One of the most anticipated pop collaborations of the year between Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande has materialised in Rain On Me and it does not disappoint.
Gaga knew her fans wanted a pop album but she’s turned the dial to 11 on Stupid Love and Rain On Me, giving fans abstract drama on the dancefloor. It’s the sort Gaga fans fell in love with. True Fame Monster and Born This Way ambition with a little of the crazy that inhabited ArtPop.
In a climate where bold dance pop is only just finding it’s feet again, Rain On Me feels refreshing. The production is slick and polished, Gaga and Grande sound smoother than ever and there’s a subtle otherworldly feel.
It’s also indebted to pop’s great purveyors of dancefloor euphoria. There are nods to Whitney Houston’s ’80s pop reign but it also has the feather-light step of Mariah Carey’s Heartbreaker. That potent combination is splashed with the string-laden disco of Donna Summer which adds a decadence that few dare to indulge in these days. When that combination is delivered with two of the past decade’s most influential popstars, it feels like a celebration of the way pop can make you feel.
Gaga has always delivered a simple lyric with conviction and that’s exactly what makes you believe in Rain On Me. “At least I showed up, you showed me nothing at all,” is tough while, “I’d rather be dry but at least I’m alive,” is a potent admission of imperfection.
Gaga and Grande have always risen from misery and those two forces joined together amounts to a triumph.
Best Moment: For a Fame Monster fan, hearing her speak, “Rain. On. Me.” feels good.
Worst Moment: Not today Satan.
Best Lyric: “I’d rather by dry but at least I’m alive,” sits high on the list of Gaga’s best hooks.
Worst Lyric: “Hands up to the sky, I’ll be your galaxy,” will push you over the line if you’re already finding it cheesy.