IS there anything more divisive in pop music at the moment than Lady Gaga?
At one point – just after releasing Bad Romance and The Fame Monster – she was the biggest music act in the world. But the shine quickly faded for many of her casual listeners, and by the time ARTPOP was released, she had lost the majority of her little monsters.
Many in the world (read: her gay fans) waited with bated breath for her to release new music for years. We watched hopefully as she skilfully conquered The Sound of Music medley, and then the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Our hopes got raised when she was nominated for an Oscar for Til It Happens To You, and won a Golden Globe for her performance in American Horror Story.
As word broke that Gaga was set to release her sixth album, speculation immediately began about whether it would be a successful comeback. The mainstream reaction to her first single Perfect Illusion was lukewarm and the release of the album was met with the expected disillusion and negativity we have come to expect from Gaga reviews.
The journalists here at the Star Observer decided to put together a list of how we felt about the new album. And it wasn’t bad.
Corey Sinclair, Editor
At the end of the day I love everything Gaga does. I even loved ARTPOP (Gypsy and Dope are two of her best songs ever, okay? Just her live.)
I was admittedly slightly disappointed with Joanne at first as I was expecting it to be her Back to Black, with Mark Ronson producing the album. But the truth is Gaga will never be lyricist Amy Winehouse was so I was just setting myself up for failure.
Unlike most Gaga fans who are mostly here for her dance tracks, I am all about her ballads – which Joanne delivers in spades.
Fave tracks: Million Reasons, Joanne, John Wayne
Shannon Power, Senior & NSW Reporter
Throw away the receipt bitch, because I’m buying it!
In the space of 12 songs Gaga has affirmed her musical fearlessness, launching into a risky but perfectly blended mix of country music, and heaps of other musical genres.
Subtly derivative and immaculately produced, the batshit vocal arrangements and epic key changes make for a deliriously exciting romp of an album.
Joanne works best when Gaga is not trying too hard to be country – see: A-Yo (sorry y’all) and John Wayne – and allows the songs to be infused naturally with her touch of pop genius.
Fave tracks: Diamond Heart, Come to Mama, Perfect Illusion and Hey Girl. Actually the whole damn album.
Matthew Wade, Victoria Reporter
I’m not usually one for dramatic statements, but Lady Gaga has just blessed the world with an instant classic.
Her production and writing is flawless and emotive, and her vocals give you a high that MDMA never could (or MDNA for that matter – sorry Madge).
Plus, any album with a sex-positive song about masturbation gets my highly sought after tick of approval.
Joanne can now safely sit among the other greats that revolutionised pop music like Paris Hilton’s debut album and anything by Lindsay Lohan ever.
Fave tracks: Diamond Heart, A-Yo, Dancin’ in Circles, Grigio Girls
Jess Jones, Queensland Reporter
Joanne is by turns poppy, folky, and glam. The album isn’t as big and over-the-top as Artpop, but Gaga’s voice is as big and ballsy as ever.
Her diverse new genre-straddling collection is a well-executed departure from what we’ve heard before. I’m a creature of habit, though, and I love Gaga the most when she’s at her pop-disco best.
Fave tracks: A-YO, Perfect Illusion