Features, Tracks

Has Gaga Finally Perfected the Art of Illusion?


Stop. Take a step back. Give “Perfect Illusion” a second to ruminate before jumping to any conclusions the Internet won’t let us take back.

Here we are now: it’s been 5 days, 3 hours, 53 minutes, 29 seconds and counting since Gaga dropped her new single. What’s happening? There’s a lot of distress over Gaga’s many transitions after her exit from her own self-created path to pop. Many little monsters were lost in the battle of Gaga and Tony Bennett as she progressed to her jazz era. Now some of us are losing faith in her ability to stay in one lane. From one angle, I can see why this is a recurring theme: Gaga’s bouncing back and forth gives off, to even the most radical monsters, a sense of lacking stability in the industry.

I can’t tell, personally, whether or not I like this vibe she’s going for. I can say I connected to some of her earlier work that wasn’t considered “pop” to be exact; my most beloved song of hers being “You and I” from the boundary-breaking Born This Way. To me, there’s a big connection between what I loved about “You and I” vs. what I’m finding myself liking about “Perfect Illusion” (of course, this being after listening to it 8,500 times).

The basic feedback from a general percentage of “Perfect Illusion” listener’s is 1. It’s new, 2. It’s not bad, and 3. It’s also not the best, as we are used to expecting. For some of us, this single isn’t love. It’s really more of an illusion. In contrast to most of the Lady’s love-derived power pop songs, some of us felt like the energy wasn’t as fluid or strong as where she started from. Mistaken for love? C’mon Gaga, we know you’re not easily swayed.

A main theme that hasn’t changed is the fact that “Perfect Illusion” is more so a song about ecstasy than romance. The Lady herself is quoted saying, “So this song is about raging against it and letting it go. It’s about wanting people to re-establish that human connection.”

Where will she take us next? Who knows? Gaga, we’ll still be here waiting, wherever you take us (but we’re begging you to take us back to those pop anthems and mind-blowing ballads)! Give it to us, G! WE WANT MORE! Just maybe a little less elusive and more the Lady we fell for.  

September 14, 2016

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Cevenly Writer, editor, yoga teacher. Creator of worlds through words. Soon to be LA It-Girl.

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