Cast your minds back to 2010, when Lady Gaga hit the road in support of ‘The Fame Monster’ with a full arena tour so intricate and detailed that it included a fully functional subway car, a dress which moved of its own accord, and a gigantic angler fish-style monster. And for her, that level of production didn’t even feel too out of the ordinary. Theatrics and excess have always been a real cornerstone for Gaga as a pop icon and, after her more recent work, the emergence of ‘Chromatica’ - both her sixth album proper, and a new planet inhabited by neon-clad Kindness Punks - feels exhilarating. A return to form in more ways than one, ‘Chromatica’ sees Gaga turning back to the electro-pop dance floor which inspired her earliest hits and restyling it for a 2020 audience. From the seductive house beats of ‘Replay’ to the maximalist addictiveness of lead single ‘Stupid Love’, it’s a record packed to the brim with euphoric beats and sizzling grooves. It’s also one of her most honest and open records yet; ‘Free Woman’ is a 90s-indebted reclamation of female identity, ‘911’ sees her talking of antipsychotic medication, while the Ariana Grande-featuring ‘Rain On Me’’s refrain of “I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive” feels like a powerful statement of vulnerability. Proving that pop can indeed be personal - an internal battle her infamous Ally of A Star Is Born faced throughout her ascent - ‘Chromatica’ goes some way to show that integrity and high octane pop songs can, of course, still inhabit the same space. Infectious, exciting and even a little hedonistic during some of the most confusing of modern times, now’s never been a better time to get lost in this new destination.
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