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opinion

The Main Problem with Chromatica

GovernmentGaga

Chromatica, by all accounts, is not a bad album. In fact, it has been rightly classified by many fans and critics as one of Gaga’s most sonically-cohesive bodies of work. So then, what’s the problem?

There may be some who do not think there is an issue with Chromatica, but objectively speaking, you’d be misguided to deny the facts.

The A Star is Born era saw Lady Gaga once again at the top of the game. Shallow became one of her longest charting songs, and the most award song of all time to boot, while her image was elevated to a status that hasn’t been seen since the early days of her career.

Praise was around every corner. Awards were showered. Covers were made around the globe. Gaga was re-peaking. So then, a follow up album could not have been better positioned than Chromatica. But, what happened?

Was it the pandemic? No, it was not. Many artists this year made considerable impact with their albums, Taylor Swift being one of the most prominent. But what was the difference between Chromatica and Folklore? I argue it’s not a matter of quality but a matter of commitment.

Taylor is committed to Folklore. She believes in it as a body of work. She’s willing to dive into it with her fans and strip back the album lyric by lyric.

And while Gaga has made small attempts at conveying her care for Chromatica, her absence speaks volumes. Regardless of what the reasoning may be for long blackouts during the middle of a so-called era, the end result is the same. Lady Gaga is not as committed to the Chromatica project as she could be and should be. 
 

Gaga tries, with every album, to insist that each record is some type of saving grace for her mental health. But how much truth is there in this assertion? A person who is saved by something is almost always the biggest advocate for it. But who is Chromatica’s advocate? It’s certainly not Gaga.

There is a strong fundamental disconnect from how Gaga originally sold the album to how she treated the album. If this record truly saved her and she truly believed that it could save others (the validity of this claim isn’t the question right now), then why would she bury the project soon after its release?

True commitment is never thwarted by external circumstances. No matter how severe those circumstances appear. If Gaga was not as committed to the project as she should have been, then releasing during a time of great trial was not the right move. Simply because it only revealed that she wasn’t as committed to the project as she had convinced herself that she was.

Do not be surprised if, in the future, she speaks on this project with a form of regret; that she references Chromatica as an album that was the product of false commitment and not a genuine labor of love (in which she was ready to share it with the world). 
 

The biggest indicator that has formed my opinion is her “I Learned to Love Myself Again” interview. That interview was conducted with absolutely no confidence on her end. In fact, the man who interviewed Gaga, has interviewed her at least twice before in which she had the exact same angle of “this album saved me” only to then say the same thing during the next era cycle.

Gaga is at a crossroads where her commitment to her music, as a commercial artist, is at an all-time low, and that is of great concern. 
 

Chromatica feels like a project of self-directed obligation, and that is its main problem. 

Edited by GovernmentGaga
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MessyTop

Lots of valid points. And like you said , it comes down to commitment. 

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elliotmorgan

This is a really well written piece and I personally believe you’ve summed it up! 

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Galagala

She needs better songwriters and producers. 

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Arcanum

rose mcgowan sexism GIF

Praying for you :huntyga:

OT. You never know what's happened in between. She is a human being. I find myself a very sharp and qualified person in my job. Yet the pandemic took its toll mentally on me to the point of doubting myself.

Now imagine being a global superstar planing your re-peaking era and then all of a sudden something you can't control destroy everything. I find that she is quite commited and a perfectionist! That's why it didn't work out for her.

Edited by Arcanum
I Wantth your Love...I Wantth your Love.
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Quartz

Let's not talk about her commitment until we know for sure that the era's over, OK Linda? I would hate for you to swallow your words if she pulls another Shallow of this album if the era restarts again next year. :vegas:

Inside, we are really made the same. 🕊
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JRCF29

I would point out that the circumstances surrounding the release of Chromatica and the circumstances surrounding the release of folklore are not analogous.

folklore's release date wasn't publicly planned and announced then scrapped; it dropped well into the pandemic, not in the early stages. 

As far as promotion since, fair game.

 

Don't Call Me Gaga
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JRCF29
Just now, Quartz said:

Let's not talk about her commitment until we know for sure that the era's over, OK Linda? I would hate for you to swallow your words if she pulls another Shallow of this album if the era restarts again next year. :vegas:

Let's not forget we've already had a #1 song. I don't think everyone realizes how insane it is that Rain on Me (or any song) was, for one week, the BIGGEST and most popular song in the entire country. Of all the songs in the world.

Don't Call Me Gaga
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ApplauseftAdele

Very true... with every Pop era up until now, Gaga always remained “Gaga” but would change the sound, visuals and aesthetic. With Chromatica, she went back to the old classic Gaga, but instead of doing a reinvention of Pop-Ga, she kinda did a cookie cutter version of Gaga - Radio friendly edm hits with house / vogue beats and soaring vocals, edgy outfits, and big music videos, but nothing to the level of GUY, BR, Marry the Night etc. Chromatica was good, but there was just nothing innovative or new about it, and a huge reason is because she wrote the songs but gave the producers the reins.

 

If you listen to her older songs then Rain On Me (& Chromatica as a whole), it’s honestly a huge downgrade. Its just lacking the camp and individuality of her previous work - hell, Rita Ora or Ava Max could sing songs like Free Woman or Plastic Doll. I feel like she felt pressured to play it safe this era, which makes complete sense, as it was her “big return to pop”, and it also gives me hope for the future that now that she’s re-established herself in the pop game she will now go into more experimental routes. You can tell that Interscope put a lot of planning into Chromatica and even may have pressured Gaga to go in this direction against her will, and it’s starting to make sense, because I feel like this is one example where the music doesn’t necessarily speak for itself unlike Folklore. Chromatica is literally the cookie cutter example of what we expect and want from Gaga album - deep lyrics with fun beats, with trendy features, and as a result it is basically guaranteed to do well commercially... but it lacks the camp and “fun” her previous albums had, and as a result, didn’t do as well or make as many cultural shockwaves as a Gaga pop record should. People WANT camp and silliness from Gaga - all the Gaga related trends on tiktok are her older songs, and the silly lyrics of Poker Face or LoveGame. And I feel like Gaga wants to do this too, but Interscope may have pressured her into the sound & aesthetic of Chromatica instead. 

 

(This sounds a bit mean but the GP still view Gaga as an oddity that writes catchy songs and campy lyrics, so the idea of an album about her personal struggles doesn’t draw much interest. I hope that her next era she takes it less serious and puts more “fun” into the lyrics and production. )
 


 

On a side note, I still hope Gaga plans more visuals or we at least get the ChromBall, but I’d be happy if Interscope delays the “epic rollout” for her next era. I feel like the constant media attention on Gaga (we got a glimpse of the hate on twitter after the VMA’s) would only hurt her career since people would drag her for releasing a bland album, hopefully they promote the **** out of her next album since I’m assuming she will go in a weirder direction, and hopefully she writes a record that she is actually invested in. 

Edited by ApplauseftAdele
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Steven

Excellent post! I believe she feels uninspired by music these days and wants to focus on other stuff like acting and makeup. Chromatica is a good album but will probably be forgotten in a few years.

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SharGaga

I personally think that she's more focused on her personal life right now trying to lock her boyfriend down for marriage and kids. She's expressed this era that she felt her career took over during the ASIB era. And from her interviews this era I can gather that she's a truly broken person even questioning if she has brain damage. One person can only handle so much heartbreak. That combined with the fact she's pumping her system with perscription drugs, whiskey and despite quitting tabacco she's still smoking weed. Alcohol and antidepressants or other mental health related drugs are never a good combination. It's like she said she didn't want to make music but she's happy she was able to go through with it and she's happy it's done. 

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NAMURO

Can people take into account the current situation please? Lots of people I know are really screwed up because of this damn virus, so why is it so hard to think that she changed her mind? We all know the effort it took to make this album and the insane promo that was planned before the pandemic... And now we think Chromatica is like an obligated project because she is not promoting it? I don't give a f**k about the reasons she is not promoting it or why she is so silent, she gave us a great album and that's the only thing that matters to me in the middle of the chaos we are going through. And what if she decided to sell some brands instead of promoting the album? She is a professional and makes whatever she wants, take it or leave it

Edited by NAMURO
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Gaga Lazuli

Maybe if she kept Free Woman sound like the demo, none of this would be happening. 

Little Monsters Torture Me
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CHROMATICON
1 minute ago, JRCF29 said:

Let's not forget we've already had a #1 song. I don't think everyone realizes how insane it is that Rain on Me (or any song) was, for one week, the BIGGEST and most popular song in the entire country. Of all the songs in the world.

It isn't insane, Gaga had one of the biggest streaming forces worlwide featuring on the song, there's a reson why Rain On Me is the most succesful song on Chromatica. I'm not trying to discredit Gaga's power, but if ROM was a solo song it certainly would have not debuted at #1. We have to realize that Rain On Me success happened because of the hype and hype only. Same with Stupid Love, and same with Chromatica. People are interested to see what Gaga has to offer, but sadly, they don't stick. Chromatica was front loaded but its hype quickly faded away and now the album is about to leave the BB200. The GP does NOT care for this Gaga, and I think the numbers clearly tell us that. I don't think Gaga should go AC, def not, her forte has always been pop, but it needs to be a fresh start, it needs to be something bold and unique. Chromatica is a good album, but it's very plain and non eventful when we compare it to her other work, even Joanne. Despite being a dance pop album, Chromatica lays on safe ground, with simple and repetitive production.

We can clearly tell this album was rushed. Gaga was not in the right mental place to drop an album, she's still woking on herself and has a lot to deal with, which I think she clearly expressed when, in every interview, she'd say BloodPop had to force her to record. In my opinion, Chromatica is far from being an album that "healed" Gaga, in fact, I think she will always associate it with a very dark time in her life, she even said on Gaga Radio that once she put the album out she hoped "it would never come back to her" (refering to her feelings and suicidal thoughts). I think her actions, or the lack of it, speaks volumes. Chromatica was a rushed album she was not ready to put out. 

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CHROMATICON
4 minutes ago, NAMURO said:

Can people take into account the current situation please? Lots of people I know are really screwed up because of this damn virus, so why is it so hard to thing that she changed her mind? We all know the effort it took to make this album and the insane promo that was planned before the pandemic... And now we think Chromatica is like an obligated project because she is not promoting it? I don't give a f**k about the reasons she is not promoting it or why she is so silent, she gave us a great album and that's the only thing that matters to me in the middle of the chaos we are going through. And what if she decided to sell some brands instead of promoting the album? She is a professional and makes whatever she wants, take it or leave it

Good for you that you are enjoying the era :happy: but this is a forum and we can discuss the lack of action and commitment.

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