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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Review: “Stupid Love”

Lady Gaga’s lead single for Chromatica proves colorless, drab

On Feb. 28, Lady Gaga released the lead single, “Stupid Love,” from her upcoming album “Chromatica,” set for release on April 10. The song debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and currently sits at No. 1 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. Despite the song’s success, it falls short in comparison to Gaga’s earlier work and other pop artists in the industry that have taken reign during her hiatus from the genre. 

“Stupid Love” starts with a heavy dance-synth beat and a distorted harmonizing, a breath of fresh air to the core of Gaga fans that have been waiting for a dance song since 2013’s “ARTPOP.” The song falls apart at the pre-chorus where she sings “All I ever wanted was love,” and the fresh air is quickly followed by the fumes of a car passing by when the song drops into an uneventful and unsatisfying chorus where Gaga sings “I want your stupid love,” twice. 

That chorus is the moment of truth for seven years of anticipation, and the result was a drab, faint nod to her previous work, but not nearly as groundbreaking. It’s safe. 

The aura of the album as it stands is that of an artist who’s reached a broader audience and has defaulted to a flatter subject matter and proven sound. It’s no secret that most people want love before they reach the end of the road, and will eventually realize they have to risk opening up to find it. What else?

Gaga is a popstar — or at least for some time she was — who could stir political and social issues into her lyrics that rippled through the industry while still being pleasant to listen to. It may be that in a music era where artists like Billie Eilish, who sing raw, introspective ballads are on the rise, an antithesis with shiny, unapologetic disco-pop is necessary, but Gaga is not filling that position anymore. Ariana Grande, with her recent “Sweetener” and “Thank U, Next” duo, and Dua Lipa, with her upcoming “Future Nostalgia,” seem to be the natural heirs. 

The music video is cute — at best. The premise is that Gaga is a part of a love-promoting group called the “kindness punks.” They cross paths with people fighting and break into dance as they try to resolve the conflict. The costuming is a mix of ‘80s monochromatic neon and futuristic sci-fi that doesn’t leave any lasting impact. Gaga is known for her over-the-top outfits, and the ones seen in the video are a toned down version of the costumes in the “Born This Way” video — a far cry from the iconic likes of Barbarella. 

The only thing that could make the track worse is if Haus Laboratories, Gaga’s makeup brand, introduces a color palette for the album since it’s called “Chromatica.” That would be yet another indicator of trying to reach a bigger audience rather than remembering the core one.

I will admit that I enjoyed the track more since its release in late February. Maybe it’ll take some time to get used to the new sound and let go of the nostalgia for a weirder era where my parents thought I needed therapy for watching the “Alejandro” music video. 

Written by: Josh Madrid — arts@theaggie.org


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