In case you’ve been living beneath a rock, Lady Gaga’s highly-anticipated album ‘Chromatica’ has been delayed. Originally due to release on April 10th, the ‘Stupid Love’ star dropped the news to Little Monsters across the world that the album was going to be delayed indefinitely, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Despite the uproar from some of her most die-hard fans, it wasn’t a terrible decision. In fact, it’s a choice that solidifies her as one of the most impactful forces on the pop music scene. And here’s why…
You see, while we’d all love nothing more than to bop to ‘Chromatica’ while this global pandemic and indefinite lockdown wreaks havoc across the globe, it’s not exactly the best time to drop an album.
For starters, music streaming has actually declined since the start of the lockdown, with people choosing to stream shows and movies on Netflix or Disney+ instead of whacking on tunes. (I, for one, am not one of those people, having experienced an increase in my music consumption).
From a business perspective, it just doesn’t make sense. Sure, The Weeknd managed to drop his massively successful ‘After Hours’ in the midst of the global pandemic, but he’d already been rolling out his album release since last November, with plenty of music videos and surprises up his sleeve. Gaga, meanwhile, only dropped ‘Stupid Love’ at the end of February, possibly the worst time imaginable to embark on an epic album roll out.
If Lady Gaga released ‘Chromatica’ on its original release, we’d only have two music videos (rumours are that the video for the Ariana Grande collaboration ‘Rain on Me’ has already been filmed), and then, well, beyond that we’d be left in the dark. The ‘Chromatica’ era would have even less momentum than it does currently, with the album being burnt through without any external media consumption. By keeping both ‘Rain on Me’ and ‘Chromatica’ up her bedazzled sleeve, Gaga ensures us Monsters still have something to look forward to that she can properly promote.
Beyond that, if the era started when it was originally planned, we’d have no live performances what-so-ever. No interviews. No surprise gigs or red carpet looks. Basically, the entire era would be non-existent, and, as a Gaga fan, that’s what makes her so interesting. Not just the rad music, but the fact that the entire album roll out is an event. Sure, we don’t have anything currently – besides ‘Stupid Love’, but it’ll be far more enticing to experience the performances and interviews play out when the album is fresh and deliciously new.
But the most beneficial factor that Gaga did with delaying ‘Chromatica’ was the humanitarian work she did in its place. By raising almost $128 million with her One World: Together at Home initiative, and by using the billboards she originally paid for to promote her record to spread a message of love in these trying times, Gaga shows that she’s far more interested in benefitting humanity as a whole than simply dropping an album and bowing out. And for that, she deserves credit.
It’s heartbreaking to see Monsters across the internet knock her and continuously demand the album when she’s literally trying to save lives in its stead. Gaga is working as a human being right now, not a singer, and she deserves praise, not hatred or entitlement.
We’ll get the album when we get it, it’s as simple as that. Until then, sit tight and stream ‘Stupid Love’, and look forwarding to relishing every single second of the record when it’s finally here. Its her work and art, not ours.
For more on Lady Gaga, check out my ranking of all of her albums.