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Music Quickspins

Lady Gaga – Joanne

Lady Gaga – Joanne (Interscope Records, 2016)

Say “howdy” to Lady Gaga’s new release, Joanne. Who is this woman? She plays chameleon in this album, between a country gal, a pop star and an R&B singer. Oh, but she delivers—this is her most versatile album yet. Tracks like “Joanne,” “A-YO” and “Sinner’s Prayer” make it sound as though she’s been singing country her whole career. Don’t be fooled, though: her addictive pop dance songs are still present. “Dancin’ in Circles” sounds just like the Gaga tunes that have played again and again on every radio station for the past few years. Her powerful voice will get you hooked on songs like “Perfect Illusion” after just one listen. Another one of this album’s great country tracks is “Diamond Heart,” where she mixes pop and country like mashed potatoes. For “Hey Girl,” Gaga becomes the sophisticated R&B singer, as confident as can be. The track has an 80s electro mixture that sounds just right. Give Joanne a listen, you’ll go Gaga for it.

Trial Track: “Perfect Illusion”

9/10

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Music

Lady Gaga lights up the Bell Centre

The words “Gaga” echoed throughout the nearly sold-out show over and over again moments before Lady Gaga made her appearance onstage at the Bell Centre.

Having been to her last concert, I expected a change from The Born This Way Ball, which is exactly what I got.

The thing that pleased me about this show was that during her two and a half hour performance, she performed songs from all three of her albums, and not just from her newest album Born This Way.

Gaga entered the stage on what seemed to be a real horse but turned out to be a fake one with two people inside controlling it – talk about an original entrance.

Her stage consisted of a huge castle, and a runway that went more than halfway onto the floor area, allowing her to interact with fans.

The castle and the runway were perfect to use during songs, especially during the song “Love Game”, when Gaga came up just a few feet away from the crowd, smoking a cigarette, and lying down singing.

As many would have predicted, her costumes and controversy – such as insinuating oral sex with her dancers during “Government Hooker” – brought much more entertainment to the show.

Her opening costume was the highlight of all her clothing. To get a good idea of what her outfit was, imagine tight black nylon covered in sparkles with metal silver wings attached to her sides, and a cage-like headpiece. In other words, a fashionable alien.

It is quite evident that the 26-year-old singer has a strong relationship with her fans since throughout the night she would interact with them. Gaga even invited four lucky fans onstage to sing her final encore song “Marry The Night”.

Her energy is what kept her devoted fans up and jumping throughout the entire night. The show altogether flowed like a the circus, with top-notch singing and dancing.

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Music

Music In The News: Lady Gaga, Drake, James Blunt

The Roots of the classics 

New York University music students are in for a treat this spring as musical Renaissance man and The Roots drummer Questlove is reportedly on board to teach a course entitled Classic Albums. The idea for the course was partly inspired by an NPR intern’s lackluster review of Public Enemy’s seminal It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. The NPR interns were asked to review classic albums they’d never heard before, and after writing that, given the choice, he’d rather “blast Drake’s infectiously triumphant mp3s every time,” Questlove responded saying it was his job to find out why an album is considered a classic. “He’s one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician,” said associate professor of Recorded Music Jason King. “We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths.” The two-credit class will reportedly cover such notable albums as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Led Zeppelin’s IV, Aretha Franklin’s Lady Soul and Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, among others.

 

Gaga’s La Vie en Toes

Lady Gaga’s long-time interest in French singer Edith Piaf has taken a turn for the bizarre, as she is reportedly in talks to buy a number of items once owned by the star, such as clothes, shoes, perfume bottles, private letters and even her toenail clippings. Gaga’s people are also looking into buying footage of Piaf’s first filmed performance, as well as licensing some of her songs from EMI. The “Just Dance” singer’s love for the French star has been apparent of late; she’s been playing the icon’s music as an entrance theme at parties and has even requested a party be held at Piaf’s hometown during Paris Fashion week.

 

Didn’t he graduate from Degrassi?

Ontarian rapper Drake announced his latest accomplishment via twitter last Wednesday; he finally made it through high school. “97% on my final exam. 88% in the course. One of the greatest feelings in my entire life. As of tonight I have graduated high school!” Drake, 25, dropped out of high school to pursue his acting career on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but says an invite to be a guest coach for the University of Kentucky inspired him to get his diploma. “I never really got like a great school experience. And when [University of Kentucky’s] Coach Cal asked me to come here for the first Midnight Madness it just really gave me a sense of school, a sense of love, a sense of belonging to something,” said the new graduate, adding that he felt he belonged to the U of Kentucky family and was “inspired by UK, inspired by these boys right here.”

 

Goodbye my lover

Ladies, get your hankies. If you haven’t yet caught this English crooner’s live rendition of “You’re Beautiful,” you may have missed your chance. James Blunt revealed to a reporter at The Daily Mail over the weekend that he is officially calling it quits on the music industry. “I just want to take some time out for myself. I haven’t got any plans to do more songwriting,” said Blunt. “I have been chilling out since I finished my world tour and I’ve spent a lot of time in Ibiza, where I have a villa.” Twitter had a field day with the announcement, even Blunt joined in tweeting “I’m pretty sure Adele and James Blunt were dumped by the same man.”

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