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Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

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Review: Lady Gaga brings back the ’90s soft rock with her new album “Joanne”

Lady Gaga has done it again by releasing her fifth studio album entitled “Joanne” on Oct. 21.

"Joanne" album cover
Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album was named after her father’s sister, Joanne, who passed away in 1974. Photo credit:


Out of a little over a dozen tracks, “Perfect Illusion” was the first single to hit the airwaves. “Mistaken for love, it wasn’t love. It was a perfect illusion” are the highlight lyrics of the track. They capture that she’s playing a rigged game, but she refuses to stop.

The other tracks off the album hold their own unique sound that differs from “Perfect Illusion”. There are some personal songs as the first single is known to be, but there are also more global ones.

“Angel Down” was dedicated to Trayvon Martin by Gaga as she said when she spoke to Beats 1’s Zane Lowe on Oct. 20. “Angel down, angel down” are the lyrics she used to portray “Don’t shoot. Why do people just stand around?”

“I was overwhelmed with the fact that people just stood around and didn’t do anything about it and that the justice system continues to over and over again not seek justice for these families.” Lady Gaga told Lowe.

Ricardo Mendoza, a Fullerton College student, has “Joanne” as one of the tops on his playlist. “I really like it. I appreciate an artist who’s trying to step out of their element and experiment with different sounds.”

Million Reasons
Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” has a folky Americana sound that stands out from her previous work. Photo credit:


Out of all the tracks on Gaga’s new album, “Hey Girl” and “Diamond Heart” are two of the main that stood out to Ricardo.

“I like the message in “Hey Girl”. it’s about helping each other out even though I’m not a girl. It also features Florence + the Machine which I think has a beautiful voice,” Ricardo said. ‘”Diamond Heart” has a cool rock vibe to it making it a little different, but it’s still very Gaga to me.”

The title track off the album “Joanne” has more of a country folk sound, which is distant from her 2013 album “ARTPOP”. Although she is comfortable belting out rich, pop songs her new sound brings a different view to her.

“Million Reasons” stands out on the album as a beautiful power ballad. It has Gaga’s deep, rich, raspy voice that’s full of strength. The differences between her old and new work are apparent here. “I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away, but baby i just need one good one to stay. Lyrics that cut deep into the heart are all Gaga needs to capture your attention, but her voice does a good job of that, too.

“I think it’s a bold move of her to step out of her comfort zone, but at the same time that’s her. She pushes the limits and does the unthinkable. That’s why people love her.” Regina Elias explained, who’s a FC student.


“Joanne” is out on iTunes and in stores now. Her new sound is something to listen too, and many songs could easily become new favorites.

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