Lady Gaga is finally back! I cannot believe that it has been 3 years since she released her last solo album, ARTPOP, which definitely deserved more (positive) recognition than it did. With Joanne, it seems like she has stripped off all excesses, and put the focus back on her voice and music, and really let her artistry shine through.
To be honest, I was not really drawn to, or rather, I could not connect with, her first single, “Perfect Illusion,” even though I appreciate the raw-ness in the vocals and that it was not too over-produced. However, with “Million Reasons,” I thought I really need to get her album straight away! I do not want to stereotype her, but I believe she does really well with minimal accompaniment and a bit of restraint in her delivery, like what she has done on “Million Reasons.” The just released “A-YO” reminds me of “MANiCURE” off ARTPOP, which is not really a good or bad thing.
Elsewhere on the album, she also brings in several musical influences, such as country on “Sinner’s Pray”, one of the standout tracks of the album. On “Come to Mama,” she brings us back to the good ol’ days of big band music. On her duet with Florence Welch, “Hey Girl,” I am not quite sure if it really works firstly because two of their voices are so different – Welch’s voice really just “punches” through for me. That said, there are some nice bits and harmonies when Welch takes a back seat. Another song that really stood out for me was “Grigio Girls,” a rather motivational song, but also one that probably reflects on her life. This could potentially become an anthem for everyone who has been through a lot.
On the whole, this album is really worth listening to and I am really glad she made this record, especially after all that she has been through over the past few years. I am very sure her aunt Joanne will be very proud of this record! Once again, I am a fan.