Gaga introduces unique sound in album ‘Joanne’


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Lady Gaga performing at the 2016 Super Bowl.

By Audrey Fisher, Round Table photo editor

From meat-filled costumes to smooth jazz music, Lady Gaga has truly done it all.

Her first album, “The Fame”, was released in the summer of 2008 and was immediately a hit. She was able to do what nobody else could and took her music to a whole new level. Not only was she able to catch the world’s attention through her amazing vocals, but also through the things she did. She made ten-foot-long wigs, and no shoes at award shows became a daring trend. She never faltered from her image of truly being a one-of-a-kind popstar.

Which is why her newest album, “Joanne”, is rather surprising. The cover of the album looks similar to other pop artists’ current album art, especially Halsey’s newest album, “Badlands”. “Badlands” has a side profile image of Halsey herself while following the color patterns of pastel pinks and blues. The album cover of “Joanne” is almost identical to this. We see a side profile image of Lady Gaga, while there is an identical color scheme of pastel pinks and blues.

Once you begin to listen to some of Gaga’s newest songs, you see only a few resemble the past sound of her hit singles, especially the ones featured on “Born This Way”. However, her last album, “Cheek to Cheek”, sounds nothing of the sorts and is primarily jazz.

“Joanne” has a very negative connotation. Though some of the songs are very upbeat, the lyrics portray a deeper meaning, primarily one of uniting as a whole. Some even speak of loss and feeling a lack of self-worth.

The first song, “Diamond Heart”, has a thumping beat while speaking about one’s flaws and not being good enough. Throughout the song, Gaga repeats the lyrics, “I’m not flawless but I’ve got a diamond heart”, showing the internal struggles one faces when they are not the cookie-cutter image of a “good girl.” It sounds much like a song Lana Del Rey would release, especially in the slow undertone of the song. The song is a good way to start the album, as it ends upbeat and remains catchy throughout.

On the other hand, “Joanne” is a very upsetting song. Though it has an upbeat tune, upon listening to what Gaga is saying, the true meaning is revealed. The song speaks not only of someone leaving, but sounds almost as if Gaga is accepting the death of someone close to her and beginning to move on. It ends very calmly, almost giving the listener a sense of closure.

“Perfect Illusion” sounds more like what we are familiar with from Lady Gaga, sounding especially like her song “Americano” from her first album. But, it does have the dark meaning of being tricked by someone romantically and repeats the lyrics, “It wasn’t love” through and through. This song is already playing on radio stations and is beginning to climb the “Top 40 Hits” done weekly with Ryan Seacrest.

“Million Reasons” is another song that is surprising coming from Gaga. The song is very sad and down, talking about all of these reasons she is willing to leave because of while begging for one to stay.

One of the most surprising songs on this album, though, is “Sinner’s Prayers”. Though the song is amazing, it sounds almost country-like. The song is all about asking for forgiveness and trying to get someone back, all while debunking the power of love. This song sounds much like a song that you would hear from Miranda Lambert or Carrie Underwood and was a bit surprising.

Lastly, “Come to Mama” is a song especially about uniting as a whole. The opening verse of this song fully portrays these ideals, saying, “Everybody’s got to love each other / Stop throwin’ stones at your sisters and your brothers / Man, it wasn’t that long ago we were all living in the jungle / So why do we gotta put each other down / When there’s more than enough love to g-g-go around?” Throughout the song, this is portrayed as Gaga sings almost as if she wants to take away the hurt from everyone around her. It is a truly amazing song, and definitely a turning point for Gaga.

The album has many more amazing songs, but these are some of the ones that stand out the most. Though Lady Gaga’s music is starting to sound a lot like other artists who are popular these days, it’s a surprising improvement. From being an extreme pop singer to singing slow jazz, Gaga truly has showcased all of her talents, and this album is nothing less than a masterpiece.