Here's Why Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Is the Best Album Cover of the Week

Lady Gaga
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

Lady Gaga arrives for the premiere of the film "A Star is Born" presented out of competition on Aug. 31, 2018 during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido.

Artwork can't make or break an album, but when the visuals match the mood of the music, cover art can truly take the experience to the next level. This new music Friday (May 29) we're looking at the latest releases and giving a salute to the standout cover art of the week, which happens to be a clear winner: Lady Gaga's Chromatica.

Following the modest profile photo and muted tones of Joanne, Her Ladysmith has returned to the outlandish imagery and biomechanical feels of her Mother Monster days with Chromatica.

It's a bird's eye photo of Gaga clamped down in the middle of a metal circle while decked out in Beyond Thunderdome-esque body armor, with the industrial grey monotone of the machinery brought into relief by the soft pink light oozing through the grate behind her, which her neon candy floss bouffant disappears into. Her splayed limbs create a visual link to the wave in the lithe metal bar holding her down, speaking to the overall Giger-styled mixture of the organic and mechanical – like the Borg Queen or Tetsuo, organic and inorganic material aren't clearly differentiated here (the metal tentacles over her chest are particularly Alien-esque). One of her spiked boots has a knife for a heel; the other a massive talon that creates symmetry with the metallic Krueger-esque nails on her right hand.

It harkens back to the cover art for 2011's Born This Way, but unlike that nightmarish Gaga-as-motorcycle PhotoShop hack job, it actually looks convincing and compelling. Plus, it makes sense for the album's musical content, considering that Gaga brings her distinctive weirdness and warmth to the mostly synthetic dance anthems on Chromatica. All in all, a total win.

Runner-up: Christine and the Queens' La Vita Nuova EP, which sees physical release this week, is also worth mentioning, showing the gender-flaunting Héloïse Letissier in ABBA-esque baby blue sparkling flair pants leaning against a lamppost. It's the sort of confident but lonely noir imagery – which a dash of Liza sequins -- that makes you want to find out what's going on inside.

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