The Evolution of Gaga

Since her first album’s debut in 2008, Lady Gaga has brought her unique style and sound to the music scene, changing it forever. In eight short years, she has accomplished more than some artists do in their entire careers. From six Grammy awards to 13 MTV Music Video awards, and a leading role on American Horror Story (which earned her a Golden Globe award for Best Actress – Miniseries Television or Film), Lady Gaga is constantly reinventing herself, pushing the boundaries, and creating incredible art.
The mark of a great artist is his or her ability to continue to reinvent themselves, changing with the times and always offering something new and exciting for his or her fans. Lady Gaga seamlessly does this. Since her first album, The Fame, Gaga has continued to bring something new to each of her albums. The Fame was Gaga’s breakout album and earned her great acclaim for songs like “Just Dance” and “Paparazzi.” However, the second album was very pop and mainstream radio. This helped her find success, but as she continues to make new albums, she veers more and more away from the mainstream, pop sound. I personally love this. I wasn’t a huge fan of her first and second albums; I found them too pop and not very interesting. It wasn’t until Gaga released the album Born This Way that she truly embraced who she is as an artist and brought a new and exciting persona and sound to her music.
Born This Way was a huge success for Gaga. The album earned her an MTV Music Video Award for Best Female Video and Best Female Video with a Social Message in 2011. What was really incredible about this album was just that. Instead of the pop music she had previously been making, this album started to tackle real issues our society faces. It was an album of inspiration and empowerment. Gaga took a stand to speak for those who may feel not good enough, unwanted, or uncomfortable in their own skin. It was a new era of Gaga. This album also brought with it an entirely new sound. Gaga veered away from the pop sound, embracing an edgier, more raw vibe. She stopped softening her voice, letting her true vibrato come out and taking on more vocally powerful songs. For many, this is when Gaga truly became a more relatable artist and began to appeal to a larger variety of people.
Lady Gaga has continued down this path, with each album bringing her true persona and artistry to the forefront of her work. Her next album, Artpop, which featured mostly electronic sounds, continued to have songs with deeper meanings evoking a more emotional response. With songs like “Do What U Want” and “G.U.Y.,” she dealt with the abuse and commodification of the female body. She also addressed her own demons by singing about her struggle with alcohol and drugs in the song “Dope.” Artpop was an album that continued to show Gaga’s artistry as she embraced herself and her eccentricities.
Gaga’s new album Joanne is, in my opinion, her best album yet. It encompasses bits and pieces of the styles of each of her albums to create a true work of art. There are songs that are pop and catchy, harking back to the early days of Gaga, while also encompassing the more raw and emotional sounds that Gaga has brought into her music throughout the years. There are songs that are very personal to her, something that always helps fans connect to her as an artist. These songs, such as “Joanne,” “Million Reasons,” and “Diamond Heart” are personal, true to Gaga’s nature. There are also songs possessing a strong social message, like “Angel Down” and “Come to Mama.” The fun pop songs include “A-YO” and “Perfect Illusion.” This album has everything a Gaga fan could want, and truly shows how much her music and artistry has evolved from her early days.
With each album, Lady Gaga continues to get better and better, further imprinting a lasting mark on the music industry. If Gaga can accomplish everything she has as a musician and artist in less than a decade, one can only imagine her achievements in the future. One thing is for sure: Lady Gaga is a master of reinvention, and as she grows as a person, her music and fans are able to grow with her.
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Featured image courtesy of Collier Schorr

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