The much-awaited ‘return to pop’ for former Biggest Thing in Pop, Lady Gaga, is finally here. ‘Stupid Love’ is a welcome return to the sounds that characterised Gaga’s imperious run of pop bangers in the late 00s. However on repeat listens those comparisons begin to feel overly generous.
‘Stupid Love’ is familiar to a fault – there are no surprises at all. The synth bass wobbles come virtue of ‘Do What U Want’, the blocky beat from any number of songs from The Fame Monster. In these eco-conscious times Gaga’s taken ‘Stupid Love’ straight from the recycling bins.
The reason this works is partly because it is still good fun, big goofy dumb fun, but also because of the forgiving nature of those consuming it. Gaga fans and pop music fans in general want the old Gaga back, even if what they’ve got isn’t exactly a classic, nor is it as good as the somewhat muted comeback ‘The Cure’ from 2017.
What you can say is that this is definitely a Lady Gaga song. I’m left wondering whether her delivery has always been this hammy (“All I ever wanted was laaaooooouve“) or if she’s lost some of her touch. It’s weird to describe the person who wrote the biggest song of 2019 as ‘coming back’ in any capacity. But ‘Stupid Love’ will be a treat for lifelong fans and those with warm memories of Autumn 2008 and the ‘Poker Face’ video playing at every house party.
Gaga-by-the-numbers: that’s still better than most.