Just Dance: Ranking Lady Gaga’s best songs

The album art for "Chromatica" (from Lady Gaga's Instagram)

By Sammie Purcell
BU News Service 

“Chromatica,” Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album, was set to drop Friday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, she decided to delay the release date, making the announcement via Instagram March 24. So, in honor of the upcoming release of her sixth studio album, and to heal the collective broken hearts of little monsters everywhere, here are the top six Lady Gaga songs.

6. Stupid Love

With the release of her first single “Just Dance” in 2008, Gaga immediately certified herself as a dance anthem queen with magnificent pipes. Since then, she’s shown her incredible range in both her music and persona. She’s released an impressive list of glamorous club bangers, made a duet album with Tony Bennett and starred in an Oscar-nominated film.

But with “Stupid Love,” her newest single, Gaga gets back to her roots. It’s a beat-driven, belt-in-the-shower type tune that’s all about letting the right one in – “Nobody’s going to heal me if I don’t open the door,” she sings in the first verse – and loving yourself before someone else can. The song is such an earworm, we can’t help but freak out and get down right alongside her. 

Gaga hasn’t offered much inside information about “Chromatica” but, if “Stupid Love” is any indication, fans can expect to have a new dance party album for when the pandemic is over. 

5. Edge of Glory

This is just the first pick of this list from Gaga’s third album, “Born This Way.” In addition to having one of the best choruses of all time, “Edge of Glory” finishes out with a rocking sax solo that would make Bruce Springsteen proud. 

“Edge of Glory” is true to its name, keeping audiences hanging onto a driving beat and on the edge of their seat the entire time. Gaga wrote it with the help of a piano and a bottle of tequila while her grandfather was close to his last breath, but the song is the opposite of melancholy. It’s a raucous celebration of life that keeps us dancing until the last note. 

4. Born This Way

When Elton John declares your new song “the next gay anthem,”  that’s a lot of hype. Lucky for Gaga, “Born This Way” lives up to it. The song is the most overt example of self-acceptance in her discography, and the LGBT+ community embraced it as their own. 

“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are, ‘cause he made you perfect, babe,” Gaga sings in the first verse. The rest of the lyrics, paired with a joyous beat and a melody are a show of love and acceptance for everyone who needs it. “Born This Way” is Gaga’s love letter to anyone who has felt left outside of the mainstream. 

3. Million Reasons

With “Million Reasons,” Gaga stripped down and showed the world she doesn’t need pounding beats and production to leave an impression. 

In the 2016 album “Joanne,” she showed a different, less flamboyant side of herself, and let her emotions shine through. Songs like the titular “Joanne” and “Angel Down” give insight to personal sides of Gaga that audiences weren’t privy to before. And with “Million Reasons,” the heartbreak she exudes is overwhelming. 

“Million Reasons” digs into the ugly truth of loving someone who continues to hurt you. The agony in Gaga’s voice is palpable and when she lets loose on the last chorus, she reminds the listener just what a vocal talent she is. 

2. Bad Romance

If the world wasn’t convinced after the release of “Just Dance,” “Bad Romance” did the trick. From the iconic, bizarre opening – “Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah/ Roma-roma-ma/ Gaga, ooh la-la” – to Gaga’s growling alto, “Bad Romance” started a revolution. 

“Bad Romance” is memorable on its own, but the music video is what really pushes it towards the top of this list. The video throws itself into the darker side of fame, following Gaga as she’s kidnapped and sold into sex slavery and then sets her buyer’s bed on fire – with him in it. Add a dash of wild fashion and contortionist choreography and you’ve got yourself a video for the books. 

1. You And I

This is a song that was meant to be screamed at the top of your lungs. Try it at karaoke – the crowd will go wild as soon as the intro starts up. 

That’s the magic of “You and I.” The lyrics roll off Gaga’s tongue easily, but the way she commands attention is thunderous. When she says, “This time I’m not leaving without you,” she has you hooked – you’d go wherever she asked you to. 

Besides Gaga’s unbeatable vocal performance, everything else about this song comes together perfectly to create a rock ‘n’ roll sound that was a bit of a departure for Gaga at that time in her career. She carries it off perfectly and has a little help from an old pro – Queen’s Bryan May played guitar on the track.

Gaga croons this song out to her “cool Nebraska guy.” Not sure who that guy is, but he deserves a thank you note. 

“Put your drinks up for Nebraska,” indeed. 

“Chromatica,” Lady Gaga’s sixth album, has been pushed back indefinitely but is set to be released in 2020. 

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