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Lady Gaga returns with illusory new single

By | Published on Friday 9 September 2016

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is back. This morning she released her big comeback single ‘Perfect Illusion’. So that’s nice.

I think it pays to be wary of kneejerking too much and declaring that the new Lady Gaga single “is shit”, because her songs have a tendency to brute force their way into you brain whether you like it or not. But how about we say that, for such an important single, it’s amazing that co-producers Gaga, Mark Ronson, Kevin Parker and BloodPop weren’t able to bump their heads together and come up with something a bit more immediately whelming?

Is whelm actually a word? Surely if you can be both ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘underwhelmed’, then you can just be whelmed. But people don’t ever say it in conversation, do they? You’d never say, “Well I was thoroughly whelmed by that film, it was exactly what I wanted and expected”. Or “I was entirely whelmed by that fish supper – the potatoes were of a particularly acceptable level”. Or “That new Lady Gaga song evoked no strong feelings positive or negative, but was enjoyably whelming”.

Anyway, you might think that last paragraph was a particularly weak attempt at humour, but it gave me the opportunity to listen to the song another three times. I think it’ll be okay when it’s actually finished. Whelming even. All they need to do is scrap this half-hearted demo and come up with a proper song. Yeah, I know I said you should give it more time before expressing strong opinions about new Lady Gaga singles, but if she’s not going to put the effort in, neither am I.

Gaga was also co-host of ‘The Radio 1 Breakfast Show’ with Nick Grimshaw this morning, on which she probably said some things in response to questions he asked. I don’t know, I’m too old to listen to Radio 1 and no one has yet sent me some choice quotes in order to pretend otherwise.

I imagine she said something like: “It was really great working with Mark Ronson, Kevin Parker and BloodPop on this song. We really wanted to whelm people, and I think we’ve achieved that. Our mantra in the studio was ‘are you whelmed?’ And sometimes Mark would cook us a perfectly fine fish supper to give us an idea of what we were aiming for”.

That’s the sort of thing she’d say, isn’t it? Remember when she did that jazz album with Tony Bennett? Happy times. Here’s this new song anyway: