Lady Gaga released her latest single this morning - a cacophonous whirlpool of guitars, synths and audacious key change. The opening verse leaves you in little doubt that this is catharsis for the singer/songwriter following her recent split from fiancé, actor Taylor Kinney.
Gaga pours despair, atypical post-break up fury and all her feels into the track. It's the familiar trope that polarises her as an artist. She's a bit bonkers and, while few would question her commitment, her authenticity has often been up for debate. That said, there’s something more at play here. The lyrics are punchy, with hints of melancholy, and her vocal suggests someone trying to claw their way through the quicksand of heartbreak.
Aurally speaking, it's a moderate departure from her failed 2013 album ‘ArtPop’ with edges that are slightly more jagged (the artwork would indicate the latest incarnation is rock chick-chic). From a production point of view, producer Mark Ronson’s influence is apparent but not overwhelming, while the addition of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker and Blood Pop as co-producers is slightly surprising, but a fairly winning combination with elements from each of their signature sounds bumping heads like dodgems.
Overall it is a bit of patchwork quilt of styles but a successful one.
Perfect Illusion is out now on all platforms.