Lady Gaga is one of the most talented artists of our generation. She has vocal skills, acting skills, charisma and a fashion sense quite like no other. We have seen Gaga dominate the charts and be a pop icon and now with her newest album Joanne we see Lady Gaga tell the world that she no longer cares what we think of her. She is now making music for her family, herself and her fans. Guess what Gaga! I am here for every moment of it. Joanne is an amazing album that gets very deep and personal into Lady Gaga’s life and it also speaks on many social issues. I am not a music critic but this is my track by track review of Lady Gaga’s masterpiece Joanne.
Track One: "Diamond Heart"
This is an awesome song where Lady Gaga's voice soars on top of an electric beat. The song has a very deep meaning when you stop and listen to it. The speaker in the song is talking about her challenge overcoming rape. Gaga sings, “Some asshole broke me in, wrecked all my innocence…” Then the singer let's her rapist know that she will overcome. She says she will keep going and just like that this song becomes an anthem for rape victims who seek to overcome their past. The song is beautifully written and executed very well. I personally rate this song 10/10. Give it a listen!
Track Two: "A-YO"
This country influenced song isn't the typical Lady Gaga we are used to. This Gaga is her own woman now. The song has the tone and sound of a Carrie Underwood song or maybe Miley Cyrus's “4x4”. It has the ability to take a person like me who doesn't like country music at all and make me love it. Gaga sings in a way her fans haven't really heard her sing before. She hollers at the top of her lungs but it works. You get the feeling that you're at the cowboy show and the cow girl is performing her song. It's a pretty interesting choice of style for Lady Gaga but that's what makes it amazing. 8/10
Track Three: "Joanne"
The title track on the album is a beautiful ballad about Lady Gaga's late aunt. This song is beautiful because it strips down to just the music and Gaga as she sings to her beloved aunt in honor of her father. Being a Lady Gaga fan this song is deep because we know the impact losing her aunt had on her father and their family. Joanne is also Lady Gaga's middle name. This track is not for the radio, it is much more personal than that. This track is for true music lovers who just want to reflect on someone they love who may not be here anymore. 10/10
Track Four: "John Wayne"
This song is similar to “A-YO” but it is even better in my opinion. It screams country rock! It slows down and speeds up just like a roller coaster. Fittingly, when you get into it is over just like a damn roller coaster. This song is more like an edgy interlude than an actual song but hey whatever I dig it! 9/10
Track Five: "Dancin’ in Circles"
This song is one of my favorites on the album. This is definitely a standout track on the album. It's upbeat and eccentric just like the Lady Gaga we know and love but it effortlessly fuses with her new country rock sound. This is one of the few radio friendly songs on the album. It literally has everything. Perfect music, soaring vocals and a touch of Gaga's hit making magic. 10/10 Broke my scale.
Track Six: "Perfect Illusion"
The first single off the album was “Perfect Illusion” and it may almost be perfect but it isn't an illusion. This song is loud and rowdy but in a good way! Gaga sings about a love affair that seemed perfect at first until true colors came out. Her voice spins over a beautiful electric beat and pop influenced rhythm. This song is a perfect rage song for you and your friends to rock out too. It is also a standout song because it is not what you would expect from Lady Gaga but now you've learned that she's unpredictable. 10/10
Track Seven: "Million Reasons"
Gaga sings her heart out on this track. This song is a beautiful stripped down song where Gaga sings over a simple guitar about a romance that is falling apart. She has a million reasons to go but she needs just one good reason to stay. There isn't much to say but this is a song that rivals Adele. Soaring vocals and beautiful lyrics. 9/10
Track Seven: "Sinner’s Prayer"
This song has a very sinister feel to it but you can't help but enjoy it because Lady Gaga sounds good singing anything. The slowed down melody of this song makes it easy to remember and once again vocals glide over the track making it sweet and irresistible. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but I definitely feel it shows Gaga's vocal range and it is worth a try. 7/10
Track Eight: "Come to Mama"
This is a great song for inspiring world peace. This song focuses on issues going on world wide. She sings about people fighting over ideas. About religion versus science. She is asking us to make peace in this world. Think of Mariah Carey’s “There’s Got to Be A Way”. There are beautiful vocals and inspirational lyrics about world peace and us all coming together. Honestly, I feel this type of song is needed yet over done. Either way it's a pretty good song to listen too. 7/10
Track Nine: "Hey Girl" (feat. Florence Welch)
This song is a beautiful pop song where Gaga and Florence and the Machine's Florence Welch sing a powerfully feminist song about women uplifting each other. Their voices sound phenomenal together as they exchange a dialogue between the two about working together and lifting each other up. This song also doubles as a best friend anthem and it has an underlying theme about bystander intervention. There is a part where Gaga sings:
“Help me hold my hair back
Walk me home ‘cause I can't find a cab
And we danced the Bowery
Held hands like we were 17 again
And then it's 4 a.m.
The sun is creepin' up again
Don't you leave me
Oh darling don't you leave me”
This is a very important topic to me as a college student with girl friends who can be in the same situation. Gaga agrees it is important to intervene. Give this song a chance it is one of the best on the album. 10/10 #bms
Track Eleven: "Angel Down"
Wow… This album has many powerful songs on it but this one takes the cake. “Shots were fired on the street by the church where we used to meet. Angel down, angel down. But the people just stood around.” Gaga sings about the victims who have fallen to police brutality. She recently dedicated this song to Trayvon Martin, who was one of the first deaths and the spark that started the black lives matter movement. The song is sang in a sorrowful tone but it has very woke lyrics. Gaga asks, “Where are our leaders?” This song is my absolute favorite on the album. I love track five too but there is something in the sincerity and hurt in Gaga's voice that makes this song enchanting. 1000000/10 Scale completely destroyed.
Track Twelve: "Grigio Girls" (Bonus Track)
This song is a fun song about a group of women who get together and drink Pinot Grigio. It's fast paced and it is very relatable. It cools the album down from the previous string of serious songs. I really love this song because let's be honest everyone could use a glass of wine every now and then. 9/10
Track Thirteen: "Just Another Day" (Bonus Track)
This song is a bluesy bop. It's actually kind of familiar to Gaga fans because it's a sound she's played with in the past. It's another song, nothing exciting about it. Gaga vocals are beautiful as usual. 7/10
Track Fourteen: "Angel Down" (Work Tape Version) (Bonus Track)
What can I say? It's beautiful in a different way than the album version. It's more raw and her vocals are more pure. (If that is even possible) It's astonishing what this woman can emotionally convey with her voice. A hell of a way to end an album! 10/10