Chromatica is out now via Interscope Records: Stream
Lady Gaga has finally shared her sixth studio album, Chromatica. The 16-track effort features three cinematic interludes and loosely strives to lure listeners into an alternate universe where Mother Monster is the empress of uncharted territories. While the theme does not always remain fully intact, Gaga’s highly-anticipated return to electropop has definite must-hear highlights. See our take on Chromatica‘s best tracks ranked below.
13. Fun Tonight
When Gaga first sang of paparazzi and fame, it was provocatively earth-shattering, tantalizing, and symbolic. “Fun Tonight,” however, feels more like an outtake from the soundtrack of A Star Is Born due to its somewhat simplistic lyricism and delivery.
12. Stupid Love
In a little over a decade, Mother Monster jumped from, “I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick / Want you in my rear window, baby, you’re sick / I want your love,” to “I want your stupid love, love.” The track is one of her weaker lyrical moments despite the irresistible choreography and euphoric dance-inducing 90s melody. See our full track review here.
Wrapped in mystery and impossible to pin down with definitives, “Enigma” arrives mid-album as a nod to Gaga’s Vegas residency and her ability to have elements of her persona that remain unknown. A true artist in maintaining her poker face. However, compared to the rest of the album, “Enigma” is not as showstopping.
10. Plastic Doll
The subject of countless headlines and rumors, Gaga faces constant objectification. She’s previously commented on simultaneously being taken too seriously and not seriously enough, and with “Plastic Doll” she seeks to regain control over how she’s perceived. With a tongue-in-cheek Barbie metaphor, she discusses interchangeable pieces to her wardrobe and the view that she can always be a perfect version of herself for others.
9. 1000 Doves
The closest to a ballad on the album, “1000 Doves” is a beautiful song about seeing Gaga as she is, a human with flaws. For over a decade, fans around the world have relied on her music as a beacon of light, yet on the track, she insinuates their love is an uplifting necessity for her journey.
Gaga has always been open about her encounters with substances. “911,” a reference to an anti-psychotic the pop star takes regularly, is one of the more vulnerable tracks on the album. Euro-pop influenced and softly highlighted with industrial elements; the track discusses self-loathing feelings and provides an interesting view into Gaga’s otherwise private life.
7. Sour Candy w/ BLACKPINK
Effortless trendsetting made Gaga the untouchable artist of the early 2010s, but on “Sour Candy,” it feels like she’s adhering to a trend rather than creating one. Enlisting k-pop powerhouses, BLACKPINK, Mother Monster not only acknowledges the growing influence of the genre but also the implications of tapping into an extremely loyal fanbase of k-pop stans. Featuring Korean and English verses, the track zeroes in on not changing for any man, which feels obvious coming from these chart-topping women.
Album closer, “Babylon” is such a bop. From the rainforest samples and prehistoric biblical references to its mighty choir vocals and savory lyrics, the disco-infused, and piano-led track is delivered with conviction. Gaga confronts gossip and moving beyond something that once dominated her life.
5. Rain On Me w/ Ariana Grande
Arriving ahead of the album’s release, Gaga’s highly-anticipated collaboration with fellow pop superstar, Ariana Grande, exceeded all expectations. The song is a metaphor for the hardships both artists have experienced, perseverance, and dancing through it all. The rain is also a metaphor for using alcohol to numb pain. Contrasting Grande’s soaring vocals with robotic spoken word, Gaga concocts an amazing track. See our full track review of “Rain On Me” here.
Undeniably, “Replay” is one of the definitive hot tracks on Chromatica. Laden with nostalgic disco elements, a deep house heartbeat, and an unstoppable melody, the track lays a solid foundation for one of Gaga’s most intense vocal performances on the album. This is one you’ll definitely have on replay.
“Alice” opens the album in dramatic fashion before dropping into a delicious 90s beat. Adorned with shimmering synths and a thumping kick drum, it certainly sets a strong tone for Chromatica. In addition to lines about Alice in Wonderland, mental health, and belonging, the song features Gaga’s robotic voice which feels like a nod to the juxtaposition of human and futuristic cyborg felt throughout the album.
2. Free Woman
Known for creating some of pop music’s most anthemic tracks, “Free Woman” is a powerful battle cry. It sees Gaga asserting her independent strength while dropping exquisite verses such as “I’m not nothing without a steady hand / I’m not nothing unless I know I can / I’m still something if I don’t got a man / I’m a free woman.” YAS GAGA, SLAY MAMA.
1. Sine From Above w/ Elton John
Gaga’s long-awaited collaboration with mentor and close friend, Elton John, has proven to be one of her best. The track talks about the healing components of music while also serving as a healing and cleansing moment for fans. “Sine” is led by atmospheric trance-informed melodies, DnB drops, and the pair’s grandiose and perfectly complementary vocals. It’s an absolute shining moment on the album and quite experimental in comparison to some of the other tracks on Chromatica.
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