By: Johanna Marano February 26, 2017
I have been a Lady Gaga fan since the very beginning. She is highly talented and well acclaimed in the music industry. At the end of 2016 she released her fifth studio album, which I plan to take a look at right now. But before we get into her latest album, let me give you some background info on her if you aren’t as familiar with her.
Lady Gaga is her stage name; but to friends and family, she is known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. To her fans, she is Mother Monster. She is the one who gets us to raise our paws no matter who we are because together we are one. Lady Gaga is a New York native singer, songwriter, and actress.
She first received international fame in 2008 with her debut album, The Fame, with singles that topped the music charts. In 2009, she released her follow-up EP, The Fame Monster. Again, this received similar reception with multiple successful singles. Her second full-length album, Born This Way, was released in 2011. She released her third album, Artpop, in 2013. Once again, both her second and third studio albums had chart toping singles. Her fourth album, Cheek to Cheek, was a collaborative jazz album with renowned artist Tony Bennett. They released that album in 2014. She then took a break from music and starred in the television series American Horror Story: Hotel. Then at the end of 2016 is when she graced us all with her fifth album, Joanne. Her most recent event was when she performed at the Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show, which has been noted to be the most viewed musical event in history.
Lady Gaga is known for continually experimenting with new musical ideas and images. Over the years she has received much analysis and scrutiny from the critics on her performances, as well as her fashion choices. Her songs have for a majority of the time touched on very controversial topics such as sex, love, religion, money, drugs, identity, liberation, sexuality, freedom, and individualism. This is one of the aspects of Lady Gaga that I admire and love so much. She is not afraid to push boundaries and stand up for what she believes in. However, what people cannot deny is her level of talent and skill.
So today, I am here to take a look at her most recent album, Joanne. From the moment she announced she would be releasing an album, it was highly anticipated. I know that I personally could not wait for it to be released. The last time she released a solo album was three years ago and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what to expect. I feel every album that Lady Gaga has released has been different, each having a very unique sound.
I have to say I was not disappointed when I finally heard the entire album. It is full of such raw emotion; you can’t help but get the feels by listening to it. It has a more stripped-down and soft rock feel with touches of country and folk, which is very different from her over the top dancey songs from the past. Of course there are some upbeat songs on the album that make you want to get up and dance. But overall, the album definitely has a different feel than what she has produced in the past. There are three songs in particular that I want to take a look at.
The first is actually her first single off the album, which is “Perfect Illusion”. Despite the song speaking of how something you thought was so great that in reality it really wasn’t, it is still so upbeat. It is definitely an anthem for anyone who has been fooled when it comes to love but realized where they went wrong. Hiding behind the upbeat sound, you can still feel the power and emotion that Lady Gaga puts into it.
The second song is a “Million Reasons”, which is unquestionably more pure and stripped-down. It is not hard to hear the struggles she feels through this song. This particular song talks to how she has had countless reason as to why she should walk away from something that she loved. However, if she was given one really good reason to stay she would. When I first heard this track, I thought it was in reference to her ex-fiancé because they had recently put their engagement on hold and were going to go their separate ways. But now that I think about it, I wonder if it is really in reference to her fame. To my knowledge there have been moments when Lady Gaga has wanted to give up and walk away from it all. Living the life she does, where she is under constant criticism from the media can be unimaginably difficult. But she stays and continues to create for us, her little monsters.
The final song I want to take a look at is “Joanne”, the title song off the album. As I mentioned earlier, Joanne is actually Lady Gaga’s middle name. But the Joanne that Lady Gaga is referring to is her late aunt, her father’s sister. It is such a touching ballad about how much she needs and misses her despite never getting the chance to meet her. Her aunt passed at nineteen from lupus and was a sexual assault survivor. Lady Gaga herself has tested borderline positive for lupus but fortunately does not experience any symptoms of it. She is also a sexual assault survivor herself. By listening to this song, you can just feel the close connection she has to her aunt.
Once again, Lady Gaga gives us an album very different from anything she has done in the past. It is a reminder to the world of why we need her and just how incredible of an artist she truly is. I will always look up to Mother Monster and look forward to the music she creates in the future. My little monster paws will forever be raised to her.