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Chromatica: Gaga’s Best Album?

If you missed the VMA’s and all of Lady Gaga’s incredible wins, here's a recap; Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Cinematography, and the Tricon Award! Not to mention the eclectic fashion characteristic of Lady Gaga, with a variety of masks to go along with. I thought it might be time to revisit and review Chromatica, Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album, which came out on May 29. 


Chromatica is split into three parts, with musical interludes introducing each section of songs.  Chromatica I contains "Alice", "Stupid Love", "Rain on Me", "Free Woman", and "Fun Tonight". Chromatica II contains "911", "Plastic Doll", "Sour Candy", "Enigma", and "Replay". Chromatica III has "Sine from Above", "1000 Doves", and "Babylon". Each part has a different vibe; Chromatica I is cinematic while Chromatica III is all about understanding and revelation. You can read Gaga’s notes for the tracks on Spotify to see what each section of songs means to her. 


I think my favorite part of the album is that it's like classic Lady Gaga. Some of the songs feel like they could be on Born This Way or Artpop, and a lot of them carry such a fun, upbeat pop sound that makes you want to dance. Having seen Gaga the year prior to her more toned-down era for A Star is Born, this feels like a refreshing change of pace, reminiscent of the Gaga that we all know and love. 


The collaborations with other artists on Chromatica are all excellent and really make the album. “Rain on Me” (with Ariana Grande) is a fun pop song with a music video to match (most of Gaga’s wins at the VMA’s are from this video). Gaga and Ariana’s voices are both incredible and sound great together on this song and it makes me excited for (hopefully) future collaborations and songs together. 


“Sour Candy” with all-girl K-pop group BLACKPINK is probably my favorite song on the album. Gaga’s deeper voice on the bridge (“I’m hard on the outside but if you give me time….”) contrasted with higher voices of BLACKPINK on the chorus (“I’m sour candy, so sweet than I get a little angry…”) sound great and the Korean lyrics on the song add to the experience. 


"Sine from Above" with legendary singer Elton John is great. While the two have been friends for years, this is their first collaboration together. It’s one of the slower songs on Chromatica but still has a grand vibe to it. Like the other collaborations, their voices mesh really well and the song has interesting messages of waiting for signs from heaven and fits with the revelation theme of Chromatica III.


While Chromatica may have been delayed by COVID, I’m so glad it was released because it does not disappoint. With its electro-pop sound, it goes back to Gaga’s roots and creates a fun-filled musical experience. I’m excited to see what Gaga does next.

Ashmita Shanthakumar is a student at the University of Utah pursuing a BA in English and Political Science. She is the Politics & Entertainment News Correspondent for HC Utah for 2020-21. When she's not writing you can find her watching old movies, petting friendly cats, and talking about superheroes.
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