Product Vs. Promotion: Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’

Published: Tuesday 11th Oct 2016 by Rashad

While the critical and relative commercial failure of 2013’s ‘Artpop’ (and its singles) signaled to some a significant fall from grace for Grammy winning songbird Lady Gaga, the three years that followed proved quite the opposite.  Redemption arrived in several packages including a highly praised, Grammy-winning chart-topper with jazz legend Tony Bennett, two stunning Academy Awards performances, and a Golden Globe win for her role in the ‘American Horror Story’ franchise.

As the feats above collectively seemed to spell great anticipation for a “proper” comeback of the eccentric songstress, many-a-diehard fan was sure the singer/songwriter’s reignited star would see her new music greeted with similar fanfare – a notion only solidified by word she’d reconnected with serial hitmaker RedOne for production contributions to the new project.

The setup would ironically prove to be a perfect illusion:

‘Perfect Illusion,’ the first taste of things to come from the Grammy winner’s fifth official era, was immediately met with mixed review upon its September release.  While some expressed disappointment in the song’s repetitiveness and exaggerated pronunciation of lyrics others bemoaned over its instrumental composition and lack of infectiousness akin to her inaugural hits ‘Poker Face,’ ‘Just Dance,’ and the like.  Debuting on the Hot 100 at a respectable, yet moderate #15, fans were sure the song’s accompanying music video would save the day.

Sad to say, they were wrong again and later stunned to see the tune drop out of the top 40 all together its second week.  As of time reporting the song sits at #59 after just three weeks!

What went wrong?  Was ‘Illusion’ simply not the tune Gags needs to put her back on top or does the 80s-inspired number simply need a real (and widely televised) push to help it bounce back.  Simply put:

Your thoughts?

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  1. Rima October 11, 2016

    PI is so different from anything GaGa has released. Rock isn’t mainstream sorry she didn’t release a generic r&b song like Needed Vocals or Sorry I can’t chart anymore.

    • Truthsayer the Deplorable October 11, 2016

      Oh pls. Even for a rock song or whatever, the song is just average at best. Admit your girl made a dud, and pray the album is not a similar dud. I feel Gaga is losing (or has lost) her creativity, and someone like Gaga is a hit-or-miss kinda person. And when she misses, she misses by a mile.

      • Rima October 11, 2016

        GaGa is not the average artist, she ain’t worried about topping charts PL peaked at 15. And what mile did GaGa miss? She has the talent the looks and the music she’s changing the landscape of pop as we know it.

      • Avenger October 11, 2016

        The looks?

      • Kris October 11, 2016

        Girl, Gaga doesn’t even have the impact to not be concerned about charting. That’s alarming for an artist whose been out a little under ten years. And most of those years were plagued by flop after flop after flop. Gaga is a 1 Album wonder… over inflated career… overexposed..

      • JOHNVIDAL October 12, 2016

        Gaga obviously made an impact. A bigger one than most pop girls. Obviously. Even now without the hits it´s obvious she´ll be able to have a career. The others couldn´t say the same in the position she is in right now. One album wonder? Yeah one album wonder who sold sold almost as many album copies with her few releases as Rihanna with her like 8 or 9 albums. Grow up and stop being bitter. You obviously don´t care one bit about talent and music.

    • ? October 11, 2016

      The song/video it self is trash. There’s nothing wrong with her, its the product!

  2. DC3 FOREVER October 11, 2016

    I “Like” Perfect Illusion but not in love with it. Gaga’s music had a habit of pulling everyone in even when you didn’t want to her music used to be infectious and hot and she used to wear weird clothing. I think she let the weirdness take over her music which is why people stopped listening to her and she ended up fading and now she’s so far removed from what’s hot her music just isn’t good anymore. And from the music we’ve heard from this new album it sounds like it’s a country record and if that’s the case she can keep it. Just GO BACK TO THE FAME MONSTER ERA AND YOU”LL BE BACK ON TOP! it’s a pretty simple solution

    • Avi October 11, 2016

      “Gaga’s music had a habit of pulling everyone in even when you didn’t want to”

      Eh. No. Her music never pulled me in and from the looks of it, I’m hardly alone.

  3. Rated R October 11, 2016

    Lets cut the crap , “Perfect Illusion” is straight out of left field . It is too far out in left field for the general public outside of Gaga fans who will buy anything she puts out . Maybe a nice album cut but definitely not single worthy , especially after the last year of success she has had . She needs a song that reflects that , something sassy something saying this is me Gaga and I came to slay . Maybe the 2nd single will be the one .

    • Rima October 11, 2016

      GaGa isn’t worried about the GP that’s wack ass Rihannas job. GaGa is a true artist.

      • ? October 11, 2016

        You crack me up lol

  4. Ughhhh October 11, 2016

    Lady Gaga was a fad. She came at the time where gimmicks, costumes and album themes were a thing. Artist like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Kesha also used this fad to gain exposure. She also created gimmicky material with repeatitive chorus focused anthems that fit with that era at the time. Also during that time came the need for fans to be called specific names by the artist they stood for (monsters, bee hive, barbs) which also drew away from the actual purpose (the music) and focused more on there persona. Lady Gaga spent way too much time focusing on her image rather than focusing on the longevity of her music. She made her career temporary by putting her self in the “what’s trending” lane. Now she is trying to rebrand herself and come off as more personable and it isn’t working.

    • Truthsayer the Deplorable October 11, 2016

      Lmao. No she was the one who made costumes and weirdness a thing. Not the other way around. And her lack of success is not really a Gaga thing, it’s on the song. The song isn’t good, hence it deserved to flop.

      • Ughhhh October 11, 2016

        The other way around to what? I didn’t compare her to anyone. Clearly you either didn’t fully read my message or you’re not capable of comprehension because I clearly stated why her songs and her image isn’t working.

  5. Rima October 11, 2016

    Don’t forget GaGa inspired y’all sack ass

  6. Rima October 11, 2016

    Don’t forget GaGa inspired y’all wack ass favs including Rihanna, Kesha, Nicki,Beyonce,Miley etc. Bow down to a real queen.

  7. SWISH October 11, 2016

    lmao rima is FUMING ??

    • Weezy Tha Goat/ Zayn is ? October 11, 2016

      Throw some fires on that salty ass b****.

  8. nico October 11, 2016

    I cant wait to the biggest flop of the year she will break records with biggest drop out top 200

  9. Bish in Africa October 11, 2016

    Aint no good way a flop could be packaged.. She could bounce back with her next single tho.. I dont use gaga anymore since like 2012. Still wish her well all the same

  10. yc18 October 11, 2016

    One of the options for the poll should be “who cares”

  11. RihNavy October 11, 2016

    Perfect Illusion was a…Perfect Illusion. A mirage, if we’re being honest. It looked good and seemed appetizing but then it vanished and turned out to be a tasteless figment of our imaginations. None of that detracts from her talent as a vocalist or performer, but it goes to show that such a radical change, instead of ‘normal’ change is foolish and not smart because your respective audience will feel like you’ve abandoned them. With that being said, she still has a chance to pull through, with the RIGHT single. That’s all I got

  12. Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

    It’s not the genre of the song, it’s just that the song is not memorable, it’s not even a full rock song, it has elements of it, the song lacks personality. Gaga’s a great artist, she’ll be fine with or without commercial success.

    • IG:code_rex2.0 October 11, 2016

      The song is hideous! She needs to stop trying too hard and let her talent move and speak for itself.

      • Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

        While I think the song it’s not the business, she doesn’t need to do a thing to show her talent, as a musician and performer she has nothing else to prove, so I disagree with your last sentence.

  13. Paulo October 11, 2016

    it’s definitely the product. if it was a promotion or interest problem, the song wouldn’t even have charted that high upon release. I just wish her team would postpone Joanne a bit to make room for a second single but I guess after they tried that with ArtPop and mishandled it they would rather play safe.

    • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

      Nice points. But I think they were definitely having in mind a possible “no-hit” so they decided they were going to do the era as planned no matter what, as most not-so-mainstream artists do. Sometimes it gets to a point it is better to forget about chart pressures.

  14. Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

    Also all the people bashing her, y’all know that I’m not the biggest fan of hers but every talented artist must be supported, we don’t have that many, just don’t ask me to stand for Beyoncé, lmao.

    • Xeke October 11, 2016

      Would you stand for a semi truck burrowing down on you at 90 mph, f@gg?

    • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

      Suicide you must understand them. Most of these people are not here for music or talent 🙂 Plus you were doing it to her till recently. Anyway, I´m curious to know your thoughts on Bruno Mars´ new song. I know you LOVED Locked out of Heaven and some other songs from his last album (and so did I). How about the new one? I mean I like it but it´s also the first time I´ve seen Bruno playing it too safe. Like it could get repetitive if he prolongs the route he has taken recently for too long. Any thoughts?

      • Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

        You know I have issues with Gaga’s personality, never denied that, but talent comes first, also she hasn’t done anything wrong this era besides releasing quality music, I appreciate that, Gaga is the kind of artist that keeps you interested in what’s next no matter what, I’ll be buying her album, she seems in a better place as an artist and as a person, so let’s support her, I’m here for good music, whatever it be from out 90’s divas or the newbies, another thing even Madonna moved on from the silliness of the comparisons, they made peace, so I’m here to support Gaga like I did when I fell in love with her back when she released Bad Romance, as long as she keep releasing good music and being lay down like this, I say go Gaga.

      • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

        Good for you. Finally! You´re truly back 🙂

      • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

        I´ll buy the album too. That same day I´ll finally buy Florence´s last album (yeah I know), Born to Run (I don´t know where the hell the copie I had is anymore and that one is an album to HAVE, plus all these old albums are always available for 5 euros easily 🙂 ), a Tina Turner greatest hits I had never seen and caught my attention some weeks ago (truly cheap too) and probably a couple more. I haven´t bought any album this year so far (been too busy really) and now I need it (a lot of free time all of a sudden). Did “Hurts” ever release a third album? I loved their first two.

      • Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

        I know, I’m mostly excited because of the producers. real musicians, not too exciting about the Florence duet, most collaborations can be disappointing, I’m sure it will have quality nonetheless. I love Millions reasons, if being honest, it’s the first song I like from Gaga since Born this Way the album, I’m still unsure about her personality but like I said, can’t deny her greatness as an artist.

    • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler October 11, 2016

      Lol So you admit it, you think Beyonce is talented.

  15. IG:code_rex2.0 October 11, 2016

    All these Gaga stan talking from the side of their necks when their girl is warming up for her 3rd and biggest flop era. All the s*** they talked about Anti and Lemonade. Suddenly it time to face the music and scale the hurdle, and I all I am seeing is she don’t care about the charts crap. Girl bye. The Hives can claim and pull that line off cos bey slays the BB200, but not gaga who is going to flop harder than flop itself.
    She is talented and all, but she used gimmick to drive her brand. Used herself as the poster chikd if being different and an outsider when it mattered most, people seem to have mived on from all that and she hasn’t been able to make the transition hence all her Le struggle. Rih keeos it new and fresh every era, Bey keeps in hit and busy every era. Even Swifty dared to swith it up for her last 2 eras. So What’s gaga’s excuse for struggling with her evolution?

    • Truthsayer the Deplorable October 11, 2016

      If she made an actual good song, it would have been a hit. Perfect Illusion is a terrible, mediocre, PoS.

      • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

        It´s not a terrible song by any means. Definitely not worse than so many other songs out there which are hits. And Million Reasons is just great.

      • Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

        I agree with John, it’s not a bad song, it’s just not memorable, is like The Edge of Glory without the iconicness, I’m sure the album will be great, it will work as a whole body of work instead of hit singles.

      • BEY>RIH October 11, 2016

        The Edge of Glory has no iconicness lmao.

      • JOHNVIDAL October 12, 2016

        What are you talking about? LMAO Be nice nobody is attacking beyonce here. Relax and behave in one of the very few posts in this blog where hate was not owning the whole comment section. Just real talk about music.

    • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

      Who has talked pshit? There are literally only a couple of “monsters” in this blog. Also, you cannot consider Born This Way and Artpop flops if you are going to consider Anti a hit, cause both sold more than Anti. I agree that too many people have moved on for her to have a new hit single ever again (or not, one never knows). But tons of artists don´t get hits and do well at what they should: delivering music and talent. She´ll go the Florence and Lana route (hell she´s collaborating with Florence in teh album actually). Some peopel have moved on… but so has she.

      • IG:code_rex2.0 October 11, 2016

        You can’t compare BTW and Artpop sales with that of Anti. Her new Album and Anti would be released the same year, under the same buying/ SPS climate. That is what we would be comparing in the near future. If anything, Artpop and BTW should be compared with UNA and TTT. Those albums were released and pushed right around the same time.

      • JOHNVIDAL October 12, 2016

        It´s not like it´s been those many years though. So relax. And I know what you eman, but my comment is a reply to an obviously exaggerated hate comment. You cannot talk about Anti as a big success while downplaying Artpop, which without the hit singles Anti supposedly has, sold way more copies first week than Rihanna has ever done in her entire career with all those constant hit singles. Just no. If Artpop was a flop, then Anti has been a pretty big one too. With such long running #1 as Work, she has only sold 500k in the USA and she won´t sell more. Beyonce or Gaga would murder sales albums if they had a 10 weeks #1 song in the Hot100. Facts.

  16. StarXavi October 11, 2016

    I think she just needs a chance to perform in front of a big crowd. Give us a sickening performance and things can turn around for the single. I appreciate the departure from her “norm”

  17. #JACKIE October 11, 2016

    Most of the Monsters jumped ship after Artpop and the GP hasn’t been here for Gaga since BTW. She still has the talent, but she will probably never reach her former glory again.

    • RihNavy October 11, 2016

    • JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

      I agree Jackie. i think it won´t happen again. Her commercial glory I mean. But like you say, she still has the talent so she´ll have a career anyway.

  18. JOHNVIDAL October 11, 2016

    TGJ “advise” proves to always be wrong so I still don´t get the point of this type of posts. Truth is we certainly don´t know better than the people who actually work in the industry. It´s not that easy to get it right, especially if you want to keep growing. Promo and momentum are crucial, no matter if you release a masterpiece (you have the proof in the so many great musicians who don´t make it to mainstream). Taylor Swift wouldn´t be where she is if it wasn´t for some of those things (cause goodness knows it is not because of her incredible and once in a lifetime type of talent or music).
    In Perfect Illusion case: she was not going to have a #1 hit regardless of the product. The people and media who are usually responsible for nowadays #1 singles are not willing to let her have that anymore. That´s why I think she has chosen a different route. And it is the right decision. She´ll succeed in other departments (industry and musicians are on her side).

    • Suicide Blonde October 11, 2016

      They always advised the wrong people, they like to do it with artists that know exactly what they’re doing, like Mariah for example, who has been doing great, tour and everything, what they don’t understand is that artists like Mariah, Madonna and Celine are still successful, of course not chart wise but as entertainers they are still kicking assess, all three, Gaga’s case is a little bit different because she is still young but she is still successful in other areas as a entertainer as well.

  19. orangejuice October 11, 2016

    I’m not a huge fan but she is very talented, like true artists, I don’t think she cares about the (biased) billboard anymore.

    You can tell the ones thats number chasing

  20. MusicFan103 October 11, 2016

    “Perfect Illusion” plain and simple was a terrible lead single. It was not the sound or style she needed as a comeback and certainly not after the ARTPOP flop era.

    What Lady Gaga needed to do was release a hot Dance Pop/Electro song in the vein of the music from her debut album and or EP ‘The Fame/Monster.’

    I’m not sure who figured this song was a great comeback single. I mean even “Applause” which I did not care for much, was better than this and more in the vein of what you think of when Lady Gaga came to mind. I am even shocked that “Million Years” and the album snippet/previews… the whole entire album seems down temper and more or less boring.

    This thus far is not what I expected as her comeback single, album, etc. Such a disappointment. I was the biggest fan of hers back in 2008-2010. She has sadly been downhill ever since her second album burned thru 5 singles in less than 8-10 months.

  21. Mase October 11, 2016

    As a big fan of hers and as a real person I can say the song itself it’s not what the masses wanted. The problem isn’t her, i believe she can still have a hit. She needs dark pop music and her old self to make it happen but gaga has moved on from what she once was. She’s growing as an artist. I personally, do not like much of the album. But I RESPECT her.

  22. Mase October 11, 2016

    And I honestly believe that she must have at least 1-2 bangers on the album that will shine some light. I wish her the best and with the Super Bowl coming I don’t doubt that she’ll be talked about again

  23. fresj October 11, 2016

    The gimmicks wore off and the cutters mostly grew up and moved on.Doesn’t mean she’s not talented?No, it just means Every artist has a commercial expiration date,EVERY artist.
    Gaga’s problem is that she peaked way too quickly.This single’s problem is that it’s just trash.

  24. YOLO BNE October 11, 2016

    The song was not bad, considering she is trying to rebrand herself as a real artist, though it ended up alienating her core fanbase that only listen to gay dance pop music. It was not the perfect single, but it had the rawness and emotion to make it stand out from the rest. Unfortunately it was released in the wrong era, our generation simply doesnt fw artistry anymore. If she wants to win she needs to work with other songwruters, someone with their finger on the pulse of the young generation, but then personally i like her music left field and wierd. She’s too talented to be making kesha garbage songs anyway even though thats what the gp wants.

  25. Sean October 12, 2016

    I think fans wanted a return to the Fame/Fame Monster era level pop songwriting. The hook is weak, and the video isn’t compelling enough to sell it.

    I have to say, I actually really like PI after a few listens, but these days audiences have access to so much music with streaming that “growers” like PI have no chance in the music market. It’s on to the next one.

    I feel like this whole project, sadly, may miss the mark. But there’s still chance to save it with a killer second single. Let’s see…

  26. e Nowqd Redv dibut it ash trjoan ivy blobukz Need UK timely Ukuno eremixi October 12, 2016


  27. Caleb October 13, 2016

    It is most definitely ‘product’, as the song was so incredibly hyped and promoted that its relative failure cannot possibly be blamed on promotion.

  28. Caleb October 13, 2016

    I’m willing to bet it’ll go to the top ten months after falling from the charts after she performs it at the Super Bowl in February for tens of millions of viewers. With all those people watching some of them are bound to go out and buy her music. The halftime show is great promotion for anyone.

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