With her sixth studio album, Mother Monster reclaims the dance floor on a sensuous and fully explored revolution of synth beats, house sounds, and revelatory syncopation. Chromatica is everything we need now…and much more!
Rain on me! The anthemic proclamation of the second single released from Lady Gaga is a declaration of independence. Like so many times before and through her career, the artist that has been referred to as “Mother Monster” by her legion of fans, has been through the grind, and then some. The pop/dance duet with Ariana Grande “Rain On Me” checks every box for a perfectly crafted dance song — it has a catchy hook, a perfectly matched vocal arrangement that does not compromise either artist, and it’s just freakin’ awesome to move to!
It’s exactly what fans had been hoping and it perfectly introduces the tone of Chromatica the artist’s sixth studio album, who exclaims: “This is the dance floor that I fought for.” on “Free Woman” the setlist’s fifth track. It would be unfair to label Chromatica a “party album”; it’s a much too simplified examination of the music and especially the artist who is behind it. Gaga has always depended on her ability to deliver on well-crafted hooks and has uncanny connectivity to the nerve center of the pulse that is pumping blood through the veins of dance.
With her exaggerated sense of style and profound musicality, Lady Gaga has overwhelmingly been able to control the pop music narrative whenever she’s positioned herself as the curator of what is relevant and exciting. From her electrifying debut on the music scene to her meteoric rise on the pop-culture spectrum with Born This Way Lady Gaga has always maintained an instinct for delivering dynamic productions. In 2013’s ArtPop her antennae may have been reaching saturation levels, but she still found a way to gain our attention and keep us entertained.
A Star is Born…Again.
Allowing for her creative energies to recalibrate, Lady Gaga invested in other pursuits that included a jazz expressionist visitation that paired her with the legendary Tony Bennett, and a foray into her acting talents that yielded the critically acclaimed remake of A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and her Academy Award for the film’s music. Now it felt like the time was ripe for Lady Gaga to return to her dance roots, and Chromatica co-produced with BloodPop® is every bit the energetic and kinetic release that her fans needed right now.
In the age of coronavirus, Chromatica is a revolution. It’s impossible to not want to find a mirror and practice all your best moves with each track delivering on the synth-beats and bass thumps that demand fist-pumping and hair-tossing in order to keep step. The album’s first single, the largely understated “Stupid Love” may not have registered on the consciousness (mostly because it arrived just as COVID-19 started to claim the most lives and everyone went into lockdown), but it’s the purest Lady Gaga has sounded since asking us to “Just Dance”.
It’s also an ideal illustration and observation of how much Lady Gaga has evolved as a musician, as a marketeer and pop-culture influencer. On “Rain On Me” the album’s second single and duet with Ariana Grande, Gaga has usurped the pop music throne; the significant simple production, with its perfectly layered trills and electro-pops, is perfection! The unrelenting joy in the track is the entry point to the entire feel and attitude sets the pace of Chromatica which swings between 90s dance inflections and Euro-pop electronica that swirls around “911”.
The ebb and flows and transitions are consistent and inspired. Chromatic is a cathartic experience from top to finish; it takes you on a trip and is transformative. “Enigma” has every bit the influence of Annie Lennox (which is begging for a remix that could feature the 80s icon singing alongside Gaga) and “Replay” has the pulse and rhythm of a Giorgio Moroder disco-classic. Chromatica hits every chord and benefits from its continuity and connectivity, proving that the “album” is still something worth exploring, and “singles” sound better when you add color.
Chromatica the sixth studio album from Lady Gaga is available now across all Digital Download platforms and CD | ℗2020 Interscope Records