LADY Gaga has recently become something of a Renaissance woman. She has tried her hand at a variety of things including modelling, acting, activism and even cook-book writing. So far she’s been successful at all of them and Joanne is the perfect example of the talent-fluidity Gaga possesses, both as an artist and a performer.
The album spans incredibly different genres, from Gaga’s trademark vibrant dance-pop to ‘70s disco and even swaggering country rock songs. Surprisingly this seemingly insane mash-up of genres works cohesively together on most of the album with songs like ‘John Wayne’, ‘Diamond Heart’ and ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ being stand out tracks.
The only disappointing track of the album is the over-hyped but underwhelming duet with Florence Welch entitled ‘Hey Girl’ which attempts a throwback to ‘70s disco groove that unfortunately flops because of poor lyrics and general dullness.
As part of her discography, Joanne is the best showcase of Gaga’s incredible vocal range of all of her five albums. Her classically trained voice shines, especially on ‘Perfect Illusion’ — a questionable choice for lead single of the album — even mastering challenging key changes, proving that Lady Gaga is much more than processed pop music, as many have assumed.
The producers, writers and instrumentalists who worked on the album speak volumes about Gaga’s more serious intentions for Joanne as a record. Mark Ronson, Josh Homme and Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker are just some of the notable names featured.
Overall, Joanne is a decent album that raises questions from the listener. What next from Gaga? Can she maintain a consistent fan base when she herself doesn’t seem to know what kind of artist she is?
In A Nutshell: This is the record Taylor Swift would make if she had the balls.