Lady Gaga's pop comeback is exactly what we need right now

It’s finally happening: Lady Gaga is back, and she’s in proper popstar mode again.

That blasted pink cowboy hat from the Joanne album is banished, Bradley Cooper is nowhere to be seen, and new single Stupid Love is practically begging – nay, demanding – to be blasted on repeat at top volume.

Yes, the LG6 era is upon us; and it already has a name – Chromatica – with the full record due in just six weeks’ time. Truly, what a time to be alive.

For obsessive pop fans like me, there are few things more exciting than the return of an A-list act, especially when it feels like the musical landscape is sorely in need of some excitement.

And it’s not just the musical scene that’s left us feeling ‘meh’. Let’s face it, the world in general is feeling pretty bleak right now, with relentless storms, bitter political fights, and an impending health epidemic. What better time for Lady Gaga to swoop in and provide us with some much-needed escapism?

These days, popstars are adept at building hype before the first single of their new era comes out: some sort of sparse teaser lands on social media, perhaps providing a glimpse at the aesthetic they’ll be running with, or a tantalising clip of that new song, along with a dramatic declaration of the release date.

Anticipation grows as more teasers drop (single artwork? Glimpses at the video? Perhaps a lyric?), and release day is essentially Christmas morning: hoards of bleary-eyed aficionados reach for their phones as soon as they wake up, not wasting a single moment before streaming the new single and finding out if it was worth the hype.

The last era of hers that pop fans were almost unanimously in agreement on was all the way back in 2011, when she released the subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-face album Born This Way

Sometimes it ends in euphoria (see: Katy Perry’s Never Really Over), and sometimes it doesn’t (see: Taylor Swift’s Me!). But thankfully, Stupid Love has truly hit a sweet spot; dominating social media over the weekend and racing to an impressive midweek UK chart position of No. 2.

The memes have been coming thick and fast, the video has raced to 25million views in a few short days, and news that a whole album is coming very, very soon has been met with huge enthusiasm.

We’ve been hungry for a moment like this. Starving. 2020 has been sorely lacking in the high-profile banger department thus far, with some of the biggest and best pop releases of the last few months coming from the likes of Selena Gomez, Halsey and Billie Eilish – who, great as they are, don’t exactly burst your speakers.

In fact it’s only really Dua Lipa and the Pussycat Dolls who have kept us up and dancing, and momentarily distracted from the planet’s various ongoing catastrophes.

But who better to truly put things right than one of this generation’s biggest artists?

For Lady Gaga, a successful comeback like this feels especially sweet.

The last era of hers that pop fans were almost unanimously in agreement on was all the way back in 2011, when she released the subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-face album Born This Way – loaded with adrenaline-packed singles like the title track, Judas, Marry The Night and The Edge of Glory.

While the two pop-oriented studio LPs she has released since – 2013’s ARTPOP and 2016’s Joanne – certainly had their supporters and were far from flops, they were more than a little divisive. We won’t even touch on her 2014 jazz album with Tony Bennett.

That’s not to say she hasn’t been on form for nine years. A Star Is Born saw her reaching a new kind of career height, her Super Bowl set was one of the best of all time, and those last couple of ‘proper’ albums did have the odd belter on them.

But it’s such a relief to hear her back with a blistering, effervescent, and – dare I say it – straightforward pop song; one complete with a delightfully conceptual video and a bold new look. The fact it’s the result of her first ever collaboration with producer god Max Martin just makes it even sweeter.

And if there’s any doubt that the more introspective, relatively low-key atmosphere of Joanne is well and truly gone, she recently told Zane Lowe: ‘We are definitely dancing… [Joanne was] for my father, an album about the trauma of my family, an album about how we pass things on generationally to each other.

‘[Chromatica] was much more like, ‘You know what, guys? It turns out, I just sobbed for three minutes and this is what came out, and this is what should be there.’

‘And it was so real and it was so, like, all my gears, all my musical bells, all my artistic thoughts, the way that I see music and experience music like a wall of sound, everything was just firing on all cylinders and it made me feel so happy because I thought to myself, wow, even when you feel six feet under, you can still fire on all cylinders.’

‘Feeling six feet under’ is something a lot of people will be relating to right now. When times are bleak, we need big uplifting pop culture moments like this more than ever.

And of course, if you really want to put your critical hat on, Stupid Love doesn’t push boundaries and set new blueprints quite as much as, say, Bad Romance or Poker Face.

But it is a dopamine-baiting shot of energy that gladly marks the return of someone who knows exactly how to get us dancing when times are hard.

Consider my Little Monster status well and truly renewed.

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