Lady Gaga has invited us all to “Chromatica” with her highly-anticipated album which dropped last week. It has been quite the journey waiting to go to Chromatica after a delay and weeks of listening to Stupid Love on repeat but thankfully we Kindness Punks have finally arrived at our destination.
I have been a Little Monster ever since Poker Face, Lady Gaga has been one of my favourite artists for quite a while. I admire her for a number of reasons and I love how versatile her music is. It’s never the same, consistently changing and I love that. Every era is distunguishable and Chromatica is no different. Going into her first single, Stupid Love, I was curious to see where she would go next. It took me a few listens to really get into that song and the same goes for her recent single, Rain On Me. It’s interesting because at first, I wasn’t sure but now I’m obsessed with them. In both cases, it was the music video that really sold me on the songs themselves and I was worried that the audio alone wouldn’t be enough but I’m happy to report that this trip to Chromatica was not only exciting and memorable but also a trip worth taking.
Lady Gaga brings Chromatica to life not only as an album but as an experience. The entire concept of Chromatica works visually as much as it does auditory. Gaga has clearly envisioned an entire aesthetic for this world and she wants the music to reflect it. Everything from the three gorgeous interludes to the music videos for Stupid Love and Rain On Me. I like to think that they take place on different parts of Chromatica (the place) and I really hope we get more visuals because the aesthetic for this album is pure Gaga. The whole album gives me Toonami meets dystopian Sailor Moon with a hint of Alita: Battle Angel. I love the bonus treats like the weather forecast for Chromatica on Amazon’s Alexa or the weather forecast short Gaga and Grande filmed. She made sure to make this era go beyond an album and it paid off. This look and feel gives the album a sense of cinematic scope which I personally loved.
I have listened to the entire album many times by now and listening to it over and over again really helped establish my opinion on it all. There were definitely some standouts on my first listen like “Alice”, “Replay” and “911” but listening to it unfold for the first time was a bit draining since it is so goddamn energetic. This is a true dance pop/techno album, every track makes you want to get up and move. That being said, there were certain tracks which didn’t feel special, sonically. Tracks like “1000 Doves” and “Plastic Doll” took a long time to grow on me and even now, I’m not necesarrily rushing to play them. They didn’t sound different from the rest of the album and felt a bit throw-away, sonically again. Lyrically, Gaga crafts a gorgeous album with deep, personal lyrics which honestly shocked me because I would have never thought Chromatica sounds like the type of album to put these songs in but it works. Gaga even said that Chromatica is how she sees the world and with lyrics in songs like “Free Woman”, “Rain On Me” and “Sine From Above”, it’s made very clear.
To me, Chromatica is an album which I had to listen to more than once to really appreciate and also get into the tracks. While I enjoyed my first listen, I have to admit that this style of pop isn’t necessarily my favourite. On that note, it’s very hard to let the beat and production move you. I definitely enjoyed Chromatica more on my first listen that I did with Artpop. I have seen some people compare the two and I honestly don’t see the resemblence. The themes are different and while there are some similar motifs in the instrumentals, I would say that they are two completely different eras. Seeing how that album came out in 2013, it’s very interesting seeing how different Gaga’s music has been. Joanne and A Star Is Born are very different from Gaga’s usual sound is and I feel Chromatica is a celebration of a bit of every era. I can hear Joanne’s deep lyrics, The Fame’s pop motifs, Artpop’s crazy instumentals in some songs and Born This Way’s retro instumentals in other songs. That being said, Chromatica stands strong on it’s own.
Overall, Chromatica is an album which I definitely appreciate and love the more I listen to it. While the style of pop isn’t my favourite, the songs have all grown on me. I don’t know where I would rank this album and era yet but I can tell it’s going to be one that I will keep coming back to for a good time.
Ranking Of Songs
3. Chromatica I / Alice
4. Fun Tonight
5. Free Woman
6. Rain On Me
6. Chromatica II / 911
7. Sour Candy
9. Stupid Love
10. Chromatica III / Sine From Above
11. Plastic Doll
12. 1000 Doves
Chromatica is available to experience anywhere music can be experienced. It is available on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon and more. You can also experience Chromatica physically as a CD, cassette and Vinyl from the Lady Gaga store along with many Chromatica-themed merch so pack your bags and let’s go cuz I’ll sure as hell be revisiting.