By SAL GUTIERREZ, Ranger Reporter:
Lady Gaga stepped on to the scene eight years ago. She has gone from a girl who just wanted to dance, to a woman promoting social equality and an artist reshaping the concept of pop.
During late October, Gaga released her latest album, Joanne. It is a compilation of songs that do not seem to have anything in common, but according to Gaga, there is a reason.
The album has 14 tracks. Diamond Heart is the opener, a track written by Gaga and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme. The song introduces us to Gaga’s new form of pop, which mixes country, pop, western, punk, rock and a dose of retro. (We can thank Mark Ronson for the last part.)
A-yo is the second track in the album and the third single released since the album was launched. With simple lyrics but a good rhythm, Gaga tries to remind America that the country is still awesome and “A-yo we are smokin’ ‘em all.”
Joanne is the third song in the album and it’s (from my point of view) the one with the most personal lyrics. Here, Gaga sings about her aunt’s tragic death, and she gets increasingly emotional as the song goes on. Joane died of lupus at the age of 19, a decade before Stefani was born. (I don’t say Gaga, because she was born in 2008.)
Some of Joanne’s tracks offer trips to the past. “John Wayne”, with flashes of western, and “Come to Mama”, with a combination of group horns and harmonies, will remind you of The Supremes. “Sinner’s Prayer” is a well-told story about Gaga’s love deceptions in which her father John Misty throws in some bells and whistles to make a perfect combination between western and gospel.
Gaga has quite a few collaborations in this production that are fairly good. Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) joins a duet in “Hey Girl”, Mark Ronson (Uptown Funk) co-wrote 11 of the 14 tracks, Kevin Parker’s talent (Tame Impala) is included in club burner “Perfect Illusion”, and the list goes on and on.
In this album, Gaga gets rid of the wild outfits and auto-tune and makes use of what she learned from Tony Bennet in “Cheek to Cheek.” Her vocals are powerful, but even with everything in its favor, Joanne has had little airplay. Some of her fans might want to ask Gaga where she is going, and it seems that Gaga is been punished for becoming a great artist. Let’s not forget that the greatest hits and albums are not always the most popular. Time will tell if this is just Gaga’s latest costume or if we are witnessing who Stefani Germanotta truly is.
Lady Gaga will start “Dive Bar Tour”, a three-date tour along with Bud Light, to promote Joanne. To find concert locations, visit Bud Light’s Facebook Page.