After a duet album with Tony Bennett and a devastating anthem of survivorhood for The Hunting Ground, both of which followed the relatively disappointing ARTPOP, it’s good to have this Lady Gaga back. The Gaga who can make sweeping dance pop numbers without batting an eye. Which is exactly what “Perfect Illusion,” the first single from her forthcoming record is. Mark Ronson, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Bloodpop (previously Blood Diamonds) all teamed up to craft this monster and you can hear flecks of each in the tune. There’s some of Parker’s hallucinogenic crunch, Ronson’s amenable drum sounds and Diamonds’ electro swarm. And then there’s Gaga who steps up and just wails about conflating actual love for something lesser: “It waaaasn’t love, it was a perfect illusion.” It’d be easy for Gaga to get swallowed up when you consider what’s going on around her. But that never happens. She’s the one with the bite.
There’s no release date for Gaga’s new record, just a time peg of “this year.”
Sidenote: The cover art for the single reminds me of something from a RHCP video, which is both good and bad. Mostly bad.