TGJ Roundtable: Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’ – Editor’s Reviews

Published: Saturday 10th Sep 2016 by Sam

Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!

Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!

Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.

Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.

Today’s roundtable topic sees us review…

Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’


Welcome back Lady Gaga!

Despite being an ardent fan of ‘ARTPOP,’ time and hindsight make clear the fact that its themes and lyrics were at best abstract. But for most unrelatable. After all, how many can identify with “fame IVs” and venturing to ‘Venus’?

With ‘Illusion,’ Mother Monster serves up the sonically familiar with subject matter that is magnetic to all.

It also sounds larger than life, which is everything a Gaga single should be. Especially at a time when the politics of the Pop world has seen her play down her trademark theatrics.

There are a few nagging niggles, namely the hilarious annunciation of “larhve” and “illoosheun,” as well as the short runtime. The latter of which sees the song end just at the entry point of blazing bliss.

Still, there’s beauty in imperfection. And there’s no illusion to me that this is Gaga in fervently fine form.

At a time when her contemporaries are embracing the lo-fi, it’s warming to see Gaga turn up the volume and rock out.

With sync deals already in place and the song winning the chart race out the gate, her comeback prospects are looking deservingly positive.




Upon listening to ‘Perfect’ I wasn’t sure about it…at all.

However, after giving it subsequent spins I found myself enjoying it thoroughly. Why? I’ve realised that it would be wrong to expect Gaga to deliver the kind of material she rose to fame championing eight years ago.

There’s been no formal announcement (nor would there be), but Gaga has made a transition into an Adult Contemporary of artist and ‘Illusion’ sees her showcase that creative shift with a sound that’s grown on me.

Armed with a relatable theme, the song seems to allude to the demise of her relationship with Taylor Kinney.

It noticeably steers clear of the R&B-kissed vocals she offered on ‘The Fame‘ and ‘The Fame Monster‘ and instead gives a wink at ‘Born This Way’ with its dramatic 80s inspired Pop Rock sound.

Put simply, ‘Illusion’ is raw, powerful, deeply moving and (unlike some of her past releases) human.

I look forward to hearing the rest of the album.




Admittedly, I – like so many – was hoping the songstress would use the launch of her 5th album/era as a  true “return to form”  (i.e. channeling ‘The Fame’ and furnishing some seriously radio friendly Pop akin to the ‘Paparazzi’s and ‘Poker Face’s of yesteryear).

Weary of the socially conscious, unrelatably artistic offerings of the ‘Born This Way’ and ‘ARTPOP’ eras, I needed her to use the time she took off to reevaluate the desires of her fans (and the music buying public in general) and create something that could balance her artistic desires with – dare I say it – Pop fluff (see:  ‘G.U.Y.’ as an example of this idea).

Conceptually, ‘Perfect Illusion’ is just that on the surface – it’s a balance between who Gaga wants to be and who, from a business perspective, she needs to be (minus the almost parodic and/or exaggerated pronunciation of certain words at various points in the song).  However, because it lacks the potency and infectiousness of her previous offerings on the instrumental-front, some will automatically pan it.

Personally, I love the song as it is. Awesomely 80s in composition and the girl is flatfoot singing her face off.  But, for what the ‘Edge of Glory’ singer needs to regain any semblance of her former glory, I (sadly) do not believe ‘Perfect’ was the perfect choice.  Good song, yes.  Single-worthy? Not so much.

Because this song is a grower and polarizer, a well-thought out video will be its ultimate saving grace.



Gaga is back – and thankfully with a single that sounds very her.

After the underrated ‘ARTPOP’ and the Grammy winning jazz effort ‘Cheek To Cheek,’ Ms. Germanota proves to the world that she still has what it takes to rule Pop.

For me, ‘Illusion’ is the best single she could have released to launch a new project, as it’s essentially what she’s been servicing the masses for years but with a twist. That twist being SIMPLICITY.

Clocking right under 3 minutes, the track manages to fit everything a good Pop song needs and leaves you wanting more to the point you MUST press replay.

Also, its “uncomplicated-ness” lyrically and structurally makes it a welcome departure from the sometimes convoluted approach of previous releases.

Now all we need is a killer video and Mother Monster might reclaim her throne as Pop music’s leading lady.

Welcome back, Lady Gaga!


Do you agree with our points? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’!

Your thoughts?

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  1. BeyonceIsASlut September 10, 2016

    Ugly rat faced flop wh#re

    • Fenty Army September 10, 2016

      The worst lead single of the year. All I can hear crack and noise. Time to be a permanent hotel lobby jazz singer or Vegas like Mariah. ?

      • Fake Like Gaga September 10, 2016

        Gaga’s Little Monsters decided to create fake “soccer mom” accounts to tweet radio stations to show a high demand for the song. “You will be helping radio DJ’s all over the world think that the GP is actually living for the song, therefore playing it more often,” read a private post on GagaDaily, a fan site for the musician. Rather than using their “stan” accounts – meaning super fan – to request the song, Gaga fans used the fake accounts because “radio hosts hate homosexuals and stan twitters, it’s a fact”, according to the post on GagaDaily.

      • Bey’sMilitant September 10, 2016

        Gaga- the female Donald Trump of Music. White thrash!


      • Monifah September 10, 2016

        Funny she would ever call herself c r e a t i v e. I agree with The Guardian- underwhelm is the best word to sum up this worst single in her career?

        The song is about as uncreative as one can get. The production sounds tacky, cheap and lazy!

      • Sabrina September 10, 2016

        Thrashy single. I can’t believe with these reviews. Are you guys high on crack?! Why even bother, Sam?

      • Kunty Perry September 10, 2016

        This song is sh*t and dropped at #2 on iTunes (2nd day)

        Close the coffin… ??

      • Truth Capsule September 10, 2016

        Itunes: She plummed to #2 after 24hrs. Time to stan for Ariana feat. Nicki!

    • RiriThePrincesOfPop September 10, 2016

      Why bother with this sh?? It is going to flop like Applause. The only reason Applause was a bonafide hit because of a downloading marathon her team organized. Lol..

  2. Josh September 10, 2016

    Bey isn’t a s***, and Gaga ain’t a w****. Curious what you are doe.

    • BeyonceIsASlut September 10, 2016

      Worth more than your momma for sure

      • K September 10, 2016


    • BeyonceIsASlut September 10, 2016

      Comment Removed: User will be banned if offences continue.

    • Lady GagGag September 10, 2016

      Im the new Queen of Pop!


  3. Everyone’s A Critic September 10, 2016

    It’s a horrible song. Just stop the nonsense. She’s not the same artist she was when she started. She evolved from a loveable pikachu to a raichu, although it’s stronger and more developed, it’s not as loveable as pikachu. It’s not my cup of tea… Coffee or water. This comeback was an illusion…..

    • Fixed? September 10, 2016

      Of course the song was about her relationship with her ex Taylor being a perfect illusion, because the whole thing was fake, just like everything else about her. We all know that fake hip injury, lupus, depression and other deseases she invented for the last 8 years. Not to mention about her fake Golden Globe that she bought just like Beyonce’s Grammys!

      • Everyone’s A Critic September 10, 2016

        Ok… NEVER in your LIFE be up all in my comment box with your nonsense. The vile crap you just commented tells me you’re a gremlin who’s unhappy with life. Take that to another comment box.
        You only get one warning

  4. Rihboy September 10, 2016

    It’s a travesty! It’s hard to listen too! All that yelling and percussion! It is catchy! But I don’t think it has what it takes to last on top of the charts! she will need to drop a game changing music video and promote this on every bookable stage. I cringe at the thought of hearing this live. Especially because it’s vocally heavy! I feel like she is shouting at me! Kudos to keeping the 80,s alive; but I felt like this song could be so much better.

    • Truth Capsule September 10, 2016

      It doesnt scream #1 for sure. Time to take a break!

  5. Meteorite September 10, 2016

    I think some fans need to chill. Not everyone is going to like this song and just because they don’t doesn’t mean they’re haters. It’s just not their cup of tea. Different strokes different folks.

  6. JohnVidal September 10, 2016

    This song sums up her entire career! Tragic lead single of the decade! ?

  7. Zena September 10, 2016

    Another album..another horrible underwhelming song from a desperate, vile and attention seeker singer!

  8. Cocoa September 10, 2016

    Perfect Illusion already dropped to Number 2 on iTunes US.

    • Lol September 10, 2016

      Surprised? Not really…this song screams lukewarm with only one vocal key change. Im not going to waste my $ for this sheer garbage.

    • Truth Capsule September 10, 2016

      And those fake followers cant save this garbage! RIP.

  9. Metzo September 10, 2016

    The song is atrocious. Let’s just be honest. She was screaming through the whole song and the instrumental was noisy. All around annoying song

    • Lalala September 10, 2016

      And her fans said she reinvented a disco rock music ☺️

    • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

      Please it´s not like Beyonce keep releasing masterpieces. You´re not into rock or pop-rock at all and that´s it. At least Gaga creates her songs. Beyonce´s no masterpieces are not even hers. Just be nice and respect talent.

  10. Yawnnnzzz September 10, 2016

    I can’t believe stupid radio DJs would play this thrashy song!!!

    • Cocoa September 10, 2016

      Lol I asked my sister had she heard Lady Gaga’s new song and she was like no I haven’t heard it yet and then I played it for her and she was like oh that was that hot mess I heard on the radio??? I turned that off!!!

      • Kunty Perry September 10, 2016

        ‘Rise’ spent 4+ days at #1 on US iTunes, meanwhile Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’ plummeted to #2 on only it’s second day!!! ?????

  11. . September 10, 2016

    One of the lamest reviews…sad TGJ!

  12. K September 10, 2016

    Im done with this stupid song!

  13. Queen Barb September 10, 2016

    I turn the song off 15 secs in its just lame.

  14. Jackx September 10, 2016

    I think it’s just to repetitive, but I still like it, it’s just gonna get old quick and won’t get much radio play

  15. Terny September 10, 2016

    What I think of this song? 4 words… ONE HOT NOISY MESS! *plays The Art of Letting Go”…Now this is music..

    • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

      Don´t be mad my beloved Mariah. Gaga is one of the few talented ones among the young girls 🙂

  16. S****** Blonde September 10, 2016

    They’re such a fans, TGJ little monsters, how cute.

  17. King B September 10, 2016

    It’s not that bad. Y’all doing too much. I can’t at y’all loving Work but hated this. The same goes to Lemonade.I’m not surprised tho. Y’all talk as if Anti and Rated R are the greatest album ever produced. Same goes to Britney Army with Blackout and Glory, Fighters with Stripped, but when it comes to Grammy,none of them walk home with an award,hell not even a nom. This what makes me believe that critics > Stans on music blog. Y’all over hype a medicore album. I normally look at professional reviews before buying an album and they are 80% right!

    • Queen Barb September 10, 2016

      You’re just mad because no ones checking for Gaga outside her delusional fan base.

      • King B September 10, 2016

        Mad? Why? I’m not even a fan of her. LOL. Instead, I was supposed to be happy that this song got dragged left and right. But sorry, I’m not like you guys who spend time hating on artist 24/7.

    • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

      King B
      You know damn well these is just a couple of crazy people with no lives dedicating their entire days to bring Gaga down with different accounts. It always happens with her posts and new releases. it is truly appalling. And yes obviously if someone praises Work and things like that to the high heavens and at the same time keep bringing someone like Lady Gaga down no matter what then you know it is just pure hate.

      • Lola Sobola September 10, 2016

        You don’t want people to hate on Gaga but all you always do here is hate on Rihanna.
        You are such an hypocrite!

      • JOHNVIDAL September 11, 2016

        Are you retarded? I don´t go attaking PERSONAL level anybody or any artist. And I definitely don´t use 10 ten accounts.

  18. Truth Capsule September 10, 2016

    If i wanted to hear vocal…i would listen to Mariah, Whitney or even Ariana or Janet. This song is annoying. How I miss the 80s or 90s!

    • S****** Blonde September 10, 2016

      Janet? ?

      • Ya ya September 10, 2016

        At least Janet has a breezy smooth tone and melody!

      • S****** Blonde September 10, 2016

        Yeah but you were talking about vocals.

      • Cake Like Gaga September 10, 2016

        just because one doesnt have 5-7 octaves whatever, it doesnt mean she is not a good singer. duh!

      • Royalkev September 10, 2016

        Janet have a respectable 3.5 octave range!

        I also love her great harmonies! … and she truly have so many different textures to her style of singing! She’s not Whitney or Barbra, but she deserves more credit than she gets!

      • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

        Guys now even @S****** is going to be more neutral about Lady gaga than you all? 🙂 Janet has a nice little voice. But Gaga is above her vocally in all possible fronts. For crying out loud start behaving like adults please.

  19. Ex Monster September 10, 2016

    This song is really bad. It sounds like a demo on a phone speaker!

    Ok, second single pleaseeeee!

  20. It Was A Perfect Delusion September 10, 2016

    This flop isn’t even #1 anymore.

  21. Cake Like Gaga September 10, 2016

    To be honest..i’ve been in a “i don’t even care anymore” mood a lot lately with Gaga!


  22. OLDDONNA September 10, 2016

    Mariah slays OLDDONNA

  23. Madonna The Old H** September 10, 2016

    Oop Gaga is officially a hasbeen like Madonna

    • Lemonade September 10, 2016

      Only after 8 yrs? That quick… ?

  24. PawsDownLilMonsters September 10, 2016

    I love Madonna but let’s be honest Gaga slays her in the talent department. We haven’t heard a high not from her since she last had her periods and she’s as stiff as Britney when it comes to dancing.

    • Lalala September 10, 2016

      Lady Gaga has sold 25 million albums in her 9 year career. Madonna sold 100 million albums in the first 6 years of her career.

      Madonna filled up soccer stadiums.
      Gaga covered up arenas but stadiums, her team covered with black curtains to give an illusion that her shows were sold-out!

      Fixed! ???

      • RiriThePrincesOfPop September 10, 2016

        Kih kih kih…. ????????

      • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

        Nobody is saying Lady Gaga is more successful (let that for a couple of Rihanna fans in this blog lol). This person is saying she has much more talent, which is true. And it is probably in response to some Madonna fans who cannot pucking let it go to begin with. Time to move on. Waiting for every Gaga release just to hate on her because Madonna once said something about Born This Way when she needed promo for her new album is truly pathetic. It´s 2016.

  25. RiriThePrincesOfPop September 10, 2016

    i cant remember when Gaga last hit #1 on Billboard..100?


  26. PerezHilton September 10, 2016

    Monsters need to chill. I mean everyone knows this song is cheap and lame! Top 20..with the help of payola effect per usual!

    • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

      Why don´t you stop using all these troll accounts? Do you have a life at all? Mate time to let it go. She is talented and none of your illogical “points” are going to change anything.

  27. JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

    I think I agree with the 4 of you, since all of you liked the song a lot 🙂 Talent is talent. Like I first said after listening to it for the first time, it has a few moments where it feels disconnected or something, but many moments where it sounds like pop glory. Overall, after a couple of listenings it is just great. I know I´ll like the album as a whole anyway since that´s the way I´ve been enjoying music for a long time now.

  28. JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

    Wow I just went through the comments and it is shocking to see all these troll accounts nobody has ever seen in this blog before just here to hate on very personal levels on an (talented) artist. Just wow. It is insane. It´s not new but it is insane.

    • GaGa’s Little Lamb September 10, 2016

      Did you see the one account posing as you?

      • JOHNVIDAL September 10, 2016

        Yep LOL Pathetic.

  29. Rosie September 10, 2016

    The s*** is f****** plummeting ? Already down to only 71% of Closer’s massive (for 2016) sales and falling 6-8% every time Kworb updates. Will be below Heathens, which is at 47% and is light green, in the very early AM hours at the latest.

    • JOHNVIDAL September 11, 2016

      Where are Lana´s singles? You´re pathetic.

  30. Nowqd Reddish trjoan ivy blobukz Need UK timely Ukuno eremixi September 10, 2016

    Nice and too many of yall come on here talk trash yall account should be banned from TGJ

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