Single Review: ‘Perfect Illusion’ by Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga is back.  Photo: PlumeDeCheval via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 by Mark Cruikshank

After three years of pop music silence, Lady Gaga bursts back on the scene with her least poppy pop venture yet.

Acting as the lead single from her upcoming album, which is promised to be released before the end of the year, ‘Perfect Illusion’ is not the single many fans predicted it would be when the pop singer first announced its release in August. However, it is definitely not a disappointment.

With Mark Ronson, Blood Pop and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker co-producing the track with Gaga, it opens with a fierce electric guitar riff, giving the song a very pop rock vibe before drifting into a disco-rock track that could easily fill a dancefloor.

Having such a number of mainstream artists at the helm of a song could quickly result in a generic, predictable and mediocre pop song. However, ‘Perfect Illusion’ is so far from anything that these artists have created before that it could never be called generic.

Using Gaga’s unfiltered, uncorrected voice as the driving force, it is a carefully produced creation, separate from anything that can be heard on the radio or in the charts. It maintains a steady dance beat before exploding into a new key and shattering the perception of what a modern dance song can be, by showing that the voice can be the focal point in a dancefloor success.

Although the song does suffer from the slight overuse of the title phrase, as ‘Perfect Illusion’ is sang twenty one times during the three minute song, all the uniqueness about the track overshadow this complaint.

It is clear that after the lacklustre reception of her most recent pop album ‘ARTPOP’, the singer-songwriter is exploring a different way to create pop music in the 21st century.

By incorporating disco and rock elements into what is essentially a modern day dance song, we see Gaga use ‘Perfect Illusion’ as a way to test the boundaries of pop music once again by forcing people to see how different genres can come together as one to create a very un-mainstream, mainstream song.

Rating: 4.5/5

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