Chromatica, the sixth studio album by pop icon Lady Gaga is the perfect album. In the days before being quarantined away from discos and dancefloors it might not have been. In the days after quarantine it might not be. Today it is perfect. Perfect because we need to dance, need to dress up for a night at the disco, and need to have Chromatica as the soundtrack.
Chromatica is a return to the Gaga of old, the original Gaga, she of the thumping techno and house beats that are at home on the dancefloor. There are no instruments other than those generated by an Apple, there are no ballads like those she gave us on Joanne. This is pure Autotuned electronica in all its ‘90s glory.
The fact that this is a dance album doesn’t mean that it isn’t heartfelt and personal. Chromatica, below the surface is self-help, a sort of feel-good therapy to heal what ails. Each song delves into deep subject matter, personal to both Gaga and to us. On “Alice” she sings of overcoming hardness and dreaming of better times saying “I’m in a hole / I’m falling down / So down,” and, “My name isn’t Alice but I’ll keep looking for Wonderland.” On “911”, an exploration of antipsychotic meds, she bemoans that “My mood’s shifting to manic places / Watch life / Here I go again,” and, “My biggest enemy is me / Pop a 911.” Profound, yes. Self-aware, very.
Until the clubs reopen and fill with bodies and beats play this album start to finish, over and over again and dance like you’ve never danced. Disco ball optional.