What a bold move! Lady Gaga has stripped away all her crazy costumes and bizarre antics and stepped into the shoes and casual t-shirts of alter-ego Joanne, a dive-bar rock ‘n’ roll queen. Dropping all bubble-gum pop hits and focusing on jazz, rock and country with a hint of pop, Joanne is certainly a departure for Gaga. There’s a guaranteed set of great songs on this album, Little Monsters.
So what’s the best song on Joanne? Which one deserves the skip button? Here’s a list of Joanne songs ranked from worst to first…
Let’s get this straight before those Little Monsters go all “Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah” on us – just because Joanne is listed as the “worst” song on our ranking, it doesn’t mean we hate it. It doesn’t compare to its fellow tracks is all. Named and based on an aunt who died before Gaga was born, the acoustic and poignant ballad is bitter-sweet. It’s nice hearing a stripped-back version of the singer however compared to is rival Joanne songs, it’s rather forgetful. Ironic, considering it’s the title track.
12. Just Another Day
Merging blues with pop and rock ‘n’ roll, Just Another Day takes us back to the 60’s and 70’s. There’s no surprise when Gaga said she took influence from David Bowie and The Beatles – this song nails the retro vibe. It’s a creative song, don’t get us wrong – the genre just isn’t for us.
11. Sinner’s Prayer
The Madonna inspiration is very present in this one. Sinner’s Prayer is a decent pop/country effort with impressive guitar strings and a gentle beat. The folksy sound is a far cry from her FAME era proving that Mother Monster has matured entirely.
10. Come to Mama
Theatrical Gaga is our favorite Gaga so it’s great hearing her throughout the toe-tapping, Broadway-esque track Come to Mama. Gaga shows off her fantastic vocals as she tells the world to love and not hate in this melancholic, yet fun number. I think it’s time we all listened to Lady Gaga for once. The lyrics are pretty impressive in this one.
9. Angel Down/Angel Down – Work Tape
Angel Down is reflective of current events which makes it somewhat more impressive than other songs about love. Inspired by the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, this heartfelt ballad brings important matters to light and puts Gaga’s vocals center stage.
8. John Wayne
Gaga has hit the dive bar! This rock ‘n’ roll banger with tinges of electro-pop may be named after the infamous cowboy John Wayne but we have a feeling it’s based on her ex-fiance Taylor Kinney.
7. Perfect Illusion
Gaga’s attempt to delve into the rock world is impressive! Her rock ‘n’ roll voice is the focal point throughout the rock stomper, Perfect Illusion. It’s catchy but it becomes somewhat tiresome after several plays.
6. Grigio Girls
Grigio Girls is a tribute to Gaga’s friend who is fighting breast cancer which makes it ever-more sweet and sentimental. Grab your BFF, get drunk over a bottle of wine, hug it out and shout out great lyrics like “Spice girl in this bitch” together.
5. Million Reasons
Lady Gaga gives a heartfelt vocal performance in the country ballad, Million Reasons. There are lyrics of heartbreak which makes us assume this one is based on the singer’s recent split with Taylor Kinney. Million Reasons is an honest record. It’s a breath of fresh air hearing Gaga wear her heart on her sleeve.
Country meets rock ‘n’ roll and pop! Little Monsters will be hand-clapping, shimmying and shaking to the super-fun, mega-cool A-YO. It makes us want to hit the dive bar dance-floor with Gaga – how freakin’ fun would that be?!
3. Diamond Heart
Diamond Heart is a blend of the old Gaga with the new. Her earlier work is very reminiscent on this album opener but there’s also an 80’s rock influence that sets the mood perfectly for what’s to come next. This will be a fan-favorite for sure.
2. Hey Girl – featuring Florence Welch
What a masterpiece! Produced by Blood and Mark Ronson, Hey Girl is a brilliant duet by two of this generation’s greatest vocalists, Lady Gaga and Florence Welch. The mellow yet funky track is a positive ode to friendships and feminism – what more could women want? Florence and Gaga’s voices melt together like butter and it is stunning. Thumbs up, girls!
1. Dancin’ in Circles
We’re literally Dancin’ In Circles as we write this! In an album full of jazz, rock and country, Gaga finally reclaims her Queen of Pop crown in this infectious record! Dancin’ In Circles is officially our favorite track on Joanne simply because it’s the most Lady Gaga-sounding song on the album. Did anyone else notice it’s very reminiscent of Alejandro? This is going to be on repeat!
Though the Gaga we all know and love is still slightly present, it’s safe to say she’s matured immensely on this record. It’s about time we heard Gaga’s glorious set of pipes and recognized her effortless talent. It’s not every day we get an artist who can so effortlessly cross genres and boundaries. Kudos, Gaga, you’ve mesmerized us once again.