Lady Gaga’s fourth album, Joanne is a fresh experience. You’ll still notice the immense songwriting talent of the Mother Monster, but it’s fresh in the respect that the songs are mostly personal.
You can feel it as she sings. In fact, the artist stated in an magazine interview, “You could ask me something personal about each song.”
Back then, her hits such as “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance” were aiming to tell a story to her audience. It worked well given that a lot of people could relate to the songs that elevated her popularity, not to mention her weird fashion sense. Note, however, that Gaga made ‘weird’ the ‘cool’ during her formative years.
In Joanne, it is as if Lady Gaga is bearing her soul. Her single “Perfect Illusion” is like an ode to one of her past relationships.
The music video is also much more simpler compared to all her previous works. Gone are the unusual outfits, with the singer wearing nothing but a simple shirt and denim shorts combo. There are no costume changes, grand set designs or strange scenes. For most of the video, Gaga sings and dances on the desert, seemingly losing herself at the thought of losing something precious. As the lyrics say, “It wasn’t love, it was a perfect illusion.”
In the song “Million Reasons”, Gaga sang her heart out again. The track has that country vibe about life’s hardships and the hurt of saying goodbyes is evident in her lyrical content.
Lady Gaga seemingly returned to her roots: the raw and true person before all the fame. A celebrity publication mentioned that it’s as if she was her old self again–before the artist adopted the moniker Lady Gaga and the music-lover that performed in dive bars all over the Lower East Side in NYC.
Joanne highlights Lady Gaga’s vocal prowess to new heights. There’s no doubt that she sings well–her Sound of Music tribute in the Oscars was widely praised, not to mention she has been selected to perform at the next Super Bowl. But as she sings in “Joanne,” intense emotions emerge all throughout, and that can draw out the emotions in listeners as well.
Music is, indeed, very powerful. In almost every aspect of life, it conveys feelings. The sounds people hear can influence moods or scenarios that we are placed in. It’s why songs that are easy on the ear are played in a hotel lobby or a fine dining restaurant–to promote relaxation. In movies, a post from a brass ensemble explained that music touches the emotion, the psyche and the things the audience cannot see. And for games, an infographic that focuses on gaming and music elaborated that music is a big factor in heightening the fun elements of the game as it enhances a player’s engagement. Certainly, powerful auditory elements make every experience richer and Lady Gaga is a master of all forms of touching on people’s emotions.
As such, artists can touch the lives or affect situations through the music that they create. Sometimes, however, it serves as a personal outlet and affects the artists themselves as well. It certainly comes across that way when you listen to Joanne.
In her previous works, she might’ve concentrated more on trying to impact the listeners through her catchy songs and bold outfits. This time around, however, Joanne is more about the real person behind Lady Gaga–the woman named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.