Lady Gaga switches it up with “Perfect Illusion”

Michael Anthony, Contributing Writer

It’s been three years since Lady Gaga last released any new music. In 2013, the singer released her single “Applause” and highly anticipated album “Artpop.” It was supposed to begin a new era for Gaga, one that was meant to solidify her status as the Queen of Pop. Artpop cost nearly 25 million dollars in promotion, some of which included more ridiculous costumes, as well as a two-day ArtRave event in Brooklyn. With Lady Gaga having one of the largest and most passionate fan base in the world and coming huge success from the past with Born This Way, Artpop seemed destined for similar success.

However, lead single “Applause,” still a huge radio hit, didn’t seem to take off the way others had expected. The single reached number six on Billboard charts, and while that would have been a huge success for any other artist, it seemed as a failure for an album as heavily promoted as Artpop. Follow up single, “Do What You Want” ft. R. Kelly, didn’t fair as well either, peaking just below the top 10. With none of the singles having the same impact as her previous hits, the potential for the album’s success faded away.

With 2016 leading the way for musical comebacks (Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyonce and Frank Ocean to name a few), it seemed like the perfect time for the singer to take another shot at music glory. Taking time off of her own music and collaborating on a classical album with Tony Bennett during that time, she sent her fans into a frenzy in early August when she announced her musical return with a lead single. On Friday, she released her long awaited single to the world.

Ditching her famous EDM-club-ready sound for a more rock star vibe, “Perfect Illusion,” the lead single for Gaga’s yet-to-be-titled album is the comeback that her fans have been waiting for, and may be one of her best singles yet.

The single is a complete 180 from previous lead singles, with “Perfect Illusion” instead takes on a more stadium rock star-pop sound to it. Produced by an unexpected but talented team consisting of Mark Ronson (Uptown Funk), Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and BloodPop, who helped formed Justin Bieber’s smash hit “Sorry,” the song had hit written all over it. From the opening guitar riffs and the heavy drum kicks that can be heard throughout, to the foot tapping funky-groove vibe, courtesy of Ronson, “Perfect Illusion” showcases the rock star Gaga teased about in August when asked to describe the new sound of the single.

Despite the new sound change, “Perfect Illusion” is still a classic Lady Gaga pop song nonetheless. The single only clocks in at 3:02, but it manages to captivate listeners instantly.

Perhaps taking a page from pop superstar, Taylor Swift, Illusion is rumored to be about Gaga’s breakup with fiancé, Taylor Kinney. Lyrics like “I don’t need eyes to see.

I felt you touchin me/ high like amphetamine/ Maybe you’re just a dream” suggest that her love with Taylor was just an illusion.

As with previous songs written about one’s ex, they usually end up being huge hits, and this song is sure to continue that trend. Just 30 seconds into the song, we get the insanely catchy chorus “it wasn’t love (beautifully pronounced Lav)/It Was a Perfect Illusion” that takes up most of the song’s running time.

After the first listen, it is guaranteed that this will be hooked into the listener’s brain and have them chanting along for weeks to come. The highlight of this song, however, is the epic key change in the chorus at the 1:50 mark that is sure to shock every person listening. Here, the track goes from disco rock song into an all out classic Lady Gaga dance party. This part alone is sure make listeners jump up and down in full out rock star mode but make you dance at the time. If the song didn’t stick with you before this moment, it is guaranteed to stick with you after, and don’t be surprised if you see yourself stomping your feet to this song as it goes on.

“Perfect Illusion” is a song that doesn’t necessarily hit you right away but gets so much better as it goes on. By the time you start getting into this song is when it ends unfortunately, but in its little run time, it manages to instantly catch listeners ears and guarantees multiple replays. Perfect Illusion is another classic in Gaga’s dance-ready discography and a perfect way of saying, she’s back.