After the disappointment of 2013's flimsy concept album Artpop and the recalibration of 2014's Cheek to Cheek with Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga seems to be back to business. Her new single, "Perfect Illusion," is her second new song since 2014 — the first being the Academy Award-nominated "Till it Happens to You," from the soundtrack of The Hunting Ground.
The song is reminiscent of "Bad Romance"-era Gaga, but with the extra adrenaline shot of a big stadium rock song and some twinkly, vaguely creepy '80s synthesizers. There's definitely a kick to her voice, and a toughness that has been on a back shelf since 2009's The Fame Monster.
Gaga co-wrote the song with its producers: pop savant Mark Ronson, Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, and recent Justin Bieber and Kendrick Lamar collaborator, BloodPop. She also teased a video for the track on Twitter this morning.
In an interview with BBC Music, Gaga said that she wrote the song on a typewriter and that it was meant as a commentary on social media: "How do we navigate through social media? How do we look through these images that we know are filtered and altered, and decipher what is reality and what is a perfect illusion?" Anyway, Gaga is back and it's great to have her!
Correction: A previous version of this article referred to "Till it Happens to You" as an Academy Award-winning song. In fact, it was nominated and did not win. We regret the error.