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A grand, orchestral composition welcomes you on “Chromatica I,” the opener to Lady Gaga‘s sixth studio album, Chromatica. The song begins with a low rumbling that quickly gives way to a flurry of crying strings, scrambling to a crescendo before leveling out in a soaring, trumpeted melody. Like the theme to a sci-fi flick, it evokes the feeling of flying, of a long and sprawling journey, as the prelude to some dancehall epic. And then it drops, seamlessly flowing into the subsequent banger, “Alice,” and things really get moving.
That sonic journey feels almost symbolic for the bumpy road to the album’s release itself, one that was paved by delays and leaks — as well as joyful, pop-futurist music videos and visuals sealed by a sine insignia. The followup to 2016’s Western-tinged Joanne and the Star Is Born soundtrack, Chromatica was originally slated for release on April 10, but it was delayed to the coronavirus pandemic. Gaga officially confirmed the tracklist on April 21 after Target accidentally leaked it on their website.
But nonetheless, as of Friday (May 29), Chromatica is finally here, and among its 16 songs are a bounty of career-defining collaborations, as in the triumphant duet “Rain on Me” brought to life with Ariana Grande and the greatly anticipated team-up with K-pop’s girl gang Blackpink on “Sour Candy,” and those that mine Gaga’s own humanity and hurt. “Please listen from the beginning to the end,” the singer wrote on Twitter. “No need to shuffle, it’s my true story.”
It’s a sentiment that rings true with many fans and collaborators alike, with the likes of Cardi B and Tony Bennett chiming in to express their congratulations and excitement over the LP. Below, check out some of the reactions from Chromatica‘s numerous celebrity ambassadors, and stream the album now.