Following the stripped-down dive bar singer-songwriter detour of 2016’s Joanne and the piano-driven balladry of 2018’s A Star Is Born soundtrack (notwithstanding the pop absurdism of “Why Did You Do That?” and “Hair Body Face”), Chromatica signals a return to the type of maximalist dance-pop that rocketed Gaga to superstardom in the late 2000s with early hits like “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance.”
That return to form isn’t found solely in Chromatica‘s turbo-charged sonic palette, either. The superstar’s new album also finds her revisiting lyrical themes dating back to the moment in 2008 that she broke into mainstream cultural consciousness with the bold declaration that she was ready to “Just Dance.”
Gaga has spent her career giving a voice to the freaks and the marginalized, crafting a body of work centered around the pillars of embracing your identity, finding personal freedom and the cathartic revelry that can be found on the dance floor — all topics running through the lyrical content of Chromatica.
Below, Billboard rounded up the ten most classic Lady Gaga lyrics peppered throughout Chromatica‘s 16 tracks.
“Maestro, play me your symphony/ I will listen to anything/ Take me on a trip, DJ, free my mind”
“Now, it’s time to free me from the shame/ I gotta find that peace, is it too late or/ Could this love protect me from the pain?”
“Rain On Me” (with Ariana Grande)
“Gotta live my truth, not keep it bottled in/ So I don’t lose my mind, baby, yeah”
“This is my dance floor/ I fought for”
“I’m not nothing without a steady hand/ I’m not nothing unless I know I can/ I’m still something if I don’t got a man/ I’m a free woman, oh-oh (Be free)”
“You love the paparazzi, love the fame/ Even though you know it causes me pain/ I feel like I’m in a prison hell/ Stick my hands through the steel bars and yell”
“Turnin’ up emotional faders/ Keep repeating self-hating phrases/ I have heard enough of these voices/ Almost like I have no choice”
“‘Cause I’ve spent too long/ Dancing all alone/ Dancing to the same song/ I’m no toy for a real boy/ (Ooh la la, ooh la la)/ If you’re a real boy”
“Sine From Above” (with Elton John)
“When I was young, I prayed for lightning/ My mother said it would come and find me”
Strut it out, walk a mile/ Serve it, ancient-city style/ Talk it out, babble on/ Battle for your life, Babylon/ That’s gossip, what you on?/ Money don’t talk, rip that song/ Gossip, babble on/ Battle for your life, Babylon”