The long-awaited debut of Lady Gaga's sixth studio album Chromatica is finally here. It's her first LP since 2016's Joanne, and first new-music release since the soundtrack to 2018's A Star Is Born. However, this new album feels to pick up where Born This Way left off, as a reboot to her deeply honest, unapologetically Gaga dance-pop ways. She masterfully crafted 16 tracks within 43 minutes with the help of some of dance music's most skilled producers, including BloodPop®, Tchami, BURNS, Axwell, Madeon, Skrillex, among others.
If you enter your Chromatica listening experience expecting merely dance-floor music, you are going to have a good time but will miss out on the true beauty Gaga has crafted for us. There's much more lying behind the four-on-the-floor beats and impressive collaborations. With this album, she delivers an emotional depth with nods to her vulnerability, letting her Little Monsters know that it's ok to feel sad as long as they "keep looking for Wonderland."
While each single falls under the dance-pop aesthetic built with a strong foundation with her longtime co-producer BloodPop®, they vary with the help of each of the EDM titans she enlisted as guest producers. Axwell delivers on the empowering tracks "Alice," "Free Woman," and "Sine From Above," which features the only male vocal feature on the entire album from the legendary Elton John. Madeon throws down a funky, disco new wave party on "911," featuring a classic, robotic Gaga vocal that references the 1980 hit "Funky Town."
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Skrillex lends his talents to the Barbie-themed "Plastic Doll," featuring the perfect line, "I'm no toy for a real boy." The production is top-of-the-line and is definitely a track you can belt your heart out to during a bedroom dance party. Tchami and BURNS had their hands on more than a few of the record's 16 tracks, including the previously released "Stupid Love" and "Rain On Me," in addition to "1000 Doves" and the ode to the ballroom hit "Babylon."
Even with all these outside influencers adding to the productions, the album is 100% Gaga. She breaks up the tracklist with three orchestral interludes, showcasing it as a true thematic journey. It's the reboot we've been waiting for since she broke into acting, and she delivered tenfold. Though she ran into some bumps in the road with her release being pushed back because of the ongoing pandemic, Chromatica arrived just when we needed it. These will be anthems that we'll be escaping with all summer.