Lady Gaga has been extremely busy in the couple of years since her last album. After the release of “Joanne,” Gaga found herself performing at the Super Bowl Halftime show and subbing in for Beyonce to headline Coachella. She also released a documentary on Netflix, entitled “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” that chronicled her struggles with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
Furthering the acting career she began with “American Horror Story” and “Machete Kills,” Gaga starred in the highly acclaimed “A Star is Born” remake. This role and the associated soundtrack brought her a step closer to securing herself an EGOT, winning an Oscar along with a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, a BAFTA and several Grammys.
In 2018, she began her two-year Las Vegas residency with two concurrent shows at the MGM Park Theater. Earlier this year, Gaga also launched her own makeup line, Haus Laboratories.
With all of this activity, it is hard to figure out when she had time to compose and record a new album. But somehow, the album is coming.
Twitter worked itself into a tizzy in January when a track entitled “Stupid Love” leaked onto the internet. The singer was almost instantaneously trending on Twitter, but she barely batted an eyelash. Leaks have followed Lady Gaga throughout her career. In 2013, multiple snippets of “Applause” leaked online ahead of its scheduled release date. The younger Gaga called her fan army into action, having them report any links to Universal Music and releasing the song to radio a week early.
In January, a much calmer Gaga responded to the leak on Twitter, saying simply “can y’all stop.” She largely left the leak unacknowledged and didn’t release the track before her performance at the Super Bowl’s Super Saturday Night festival. Finally, on Feb. 25, she announced that the song would be dropping Feb. 28.
The song “Stupid Love” is a return to form for Gaga. It harkens back to the sonics of her early hits, like “Just Dance” and “Bad Romance.” It is a brighter take on these tunes with a bold arpeggiator holding down the bed of the track, while glittering manipulated vocal samples create the main hook of the chorus drop.
Gaga’s new song rides the wave of ‘80s nostalgia that has been taking over pop music since Taylor Swift released “1989.” But it is on the forefront of the trend, standing alongside Dua Lipa’s upcoming “Future Nostalgia,” repurposing the sounds and grooves of disco for the modern era. The track was produced by BloodPop, who worked on a big portion of the more folk-inspired “Joanne,” though he is better known for his dance pop hits, like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” And like most pop hits within the last 20 years, “Stupid Love” has a writing credit from Max Martin.
Lyrically, the song is not about much. Quite simply, Gaga is just looking for love, and she is pretty sure she has found the one. It’s repetitive, catchy and a classic earworm. There are three solid hooks, and the chorus is pretty thin, relying on the vocals to fill the space and draw the ear in. The song is more about the feeling, that draw that you can’t quite articulate. It is obviously a dance forward track and that comes through in the music video.
The track is accompanied by a music video full of choreography ready for TikTok. In fact, the video was even shot on an iPhone. It also hints at the themes of the upcoming album, “Chromatica.” The video begins with an explanation of the world you are about to enter, a world rife with conflict that Gaga’s tribe of Kindness Punks is trying to resolve. The video is a beautiful dance through the desert that sees a revival of Gaga’s avant-garde fashion sense.
Gaga announced March 2 that the album “Chromatica” will arrive on April 10. It is a very short promotion window, likely looking to capitalize on the momentum of “Stupid Love” and the short attention span of the streaming era.
“Stupid Love” is a strong lead single. Hopefully, the rest of the album can live up to it, and we don’t have another “Artpop” on our hands.