The Complete Breakdown of Lady Gaga’s Chromatica, Song by Song

Chromatica I

Oh, I love a musical interlude. This comes off as a bit whimsical and hopeful. With three of these tracks in the album, I can only assume these serve as transitional moments, chapters if you will, in Lady Gaga’s Chromatica narrative.

Alice

Okay, we’re diving right in with a bop. I have a strong feeling this entire album is going to be dance hit after dance hit, getting Gaga back to her super-pop roots. Fingers crossed for a power ballad, as we all know she has the vocals to support it, but at the moment I’m living for the Lady Gaga vibes that made me fall in love with her from the start.

Stupid Love

Of all of the songs on the album, you’ve likely heard this one. Stupid Love came out as the first single off the album and set the stage for the wild, pink world of Chromatica. Not quite as powerful, but the structure and tone bring me back to Born This Way and it’s an instant mood boost. The most I listen to this song, the more I like it. It definitely grows on you, and if we ever get back to the nightlife scene, it’ll definitely be a song that gets the crowd excited.

Rain on Me

This may be an unpopular opinion, but this song somewhat disappointed me. Let me preface this by saying it is a good song. It’s another true dance hit. But, when you bring together two great talents like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, I just wanted more. I wanted belting, I wanted emotion, I wanted a lyrical masterpiece, I wanted to feel! Instead, I got just another pop song. Will I continue to listen to this song? Absolutely. Will I turn to this song in my time of need? Probably not.

Free Woman

Well, by now I’m definitely sensing a theme. It’s fun, it’s upbeat, it’s making me tap my foot as we jump into the chorus. If you couldn’t tell from the title, this is a true anthem for female empowerment. Turn it on, turn it up, dance around, repeat.

Fun Tonight

This title is a misnomer (as I’m sure it was intended). This is the first song on the album where Gaga’s vocals are highlighted and it feels like there’s depth in the lyrics. While it still maintains the beat and sound of a pop hit, her voice sounds purer and less altered than the previous songs. It’s certainly not as stripped down and raw as Joanne, but I think that’s why I love Lady Gaga—she is a performer who can do both genres of music perfectly.

Chromatica II

The second transitional piece in the album. This one hits a bit differently than the first—moodier and more dramatic. It has an almost old Hollywood feeling to it which I love. I can only assume this symbolizes the tone for the midsection of the album.

911

Into chapter two. This has a very techno, electronic sound. Not my personal favorite, but again, you have to appreciate a woman who can effectively handle any genre of music. Of all the tracks, this is likely the one that would get me to hit the skip button. Gaga mostly talk sings through the track and lets the electronic enhancements do most of the heavy lifting. I’d like to see this track get redeemed with an epic acoustic version a la Paparazzi.

Plastic Doll

So, hear me out, if you listen to the lyrics, this may be the 2020 version of Barbie Girl. I’d like to think Gaga has deeper meaning in her lyrics than the Aqua hit from 1997, but if not, we’ll accept it for what it is: Another electro-pop bop. That’s all, not much else to see here with this song.

Sour Candy

The second song on the album with a featured artist, the South Korean girl group, BLACKPINK, joins Gaga on this track. The addition of the young, poppy voices on the track definitely brings the song to life. I imagine this is a song I would turn on while driving with some friends in the car, windows down, and volume turned all the way up. Lives will not be changed by this song, but fun will be had.

Enigma

Another song where Gaga’s voice sounds clearer than the majority of the tracks. In an album that functions as mostly party tracks, the injection of her voice is a bright spot and reminds me of her versatility. I still think I prefer Fun Tonight, but you can feel and hear the power in her voice through this track.

Replay

The most redeeming part of this song is the chorus. It started off a bit shaky for me, the music and the lyrics weren’t working together, but once we hit the chorus, I found myself really enjoying it. So, don’t count this song out. It’ll grow on you and by the end may be the true underdog of the whole album.

Chromatica III

I actually love these interludes. They sound nothing like the tracks and I really enjoy the juxtaposition, especially as they seamlessly transition into the next song. It gives the album a level of complexity. Five stars to the Chromatica trio.

Sine from Above

The third and final artist to be featured on the album is Elton John, and while this may seem like an odd choice for the electro-pop album, it somehow works. Firstly, if I hadn’t read this was Elton John, I never would have known it was him. He comes in strong and powerful, and the two voices blend together nicely. I’m not saying Elton John was making music in the wrong era, but if he wants to make a dance album for 2020, I’ll buy it.

1000 Doves

This is one of my favorite tracks from the whole album. It has a great beat, it has her strong voice, and it draws you in and keeps you there. To put it simply, it’s just a good song. Next!

Babylon

There’s a lot happening here. There’re animal noises, there’s a choir, there’s a hardcore Madonna vibe, and that’s just scratching the surface. It’s definitely one way to end an album. I’ll just let you listen to this one for yourself and form an opinion. You may need to listen more than once to take in all the elements.

Overall, I’d give this album a 7/10. If you’re looking to listen to fun, upbeat music, this is the Gaga album to grab. But if you’re looking for the emotional depth and complexities we’ve seen from Gaga in the past, you may want to reach for an older album.

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