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‘Joanne’ Review:Maybe ‘ArtPop’ Isn’t So Bad After All

One minute, twelve seconds. 

That’s about the time it took me to skim through Lady Gaga’s just released and much, much-anticipated new record Joanne before I said to myself…what the fuck is this? Johnny Cash she ain’t and around the campfire we’re not. (Except “Dancin in Circles” and the Hall & Oates-esque “Hey Girl” co-starring Florence Welch…you can stay). 

Now, as someone who understands, like, life and stuff, I have nothing like Whitney but the utmost respect for the personal tone of the record and the “Raw Americana” feel (hey…American Life? It just has to be said) that’s laced throughout, because if there’s one thing that Joanne does well, is that it certainly holds true to its themes…..even if those said themes makes you feel a little (okay, a lot) droopy while listening. 

But what’s truly puzzling here is that Ms. Germanotta  has been quoted during the promotion of this record (and on all of those Dive Bar Tour stops) that this is the “real her-stripped down, raw and rocked out. But wait, then what was The Fame and the rest of it about? Was your disco stick not worth the ride? Was that meat dress really not you? Was “Telephone” truly not from the heart? Sigh….who the fuck knows now? Thanks, Joanne

Let’s face it, prior to this album, our girl struggled a bit post-ArtPop, a fact that she came to terms with since she became besties with Tony Bennett for their Grammy snatching Cheek to Cheek compilation. This was also right around the same time she made Julie Andrews bow down before her after her take on classics from The Sound of Music at the 2015 Oscars made all of us, um, speechless. Fucking brilliant. So, why not use some of that brilliance and toss it on a fun, fresh dance record that will have you snatching all the wigs like you did when you first hit the scene eight years ago? Maybe she doesn’t want that anymore? It’s just all so confusing….which is something we don’t want when it comes to Gaga because we just want to fucking dance, bitch. 

Of course, now the real question arises…..how well will Joanne do over the next months?  Looking at how ‘Perfect Illusion” was perfectly disillusioned on the charts with a quick stop at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, it seems as if this will be a touring album rather than a singles album (second single “A-Yo” doesn’t justify shit either), which means those fans (eek!) will have to come in droves for this one. 

While the critics seem to adore it, a critically loved record doesn’t always get you to stay in the limelight (right, Norah Jones?), because these days, it’s all about the fans…and it looks she might have lost one with this record…but looking from the fact that I needed my sunglasses to block all the Joanne shade on social media this morning, I may not be the only one. 

Now, I will always love me some Lady fucking Gaga….The Fame will always be that fire, I’m secretly obsessed with her Confessions of a Shopaholic track “Fashion,” I still do the “Bad Romance” moves at weddings and I’m just going to be a shady music kween and say that if you haven’t heard the track, “Reloaded” (or “Nothin’ on (But the Radio)” for that matter) you’re not a true fan. (See what she does to me?) But when it comes to Joanne, somebody call security because it was tryin’ to fight my headphones and it need to go. 

If you need me, I’ll be (sigh) listening to ArtPop while not trying to think about that upcoming Super Bowl performance (just a little “LoveGame”…please??) while waiting for Gaga’s Confessions on a Dance Floor return to form type of record….because it’s (already) time, we’re just waiting for her to realize that. 

Listen to Joanne below…if you want. 

 

 

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