LADY GAGA releases new single “PERFECT ILLUSION”

With Gaga it’s always something new.

With The Fame and The Fame Monster it was the insertion of a monstrous oddity into the mainstream, whereby the polished and slick women of pop were usurped by the strange and shocking , pretty blonde girl who refused to play into her predictable beauty. Then with Born This Way it was the salvation of pop music when it seemed like things had petered out completely – introducing melodies worth hearing back into a scene in the midst of the massive dire strait that was 2011. Then in 2013, keeping only her voice around as a common thread between that album and the last, came ARTPOP – the “rebellious“electronic dance record which served as the unexpected turn for a songstress now at the top of the charts. Which, while not really clinching the soul factor as well as BTW, was still a pretty okay situation. And now, her new single “Perfect Illusion” pitches its tent with an – again – unpredicted edge making it, at least, worth talking about.

Pushing in amongst the slosh on the radio – the non-music that is Selena Gomez, the cultural bowel movement that is Meghan Trainor – this song boldly denies the state of things,  presenting a barely-polished mix of sound (with Rock ‘n Roll elements to boot) that, if not anything else, is at least bold. She has produced yet another single which refuses to be ignored. But, this time, I don’t think it’s for the right reasons because this is the weakest single she has ever released. Period.

Yes, it’s rebellious and yes, it’s raw. But, it’s underwhelming, not offering much in the way of lyrical content. It’s one attempt at a hook that’s beaten to death in the space of a short run. Whereas normally Gaga gives the listener something to hang onto, there really isn’t much going on here. It sounds like a half-formed idea, a wish that wasn’t quite granted. It sounds like a rough run, a pitch to run past a producer as a quick draft – not the single you put on the radio and ask people to pay for. I think that for the first time we’re seeing the bad side of Gaga’s contrarianism. In a move which, like before, was made to juxtapose the currents norms of the mainstream, Gaga went with a completely unpolished sound which let go of the now-tending abuse of studio work – pitch correction, volume control. A move which didn’t pay off and instead resulted in a track not worth raving about. The bonus track on the Japanese release. The track you skip (here’s looking at you “Jewels ‘n Drugs”).

But, that being said, perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps this is the first track of a masterpiece album that’ll once again dissect things in the way she tends to do – not in a way that music snobs tend to rave about, but in a way that gets the commuter, the teen Top40 pirate talking.

So, I guess it’s a waiting game. Here’s to hoping that there’s proof in the elusive pudding that will be LG5.

In the meantime, listen to the “Perfect Illusion” below:



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