Lady Gaga's fifth and most anticipated album did not disappoint when it hit iTunes and stores everywhere this past Friday. Gaga showed a different side of her style with Joanne. Complete with 11 standard tracks and three extra bonus tracks, Joanne is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Here's a track by track breakdown of the album.
1. Diamond Heart
Standout lyric: "I might not be flawless, but you know I got a Diamond Heart."
Joanne starts off strong with this bombshell of a track. Gaga's vocal talent really shows in this song, and you can hear her raw talent. Fans can really tell how much Gaga's voice has grown since Cheek to Cheek, her jazz album with Tony Bennet, while regular radio listeners will be able to tell the stark difference between any song off of Joanne and "Poker Face" or even "Bad Romance". "Diamond Heart" has a certain pop/rock feel to it that's unlike anything Gaga has done before. "Diamond Heart" is really reflective on Gaga's early life before she became famous. With lines like "A cruel king made me tough. Daddy's girl's never good enough. I'll just keep go-go'n, cause this dance is on you" the song touches on Gaga's experience with an abusive boyfriend and her time as a go-go dancer in New York City.
Standout lyric: "Can't wait to get you shook up, faster than you can try to hate it ."
The third preview single from Joanne is probably the most fun song on the album. "A-YO" has an unmistakable dance beat woven with some elements of guitar that give the song a subtle country twang. When the song starts off with "Here we go!" you'd better be ready to go dance and sing along to this fantastic track.
Standout lyric: "Honestly, I know where you're goin', and baby, you're just movin' on, and I'll still love you even if I can't see you anymore. Can't wait to see you soar."
The title track to Joanne, named after Gaga's late aunt and namesake, hits right in the heart strings. The whole song was recorded in one sitting, giving the song a very acoustic and personally vibe. Gaga's passion and raw vocal talent really shine best in this song. Hands down, "Joanne" is the best song on the album.
4. John Wayne
Standout lyric: "Every John is just the same. I'm sick of their city games. I crave a real wild man. I'm strung out on John Wayne!"
While "Joanne" is the best song on the album, "John Wayne" is my personal favorite. This song calls fans attention and nostalgia back to "Mary Jane Holland" from Gaga's last album ARTPOP . "John Wayne" has a more country and rock feel then "Mary Jane Holland" but the unmistakable dance vibe is all unique to Gaga. This track promises to be a number one single and a fan favorite.
5. Dancin' in Circles
Standout lyric: "I'm singin' dancin' in circles, feels good to be lonely !"
"Dancin' in Circles" is probably my second favorite song off of the album. This is the song where we can really see the evolution of Gaga's voice. The intro and bridge evoke fans to recall how whispery and light Gaga's voice once was in The Fame (remember "Money Honey" and "Summerboy"?). Even the last verse reminds fans of her Fame Monster days. Gaga's voice drops in pitch and becomes more spoken word than singing, reminding us of "Teeth" and "Bad Romance".
6. Perfect Illusion
Standout lyric: "I still feel the blow, but at least now I know it wasn't love ."
Serving as Joanne's first single, "Perfect Illusion" ushered in the new era with a lot of fanfare and much love from fans. "Perfect Illusion" is the perfect song to have transitioned the world from Old Gaga to New Gaga, serving a purpose as a blend of her old style and how the rest of Joanne feels. "Perfect Illusion" still has some of the synth that previous Gaga albums were so heavy on while combining it with raw vocals that she showcases so well in this new album. Despite what fans may think, this song isn't about Gaga's recent split with her fiance Taylor Kinney, but instead, it is a love letter to fame and anyone who's been deceived by love.
7. Million Reasons
Standout lyric: "When I bow down to pray, I try to make the worst seem better. Lord, show me the way to cut through all his worn out leather ."
"Million Reasons" serves as the album's second single and star ballad. Personally, I feel this is Gaga's best ballad and one of my favorite songs off of the album. This song captures the passion and spirit of anyone who's been at a fork in their path of life. I find that this song will be one that everyone cries to during the Joanne world tour, or whenever you're feeling blue. Due to the slow, rhythmic beat of the song and universal lyrics, "Million Reasons" will be a favorite among all who come across it.
8. Sinner's Prayer
Standout lyric: "Hear my sinner's prayer. I am what I am, and I don't wanna break the heart of any other man but you."
Without a doubt, "Sinner's Prayer" is the most country-influenced song on the album. To me, it reminds me some old Loretta Lynn songs that my mom used to play, but with an unmistakable Gaga flair. Honestly, the whole vibe of this song fits the lyrics extremely well. The opening instrumentals take you to an old western saloon and a woman playing guitar up on stage. "Sinner's Prayer" is a stellar track not only in its lyrics and instrumentals but in how they blend together to create a perfect image inside your head.
9. Come to Mama
Standout lyric: "Oh, come tomorrow who are you gonna follow? There's gonna be no future if we don't figure this out ."
This song is probably the most applicable to society in America right now. Gaga carries the tune over various lyrics that speak to the nature of what we've become. She tells us that we need to love each other in order to have a future as a society. Gaga is no stranger to the world of social justice and speaking out against those trying to repress minorities. The songs swing vibe makes you want to go out on the street and hug your neighbors.
10. Hey Girl (feat. Florence Welch)
Standout lyric: "Hey girl, hey girl. We can make it easy if we lift each other. Hey girl, hey girl. We don't need to keep on one-in' up another."
Not only does this song combine two of the most iconic and powerhouse voices in today's music industry, but "Hey Girl" is the ultimate girl power anthem. It's slower, jazzier rhythm is unlike other girl power anthems makes it a standout not only on the radio, but also on the album."Hey Girl" is a whole new sound for Gaga, but it is unlike anything else on an album full of new vibes. The blend of Gaga and Welch's voices is an incredible sound that you just crave more of.
11. Angel Down
Standout lyric: "Shots were fired on the street by the church where we used to meet. Angel down, angel down, but the people just stood around ."
(Side note: the last bonus track on the album is an early work tape to this song, so there will only be 13 reviews, not 14).
Gaga wrote this song about Trayvon Martin and those other young African-Americans lost to gun violence. The songs focal point is around questioning what's happening in our country and where our faith has gone. The song's haunting instrumentals and lyrics make you sit back and question everything that's happened in recent American history. "Angel Down" is a shockingly sobering song that everyone needs to listen to and realize that this violence isn't about politics anymore. It's about morals and humanity.
12. Grigio Girls
Standout lyric: "Tough girls on the mend. So when I'm feeling small, I toss that cork and call . All the Pinot, Pinot Grigio girls pour your heart out watch your blues turn gold ."
"Grigio Girls" was written in honor of Gaga's longtime friend and manager Sonja Dunham, who announced she was battling breast cancer last year. This song is the ultimate friendship song. It makes you want to grab a bottle of wine (or beverage of choice) and call your best friend up and talk for hours. "Grigio Girls" is not only the cutest song on the album, but it's one every girl of any age can relate to.
13. Just Another Day
Standout lyric: "We both know I could learn a thing or two about behaving, but I love you and after all, it's just another day ."
Joanne's last track wraps the album up with a happy, carefree song about how we are all human and we just need to take every day as it comes. "Just Another Day" wraps the album up in a sunshiney feeling that makes you want to skip down the street with your friends. The song also combines the musical talents of Mark Ronson and Brian Newman in the instrumentals. "Just Another Day" stands on its own, but could be this album's "The Edge of Glory."
I hope that over the course of these 13 songs I was able to convince you to give Joanne a listen through. This album is a refreshing new era for Lady Gaga and her fans, and I cannot wait to see where this era leads us. Here's to finally getting LG5!