This post was written by Hatchet reporter Leah Potter.
This week’s must-listens include the return of Lady Gaga, a “Hamilton” remix and some a capella.
“Come to Mama” by Lady Gaga
Forget everything you thought you knew about Lady Gaga’s style when you listen to her new album, “Joanne”: The queen of pop has evolved into a rock country goddess.
My first impression of the album, like that of many of her fans, was shaped by her underwhelming single “Perfect Illusion.” The key change that comes about three-quarters of the way through the track isn’t enough to make up for its cliche lyrics.
Thankfully, “Perfect Illusion” is a great example of not judging the album by the single, so don’t let it discourage you from listening to the entire album start to finish – especially standout “Come to Mama.”
The track gives off a retro vibe, featuring a pulsing keyboard beat and a handful of saxophones to highlight the complementary – and somewhat ‘80’s – jazz melody.
The lyrics emphasize a message we all learned as children: Treat others how you wish to be treated. Gaga explains that humanity should take a step back and reflect on childhood innocence by “coming back to mama.”
A standout lyric goes, “So why do we gotta fight over ideas / We’re talking the same old shit after all of these years.”
“Joanne” was released Oct. 21.
“Satisfied” performed by Sia (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah)
While the Hamilton Mixtape won’t be officially released until Dec. 2, fans of the musical – and of the noteworthy pop artists featured on the album – rejoiced over the release of Sia’s rendition of “Satisfied” released last week.
As a hardcore “Hamilton” fan, I was pleasantly surprised by how Sia’s echoey and ominous intonation carried the story of Angelica Schuyler. Hip-hop drum and bass beats merge with electronic music sounds, though none of the liberties taken with the rhythm of the song distort the power behind the original work of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The best part of this rendition is when Queen Latifah takes over the rap at the line, “So this is what if feels like to match wits, with someone at your level.” It’s unexpected, and Latifah’s hard-hitting sound is perfectly paired with Sia’s whimsical style.
“Satisfied” performed by Sia (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) was released Nov. 10.
“Hallelujah” performed by Pentatonix
After Leonard Cohen’s passing last week, it’s a good time to revisit his classic song “Hallelujah.” Penatonix’s new album “A Pentatonix Christmas” features a cover of the song that couldn’t have been better timed.
I’ve resisted listening to Pentatonix in the past because it felt a little too much like “Pitch Perfect,” but this rendition deserves a listen.
The arrangement alternates between male and female vocalists to carry the main melody line, which is boosted by a strong group of bass singers. The high notes that the female vocalist achieves are chilling, and the vocalists on the percussion line will fool you into thinking you’re listening to a drum machine.
“A Pentatonix Christmas” was released Oct. 21.