FANS have been waiting four years to get their hands on Lady Gaga's sixth studio album and I can confirm it’s been well worth it.
I got a first listen to the 16-track pop banger, which is easily going to be the record of 2020.
Chromatica, the follow-up to the US singer’s 2016 release Joanne, sees Gaga pouring her heart out — and includes hints to her split from fiancé Christian Carino, in February 2019 after two years together.
In dance anthem track Fun Tonight she hints at tensions in the relationship saying she is feeling “like I’m in a prison hell” and tells her lover “maybe it’s time for us to say goodbye, I’m not having fun tonight”.
Gaga has since moved on to Michael Polsanky after the pair met late last year but she has also penned lyrics about letting loose in single life, including enjoying a one-night-stand before falling for the tech CEO.
In Enigma she sings: “We could be lovers, even just tonight. We could be anything you want.”
Gaga, in a stitched-up, skin-tight dress to promote the album, also tackles empowerment and not needing a man in Free Woman and will delight fans with Sour Candy, her collaboration with K-Pop band BLACKPINK.
The raunchy track has her singing: “I might be messed up, but I know what’s up. You want a real taste, at least I’m not a fake. Come unwrap me. I’ll show you what’s me, now I’m undressing. Unwrap sour candy.”
There are more serious notes in the record, with Gaga using 911 to sing about her battle with anxiety and using drugs to combat opioid use.
Lyrics include: “Keep repeating self-hating phrases . . . My biggest enemy is me.”
While this record, which also features collaborations with Sir Elton John and Ariana Grande, below, has been hit by a number of setbacks, including a delayed release date because of coronavirus and high-profile leaks, nothing beats listening to the record track by track.
So get into your garden, pour yourself a glass of something cold and turn Chromatica up very loud.
Trust me, it’ll do you the world of good.
By Howell Davies
THERE’s a tendency in this industry to throw female pop stars on the scrapheap after a few years, declaring them past it or not as exciting as the newbies bursting through.
But 12 years after her debut single, Lady Gaga is proving there’s still a place for pop in 2020 and she’s leading the way with fluorescent pink hair and electronic anthems to boot.
While the lyrics document heartbreak and hardship, sonically Chromatica is fizzing with optimism following her more downbeat 2016 album Joanne.
She had already released two of the best songs of 2020 so far with Stupid Love and Rain On Me, featuring Ariana Grande, but there are plenty of other standout moments, including Enigma, 911, Replay and Babylon, which sounds like a modern tribute to Madonna’s Vogue.
A couple of tracks, including Plastic Doll, fall slightly flat, but this is a triumphant comeback and her best album since 2011’s Born This Way.
With Chromatica, Gaga will be soundtracking dancefloors for years to come.
The KSI's the limit
Tomorrow YouTube star KSI will find out if he’s bagged to No1 album with his debut record Dissimulation but if he lands the top spot, he won’t be impressed.
The rapper, who’s landed two UK Top 10’s since breaking into the music industry, vowed to shaved off his beloved hair if he got to poll position.
And since the race between him and THE 1975, with their album, Notes On A Conditional Form, got close – KSI has been desperately trying to champion them.
In an exclusive chat ahead of finding out the result the London-born star, real name JJ Olatunji, said: “I am desperately trying not to No1 because I want to save my hair.
“What I said was tongue in cheek but now my fans have been pushing it and I’m panicking it could happen. It’s taken three years to get my hair like this.
“Right now I look like a 1975 super-fan because I have been pleading with people to buy their record.
“I honestly think they will beat me because the album is decent, there are a lot of good tracks on there.
“Matty Healy and that are ignoring me. They are probably weirding out because I have no idea what I am doing.
“For me it’s not about being No1, I just want to perform my music. But to even be in the same sentence as the 1975 is awesome, they are a huge rock band.”
Today Dissimulation was still n second place, although it was ahead of the 1975 on downloads and streams.
The 12-track record includes collaborations with big name artists including Rick Ross, Offset and Brit star AJ Tracey. And the album has earned JJ some novel new fans.
He said: "Lorraine Kelly said she is a fan. She’s such a lovely person. I adore her.
“And Tinie Tempah hit me up and told me he was proud of what I had done, He said I had shown that people can be anything they want to in this world and that it was inspirational. That was dope.
“Many others have been in touch about how I have changed their perceptions of what YouTubers are too, and that is pretty cool.”
This guy is definitely one to watch – No1 or no No1.
Saffron £250k fashion deal
Every woman and her dog seems to have an In The Style range these days – and Saffron Barker is the latest to be handed a collaboration.
And it’s not surprising celebs are so keen to jump on board, as the pay packets they get for designing and flogging the clobber is huge.
I can reveal the YouTuber and Strictly Come Dancing contestant got £250,000 for her first collection with the Manchester-based brand.
A source said: “Saffron is a huge name on YouTube and social media so In The Style were desperate to snap her up. She’s got a different kind of following compared to celebs like Charlotte Crosby and Jacqeuline Jossa and they think she could open up the brand to a whole new market.
“Depending on the success of her first drop this Sunday, Saffron’s deal could be extended.”
She’ll be laughing all the way to the bank if it does.
Radio 1 host Clara Amfo isn’t shy when it comes to declaring her love for her fancy men.
She admitted having the hots for hunk of the moment Paul Mescal.
Clara said: “Can we talk about Normal People? Is it Paul Mescal?
“I saw a lot of that sex. I don’t know the guy but I wouldn’t mind.”
Single Clara went on to list other men, adding: “I have got a big crush on Virgil Van Dyke, who plays for Liverpool.
“I am in love with Andre 3000. I am convinced we are going to get married.”
Disco Kylie's back
She may have just branched out into producing plonk but Kylie Minogue has vowed to return to her pop roots.
The Aussie singer confirmed she was working on new music in a new interview with GQ, the magazine run by her boyfriend Paul Solomons.
In the chat yesterday, her 52nd birthday, Kylie said: “Even grown-ups need some pure, pop fun.”
The new record, she said, is influenced by artists including Dua Lipa.
Kylie explained: “I loved disco as an eight-year-old, so it’s been a long love affair. I’m loving the modern interpretations of the genre.”
Ray J says he’s “exhausted by continually hearing jokes about his 2007 sex tape with Kim Kardashian.
He said: “I don’t take offence but it’s super, super, super old. I’m definitely exhausted from that life and that world and those subjects. But for me, you know, we always just, we’re looking forward.”
Scott Disick and Sofia Richie have split, according to US reports.
A source told Us Weekly the couple ended their relationship after stories he celebrated his 37th birthday with ex Kourtney Kardashian. Scott checked into rehab this month but quit after pictures of him there leaked.
Liam Payne has asked his Twitter followers for help in creating a graphic for his weekly YouTube series.
The 1D singer said: “I wanna reach for stars with this, I want to have a nice opening, cool graphic thing. I thought to myself, ‘Who’s the most creative people I know?’ and it’s probably you guys.”
Ayda Field is to launch new podcast Postcards From The Edge, which will look at the cultural differences between the US and UK.
She will talk to celebrities including Olly Murs, Alan Carr, David Walliams, Scott Mills and Judge Rinder. The first episode will be out next Thursday.
Katy Perry paid homage to Elon Musk’s latest space flight project in this futuristic silver dress.
The Daisies singer, who is expecting her first child with fiancé Orlando Bloom, was due to perform ahead of the SpaceX and Nasa launch in Florida, USA, on Wednesday.
Bad weather put a stop to the flight but Katy’s outfit certainly gave her fans a little lift.
Elton John’s protégé James Billett has today released debut single Faith Over Family. It will feature on his EP, which is out July 31.
James, who has written with John Legend, said: “All I wanted to do was write a song I love.”
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