When any renowned artist like Lady Gaga releases an album, it is always compared to their previous ones. Though The Fame Monster and Born This Way were defining factors in Gaga’s career as a pop star because of their audaciousness and Joanne due to its dissociation from her past work, considering it showcased her songwriter ability with deeper rooted lyrics, Chromatica, on the other hand, possesses something different.
After struggling post-traumatic events, such as recovering from addiction and being sexually assaulted by a music producer, Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is representative of perseverance, self identity and rehabilitation.
Gaga had big shoes to fill with the release of her newest project after winning an Oscar and a Grammy for her commendable work in A Star is Born, and it is safe to say she filled them. Chromatica allows Gaga to revisit her spunky, dance, pop-like personality after concealing her loved yet obscure self from the spotlight.
Chromatica opens with an interlude titled “Chromatica I” that carries a cinematic disposition as if it was the introduction to a musical or movie. The ending of the interlude also transitions into the next track perfectly, seeming as if the album is meant to be listened to as a whole, similar to how a movie is supposed to be watched in one sitting. “Chromatica II” and “III” are no exception. They, too, are dramatic and a satisfying indicator for how the next tune will begin.
The interludes are just another effective accessory to an already unified, thematic album. Chromatica is full of disco, electronic-like beats that are meant to be danced to so much so that Gaga even told Apple Music she was looking forward to her and others jamming to them. However, although all of the rhythms seem cheerful, not all of the meanings behind the lyrics are.
Gaga was able to do what many can’t by taking hardships she’s overcome and utilizing her triumph as ammunition to sing about those battles in an uplifting, hopeful manner. In the first track following the interlude, Gaga strategically sets the tone for the album with “Alice,” as she sings about falling down but continuing to search for Wonderland, which she has arguably found by the closing track, “Babylon,” where her message is that she values her own view of herself over others’ gossip and rumors. Gaga has sung about this topic before, in the intro of “Bad Kids” on the Born This Way album.
Most notably, Gaga also sings about being liberated after beginning to heal her wounds due to the sexual assault she experienced. “I no longer am going to define myself as a survivor, or a victim of sexual assault. I just am a person that is free, who went through some f***ed-up shit,” Gaga told Apple Music. The track is modern and the embodiment of modern feminism and the #MeToo movement.
Gaga’s dynamic vocals are most evident in “1000 Doves” where she sings “'Cause I've been flying with some broken arms / Lift me up, just a small nudge / And I'll be flying like a thousand doves.” The track is another that possesses honesty yet confidence that she will prevail and emerge stronger in light of the adversity she has had to conquer.
Lastly, Gaga’s endeavors of dealing with anxiety and conflicts between herself and her negative conscience in “Fun Tonight” is something many individuals relate to, but people often forget celebrities do, which is important to highlight.
Though Gaga doesn’t seem to have a track on the album that encompasses the caliber of some of her highly acclaimed songs, the album is fun, trusting and, most importantly, discusses relevant issues through something everybody can enjoy: lively music with praiseworthy vocals.