CMA Awards 2018
Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce, "Telephone"
"Telephone" starts off unassumingly, with a solemn Gaga singing over an alluring harpsichord melody (a signature Rodney Jerkins flourish that dates all the way back to Brandy and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine"). In no time, though, the song busts wide open to reveal a pounding, irresistible club anthem. Much like Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah," "Telephone" sets out to silence bugaboos, with whom featured artist Beyoncé is all too familiar. "I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster/ Calling like a collector/Sorry, I cannot answer," Beyoncé seethes, as the track suddenly digs its claws into syncopated, Dirty South drum kicks. By the time "Telephone" surges through a wall of cellular bleeps to return to its simple introduction, Gaga and Beyoncé have left the listener with just one option: surrender to the dancefloor.-Melanie Bertoldi