WHAT: “Perfect Illusion”
WHO: Lady Gaga
WHY WE CARE: The long wait for Lady Gaga’s first real pop single in almost three years (not counting anything from Tony Bennett collab Cheek to Cheek or her Oscar-nominated “Til It Happens To You”) is finally over. “Perfect Illusion” brings Gaga roaring back—literally, at some points—to Top 40, setting the stage for her as-yet-untitled fifth album. For her homecoming, she enlisted hit-makers Mark Ronson (of “Uptown Funk” glory), Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker (who worked on Rihanna’s Anti), and BloodPop (a producer on Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”). The track, however, incorporates none of the brassy funk of the former, nor the tropical house of the latter two.
Instead, “Perfect Illusion”—about mistaking infatuation for something deeper—leans hard on the rock influence, something she’s hinted at on third album Born This Way and, more recently, the single’s rock goddess imagery. The dance-rock anthem isn’t quite “You & I” 2.0 (her best “rock” song) or even “Bad Romance” 2.0 (one of her best songs, period). But it does tease a new, “analog” side to the singer, and that’s worth paying attention to.
Listen to “Perfect Illusion” below.