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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Lady Gaga silences critics

Apple Music/Interscope Records

The Gaga regime is once again blasting forward with the release ofJoanne.”

Following a dismal performance by her 2013 LP, “Artpop,” Lady Gaga and her global troupe of Little Monsters knew the release of the megastar’s fifth studio album would be most pivotal.

Purposefully and delicately crafted, the album projects itself as a musical mosaic citing multi-genre influence throughout its thirteen track voyage. Doubling as a modern pop album and a time machine, “Joanne” boasts inventive blends of the ’70s and ’80s pop to ’90s soft rock. In doing so, the collection places strict emphasis on hypnotic guitar riffs and piano-driven melodies.

Distancing herself from the dance-ready songs of her earlier work, “Joanne” has club-worthy tunes in lead single “Perfect Illusion” along with the spunky “A-YO.” The remainder of the album sacrifices the bodacious beats of current mainstream radio for emphatic storytelling by way of Gaga’s exclusive pop assemblage.

The standout tracks on “Joanne” thrive on the benevolent influences of Johnny Cash and Elton John. Most notably, Gaga shines on the country-esque confessional, “Sinner’s Prayer” closely followed by an indulgent duet with Florence Welch on “Hey Girl.”

Gaga’s keen experimentation is on full display in the thumping and synthetic allure of “John Wayne,” a melodramatic wish for the long lost cowboys of the West. Keeping listeners on their toes, Gaga’s fun continues through the stylish “Come to Mama” and conceptual “Grigio Girls.”

Although the ebullience of Gaga is prominent throughout the entirety of the album produced by Mark Ronson, a stark vulnerability is evident in various tracks.

Gaga delves into intimacy on the stripped down superlative track, named after the singer’s late aunt. She also confesses her societal observations on the hauntingly nuanced “Angel Down” calling, “Shots were fired on the street / By the church where we used to meet / Angel down, angel down / But the people just stood around.”

For most artists, the lack of unified and consistent sound on display throughout “Joanne” would signify nothing short of a disaster. However, Gaga’s resolute vocals placed at the forefront of each track seamlessly weave the project into its own unique form of solidarity.

While many have questioned the side effects of Gaga’s ingenuity, it’s evident the benefits far outweigh the risk, casting the spotlight on her invaluable presence in today’s artistic culture.

Rylee Pedotti can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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