Lady Gaga is one of our favorite Badass Women, and she is finally back with her new album, Chromatica. This is one of many energetic pop releases to keep us going through 2020, and for Lady Gaga, it is a much welcome return to EDM and pop music, something she hadn’t explored since Artpop in 2013.
Chromatica is full of songs that are meant for the club and the dance floor—places we can’t go to at the moment, but the album makes it feel like we’re there, even if we’re just dancing alone in our rooms pretending to be in Gaga’s cyberpunk aesthetic. All the tracks seamlessly flow into each other, almost scarily so, with short instrumental transitions here and there between songs about being a “Free Woman” and dancing through the pain. Gaga did not shy away from the fact that she inserted many of her personal struggles and fears into this album, also acknowledging the healing that others need now.
“Stupid Love”, the first single off the album, was released in late February, signaling Gaga’s official return to the pop scene. Chromatica was originally set to be released on April 10th but was delayed due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaga took the time to shift her focus towards doing what she could to help—raising more than $100 million towards COVID relief with her One World virtual concert.
Gaga then released the second single, “Rain On Me”, featuring none other than Ariana Grande. Although it was a shock at first to hear that these two singers would be collaborating, as many wondered how the two could possibly fit together in a single song, the outcome surpassed expectations. The lyrics talk about finding comfort in the good things that will come once hard times pass. Gaga explains, “This is about an analogy of tears being the rain. And you know what it’s also a metaphor for, is the amount of drinking that I was doing to numb myself. I’d rather be dry. I’d rather not be drinking, but I haven’t died yet… This song has many layers.”
Speaking of layers, then came the much-anticipated third single, “Sour Candy”, Blackpink, the highest-charting female K-pop act on Billboard. On the surface, the song takes a sultry turn, but when you unwrap the lyrics, it’s about being more complex than that—having emotions ranging from sweet to sour and beyond. When speaking about working with the badass girl group, Gaga said, “they love powerful women like us, and they also wanted to celebrate me, and we had a great time together with this song” and added, “I was excited to hear them interpret the song in Korean, and told them that the part was so creative and fun.”
Yes, while admittedly it would be amazing to have an album full of even more collabs with other powerful, badass women in music—the album’s only flaw—this does not detract from Chromatica giving fans and casual listeners alike some much-needed energy.
With everything being released by female pop icons this year, 2020 might indeed be for women in music. But Lady Gaga also reminds us to give our love and energy back to the world to inspire positive change, and that is exactly what we will do.