Gaga’s versatile voice. She explores this style further with the reflective “Million Reasons” and even ventures into a country twang sound with “Sinner’s Prayer.” Closing track “Angel Down” is an honest, yet powerful cry for help about societal struggles that is equally haunting as it is beautiful.
Of course, being Lady Gaga, Joanne does not completely banish bouncy pop music. For fans of “Poker Face,” “Edge of Glory,” and “Bad Romance,” there are the radio-friendly singles “A-YO” and “Perfect Illusion.” While they prove that Gaga is among the best at producing top-selling dance hits, they are songs that are clinging on to the image that the 30-year-old is successfully beginning to shed.
Lady Gaga shines with Joanne by taking a new musical direction that will gain her an even bigger fan base and build onto her phenomenal success.