I’ve been flirting with Lady Gaga for years, but we never made things official.

We were first acquainted in secondary school with Poker Face, but this flame was put out as soon as my winter camp discotheque came to an end. Continuing with school years, Gaga accompanied me on the daily morning strut and made a brilliant soundtrack to my twisted choreography visions when walking down the street and putting my paws up (does anyone else have these or am I just mad?).

She once squeezed a tear from my eye with her interpretation of White Christmas, and she successfully pushed me towards the more optimistic life attitude, boosting my poor, adolescent self-confidence with you were born this way, baby.

I cherished her duets with Bennett nearly as much as his and Amy’s ‘Body and Soul’ and always fought hard to prove she had one of the best voices of this century, only covered with a thick, gaudy layer of scandal and publicity. But I would still never call myself a die hard Gaga fan.

Up till now, when only a week ago the alter-Gaga named Joanne came and spoke to me.

I could blabber on, like other reviewers already did, about the life-changing, rebranding journey she’d made from the mega hit Bad Romance and other freaky bursting-boobs-and-meat-dresses moments, but I’ll leave past where it belongs and focus on the wonderful 13-track newborn Gaga the storks dropped off on October 21.

Before the whole album was released, I already made quite an emotional attachment to Million Reasons, where Gaga’s voice, brutally raw, honest and stripped off unnecessary decorations, gave me exactly as many, if not more, reasons to await the rest of what she had coming.

Then emerged the album-promoting number Perfect Illusion that screamed RADIO HIT at me, and planted a seed of confusion as to where was this project really heading – but after hearing the soft bonfire ballad Joanne, dedicated to Gaga’s late aunt,  I knew that this was the rootsy, heart-of-Texas Gaga we were meant to discover.

Coming from the depths of smelly tavern jukeboxes Sinner’s Prayer,  Grigio Girls playing from the crackly car radios of all Thelma and Louise inspired roadtrippers, all of it hinting at stuffy American summer backyard sessions, a bit like those of Dolly Parton and her immortal Jolene.

Essentially, Joanne is Gaga on a rustic holiday, sipping blues and soul and nibbling on country, surrounded by rodeo cowboys.

It’s the Gaga I’ve been waiting for.






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