Dear Lady Gaga,
I remember seeing ads for your records back in the day, when you were new to the scene. You know, like in Frontiers magazine or whatever those other free rags you get near the bathrooms in a gay bar are called.
I’ll admit at first I dismissed you as one of those dime-a-dozen, clubhouse, one-hit wonders. You know: They’re pretty, they can sing, they’ve got a good look, but you’ll never care about anything but that one hit of theirs that you don’t know the name of because you were strung out on whatever you were strung out on and falling in love with that guy you’re making out with on the dance floor that you met 5 minutes ago.
Okay. So, I was wrong. Sue me. My former best friend (long story) said, “Have you heard Lady Gaga?” and I was like, “Ahhhhh…” and he was like, “Trust me.” And I was like, “Okay.” Needless to say, it was all over after that. What was I thinking even questioning the fact that I was going to be worshiping your talent henceforth? I even made a Lady Gaga tribute comic book called Going Gaga! Remember? You tweeted about it after San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago. Did you get your copy? My friend’s neighbor across the hall was supposedly your personal assistant at the time and was supposed to give you a copy. (God, I hope it’s not that weird one that sued you!)
Onto other things! I’m so excited you’re the musical guest on SNL this weekend! You’re gonna tear it up like you always do. I saw you rehearsing on Instragram. So geeked! I hope they work you into a skit like that time with you and Madonna. I mean the skit wasn’t that funny, but whatever.
Speaking of Madonna, as a long-time fan of Madge’s, I’d be lying if I didn’t see her influence on you, but that’s a good thing. You’re both talented in your own right and definitely each an important footnote in music history. I know it’s annoying that everyone always compares you, so I’m sorry I brought it up.
I just wanted to thank you for your music. And your message. And you. Seriously, your music has helped me through a lot of messed-up times, like when I had major oral surgery and I was hopped up on percocet. The Born This Way Remix Album inspired me to draw one of the coolest pieces of art I’ve ever made! That’s not to say your music hasn’t helped me through some good times, too. I’m sure I shed a few lbs on the stair master at the gym listening to “Poker Face.” Speaking of which, thank you so much for releasing Joanne. I totally needed new cardio music. Nothing will top “Bad Romance” as the best cardio song ever, but I’ll take what I can get.
Love the record, by the way. I could hear the Stevie/Fleetwood Mac influence straight out of the gate. You guys should totally do a duet! There’s definitely a electric country vibe that I’m digging. Picture it – your Dolly Parton duet! A cover of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer’s “Enough is Enough.” That would be otherworldly.
You continue to amaze me as you evolve an artist. Here’s a blow-by-blow of what I think of your new record:
Diamond Heart – This is a great way to kick off the album. Very, Stevie, Fleetwood Mac, ’70s rock anthem. “I’m not flawless, but you know I’ve got a Diamond Heart.” (See what you did there? Genius!)
A-YO – Here we go! I love this song. It’s so fun and clap happy. I just want to jump up and dance – but why? I haven’t sat down from dancing to “Diamond Heart” yet. Smoking is gross, but songs about smoking are fun.
Joanne- Oh how I love this sweet song. You can totally hear the raw despair in your voice on this one. I know this was written for your beloved aunt that you were named for and how special it is. I can relate – I love my Aunt Sherry to pieces. It’s such a pretty happy/sad song. Like daisies in the rain.
John Wayne- Okay, we’re 4 songs in and I’m still in love. I love the funky, electric twang on this one. Everything is so fresh, but familiar enough to lend itself to instant likability.
Dancin’ In Circles- This might my favorite track. It’s so fun. It’s like walking confidently through a foreign city with a big hat on. “Lets Funk Downtown.” Indeed.
Perfect Illusion- This one took a minute to grow on me. Hear me out. I was totally sad when you and Tyler broke up and really respected the way you two handled your relationship, so I was hoping it wasn’t just an illusion. But then I saw a video on YouTube that explained “Perfect Illusion” is about your relationship with the Illuminati and record industry, so I was like, “Phew!” This is a jam. Do I hear a little Pat Benatar? (Hell yeah!)
Million Reasons- Oh Gaga, this is another favorite. This falls under the same category as “Speechless.” You know one of those hauntingly beautiful songs that you have to listen to when your feeling blue. BTW- I forgot to mention how great your voice is throughout this record. I know everyone discovered you could sing when you did that Sound of Music medley at the Oscars. I found that a little annoying. Why? Because I knew you had it in you all along, Dorothy!
Sinner’s Prayer- I love the intro to this cut. Certainly worthy of a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. I feel like I should be riding horseback while listening to it. And anything with “sinner” in the title is aces in my book.
Come to Mama- This is your hippy, bouncy, Beatles/John Lennon plea for peace and happiness. But then it turns into this fun, ’50s girl group song. I adore it. Come to papa.
Hey Girl- Talk about funky! I love the jazzy tempo intro. I almost expected Barry White to start singing. It’s a great girl power, I-got-your-back song. You and Flo sound great together.
Angel Down- This beautiful, somber ballad packs a punch, lamenting the woes of the world.
Grigio Girls- What a great fun song. Anyone who can work “Spice Girl” and “Pinot Grigio” into the same song has to be some kind of musical genius, hands down.
Just Another Day- I love, love, love this song! It’s happy, bouncy, and the perfect end of Joanne. I can hear this playing as the credits to a heartfelt ’70s framed roll. There’s kind of a fun Randy Newman element to it, too.
So, needless to say, I love it. Well done. I’m so looking forward to the tour on this one. I saw you at Nokia the first time you were in Los Angeles. Did you see me waving at you? (Haha, I’m not that deluded.)
Before I go, I wanted to mention how glad I am you are getting more into your acting now, too. I love your work on AHS and can’t wait for A Star is Born. How about doing an Amy Winehouse biopic? You still need an Oscar, after all.
Okay, get back to making your magic, mama. It’s my dream to one day meet you in person, until then I’ll keep witnessing your talent from afar.
Very sincerely yours, with heartfelt love and gratitude,
Michael Fitzgerald Troy
P.S. I hope all the Little Monsters and everyone else buys a billion copies of Joanne.