Single Review: Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion


Lady Gaga makes long awaited comeback with ‘Perfect Illusion’
For years, Lady Gaga was one of the biggest pop stars in the world. With hit after hit and much talked about music videos, she had the whole world watching her. Her career started on a high that was impossible to keep up with and so her latest album ARTPOP, released in 2013, didn’t reach the success she and her team hoped for. To call it a flop would take it way too far though, with over 2 million couples sold worldwide. Gaga took a break from pop and recorded a jazz album with Tony Bennett. She also successfully started an acting career with a main role in the television series American Horror Story: Hotel, earning her a Golden Globe for best actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy with the song ‘Til It Happens To You’, soundtrack for the documentary The Hunting Ground and will now make her official comeback as a pop star with the brand new single ‘Perfect Illusion’.

‘Perfect Illusion’ is produced by Gaga herself in collaboration with Mark Ronson, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and BloodPop. In the first interview she described it as follows: “The song is about modern ecstasy. We found our sweet, simple, ragey way of saying it. I get this sick adrenaline rush every time I hear it.” We can totally see what she means, because it’s a whirlwind from start to finish! It’s uptempo with prominent drums and vocally she is on full force. This might be her most impressive vocal performance on a single so far. In terms of sound ‘Perfect Illusion’ sounds more organic and less electronic, echoing a mild late seventies/early 80s pop rock vibe and some disco melodies. This should not be much of a surprise taking into account the collaborators and the visuals chosen for the single cover and promo pictures.

After the very short verses, the chorus consists of Gaga repeating the sentence ‘It wasn’t love, it was a perfect illusion’ full of emotion. The climax of the track does not yet happen in the first two choruses, but the last one gives us a big key change, some strings kicking in, topped off with some larger than life belting. The production is stunning and complements her powerhouse vocals perfectly. It will be interesting to see if ‘Perfect Illusion’ will mark her return to the top of the charts, but it’s definitely an exciting new direction for her.

Update: Lady Gaga just premiered the video for ‘Perfect Illusion’. It’s a fast paced, trippy visual with Gaga giving her all during a performance of the track in a desert and in the middle of a sweaty crowd. The chaotic video perfectly fits the atmosphere of the song. The microphone swinging scenes are definitely the most memorable and the way the key change is edited in the visuals is on point! It might not be as eventful as most of her previous music videos, but this is executed very, very well.

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