Lady Gaga has been called many things throughout her career, but until now, "relatable" was not a word many would have used to describe the artist. To her loyal fans, Gaga is "Mother Monster," an inspiring and untouchable icon for outcasts around the world. To those less familiar with her music, she's that celebrity who showed up to one awards show in a meat dress and another one sealed inside of an enormous egg.
But with "Joanne," Gaga has transformed from an elaborate persona to, well, a person that we can understand on a deeper level.
Prior to its release, the album was expected to be a stripped-down version of the Gaga with whom we were all familiar, based on the emotional story behind the name, the lack of costumes on the cover art, and a list of collaborators ranging from Florence Welch to Father John Misty.
The album is her first since 2013's "ARTPOP," marking Gaga's return after a retreat from the scene to focus on a partnership with jazz icon Tony Bennett and an acting gig on "American Horror Story." Many speculated that Gaga found her true self during her lengthy break.
As "Joanne" delivers the personal vibes that we were all expecting, its true achievement lies in its track list of relatable songs that allow us to connect with Gaga as a person. Even when Gaga isn't baring her soul in an emotional ballad, she's singing about topics with relevance to our daily lives.In a SiriusXM interview, Gaga revealed that she found her fame "alienating."
"I need human connection in order to write music," she said. "I don't get asked very often, you know, really super-deep things about myself, and that is hard and it's scary."
She described running into fans at a bar or a grocery store and trying to talk to them. "The whole time they're screaming or trying to take a picture, I can't get to know them," she said.
With "Joanne," Gaga is ultimately trying to show that, beyond her extravagant costumes and her energizing beats, she's also a person. While listening to the album, we found ourselves hearing not only the story of Gaga but the story of our lives as well.
This is our list of the most relatable moments in "Joanne."
8) When Gaga shows us her hopes for the future in "Come to Mama"So why do we gotta tell each other how to live? / The only prisons that exist are ones we put each other in
In "Come to Mama," it feels like Gaga is acknowledging her background as "Mother Monster" for all of the fans who found such significance in that persona. At a time when many of us are feeling affected by frequent reports of violence, we'd like to believe that Gaga can fix the world. And honestly, who doesn't hope for such a positive future?
7) When "Hey Girl" is all about the girl power we need in our livesHey girl, hey girl / We can make it easy if we lift each other
The highly anticipated collaboration with Florence Welch doesn't disappoint. Their powerful voices support each other, mirroring the lyrics about needing to "lift each other." This is the epitome of an adult friendship, from dancing together to helping each other get home later. And even if you're a guy, you know about the importance of friendship too. This is super relatable.
6) When she repeatedly acknowledges her flawsI'm not flawless, but I gotta diamond heart
A common theme of the album was Gaga admitting that she's "not flawless," like in the chorus of "Diamond Heart." For years, fans have put her on a pedestal, but just like all of us, she has her imperfections. In "Sinner's Prayer," a song featuring Father John Misty, Gaga accepts that she's a sinner. And who isn't? She's showing us the person that she really is, and the person that most of us are too.
5) When Gaga sings about female masturbation in "Dancin' in Circles"
I lay around, touch myself to pass the time / I feel down, I wish you were mine
Lady Gaga first sang about masturbation in "Sexxx Dreams," and she brings the topic back for "Dancin' in Circles." The song includes both obvious references ("Up all night tryin' to rub the pain out") and more ambiguous moments, like the song title itself. While some might see the topic as taboo, you can't help but admire Gaga for not backing away from it.
4) When Gaga sings about wine in "Grigio Girls"
So when I'm feelin' small / I toss that cork and call
Who hasn't let their feelings out surrounded by good friends and a bottle of wine? Sometimes, you just need to cry. Gaga revealed to Yahoo! that the song is about her close friend, Sonja Dunham, who is battling breast cancer. Many listeners have certainly had friends or family affected by cancer, and knowing the background to "Grigio Girls" brings us closer to Gaga through the common emotional experience that we share with her.
3) When we've all had a relationship like the one in "Million Reasons"
I've got a hundred million reasons to walk away / But baby, I just need one good one to stay
It's almost impossible not to relate to the heartfelt lyrics of this ballad. Walking away from someone is undeniably difficult to do. Gaga knows that, and so do we. She co-wrote the song with Hillary Lindsey, a hit country songwriter, and told Yahoo! that she connected with Lindsey despite their different backgrounds. And connecting is exactly what the album is about.
2) When she speaks out against police brutality in "Angel Down"
Angel down, angel down / But the people just stood around
People are already pointing to "Angel Down" as a song that will define Gaga for years to come. In an interview with Beats 1, Gaga revealed that the lyrics were a tribute to Trayvon Martin. Though she hesitated to speak out about the issue as a non-African American woman, she felt she needed to after listening to the anxiety of her fans in regards to their safety. "Where are our leaders?" she asks, just as many of us are wondering the very same.
1) When the title track perfectly captures what it's like to lose someone
Take my hand, stay Joanne / Heaven's not ready for you
In the title track of "Joanne," Gaga gives us the song that we need about losing someone special. As Gaga sings about her late aunt, we find ourselves picturing the people that we too have lost in our lifetimes. "If you could, I know that you'd stay," sings Gaga to Joanne. Does anyone else feel that lump in their throat during this impeccable tribute to all who we miss so much?
There's a lot of power behind the relatable lyrics that connect the listener to Gaga.
Many fans are already thanking Lady Gaga for the impact that "Joanne" has had on them.
WATCH | For the news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.