Lady Gaga announces big-name collaborations for new album
30 June 2020
Lady Gaga has reached the stage of her career where she can safely be referred to as a legend. She may no longer be the young Nihilistic hedonist that she once was, but with a string of dance-floor fillers under her belt, millions of single and album sales on her resume and an acting career that seems to be going from strength to strength it seems that she’s finally done what she set out to do from the start - replaced Madonna. She might have started life as a Madonna copyist according to some - including Madonna herself - but she’s arguably had more success in acting than Madonna ever did. Despite that success, though, music is still her first love - and she had big news to share with the music world last week. We already knew she had a new album on the way, but it sounds like this new album will be nothing like any of her previous work.
At the time of writing, we're currently in the longest period without a new Gaga album since her career began in 2008. There were three years between her fifteen-million-selling debut album 'The Fame' and its follow up 'Born This Way,' to between that and 2013's 'Artpop,' and only one between that and 'Cheek to Cheek,' which was a collaborative album with crooner Tony Bennett. Two years later she released 'Joanne,' which disappointingly sold only one million copies worldwide, and since then, there's been radio silence from her on a musical front while she's been focused on acting. That period has now come to an end, though. We don't know exactly when this year her new album 'Chromatica' will land, but we do know it's coming before the end of 2020 - and all the tracks have already been recorded.
Perhaps inspired by her work with Tony Bennett on 'Cheek to Cheek,' Gaga has reached out to some of her big-name contacts in the music world for assistance with this new album, and as a result, she's been able to bring us some star-studded collaborations. British legend Elton John - who is in the midst of a very, very long 'retirement tour,' has made the cut, as has Ariana Grande. Showing that Gaga still has her finger on the pulse in terms of what's hot and fresh, she's also linked up with BLACKPINK, a South Korean girl group, for another track on the album. Whether any of the songs will become singles remains to be seen - but it would be a waste of some of the names if they didn't.
By attaching two huge global names plus a big-selling Korean act on the album, it seems that Gaga's focus is on selling to as wide an audience as possible. It's almost like a line-up on an UK online slots, where so long as all the right symbols are in all the right places, you're guaranteed to make money. Perhaps metaphors like this are the best ones to use for Gaga's career - given that she rose to fame on the back of the hit single 'Poker Face,' she belongs to the world of casinos and online slots! It's a surprise we haven't seen her take that connection a step further already. Many musical legends of the past and some of her peers have official games available at online slots websites as another way of marketing their music. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Gaga join their number in the future.
Based on the response to the announcement from the world's press so far, it seems to be the collaboration with Elton John that's provoked the most excitement. Gaga and Elton have known each other socially for years, and memorably performed a live duet of 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' on the Sunset Strip several years ago. Elton is a huge fan of the singer's work and has even defended her from Madonna’s repeated attacks in the press - a habit which is believed to have cost him his lifelong friendship with Madonna. Their track on the album is called 'Sine from Above' - a title that seems to contain a math pun, although with Gaga involved, it could turn out to be anything. Her collaboration with Ariana Grande - which should also attract enormous attention when it's released - is called 'Rain On Me.' BLACKPINK has performed on a song called 'Sour Candy.'
As of the time of writing, there have been no preview clips of the album released, and so we have no way of knowing what kind of sound Gaga might be going for on her sixth album. We do, however, have a little news on the strange title she's chosen. As far as Gaga's concerned, planet Earth is canceled. She's bored of living with the rest of us, and so she's moved to her own world, and Chromatica is its name. That's a grand concept, and so it might follow that this turns out to be a concept album - although Gaga has also said that the themes of healing and bravery were also important to her when she was writing the album tracks. She's understood to have written these songs during a difficult time in her life, and she used the writing process as a method of recovery.
All in all, when you factor in the collaborations, the fact that the album is apparently set on an alien planet, and the theme of redemption for a performer whose sales have been dwindling in recent years, this sounds like it could be a rollercoaster ride. Concept albums have a tendency to divide the crowd, and so there's always the potential for them to spectacularly backfire - but would this really be a Lady Gaga album if it wasn't divisive and challenging? The biggest female name in music is coming back in 2020 in an attempt to reclaim her crown - and with these latest announcements, she's put the rest of the world on notice. We don't yet know when the album will appear, but as soon as we get that news, we'll be sure to let you know at the earliest possible opportunity.