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Elton John: Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP’ Was ‘Not A Good Idea,’ LG5 Is ‘Back To The Early Stuff’

22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party - Inside
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images for EJAF

Elton John isn’t one to shy away from being blunt, which is why it wasn’t particularly surprising to hear his rather candid opinion(s) of Lady Gaga‘s music.

During an appearance on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music Beats 1 radio show to promote his 33rd studio album (!) Wonderful Crazy Night, the “Tiny Dancer” icon had an illuminating chat about his latest record, surviving in the music industry, up-and-coming talent (he loves Christine And The Queens!) and the state of pop music today.

Aside from his own music, the prolific singer-songwriter also revealed that he’s heading into the studio with longtime friend, collaborator and godmother to his sons Elijah and Zachary, and he’s already heard some of her upcoming studio album (code name: LG5).

“I’m writing with Gaga tomorrow. She’s doing a new record. I’ve heard two songs, which are killer. They’re just great songs, it’s like back to the early stuff of hers,” he explained, referencing “You & I” (which he amusingly called “You & Me” — oops!) and the “Bruce Springsteen one,” “Bad Romance.”

He remained surprisingly objective when it came to her less well-received moments in the past few years. “She made some bad career decisions,” he admits. “ARTPOP was not a good idea. It was not a good album. I think she will admit that.” (Would she really, though?)

But, as we’ve seen, she’s now in the process of a slow, steady return as she continues to play the long fame game. “Last year, which was 2015, she did three things which were kind of amazing. She did the whole tour and album with Tony Bennett, which did amazingly well. She sang the Julie Andrews tribute on the Oscars which everyone loved. And she was on American Horror Story,” he pointed out.

“I think she’s a great writer. For me, she is Stefani Germanotta and I love her and care about her. She’s the godmother to my two children. I want her to make a simple, fabulous, great song record. Maybe like [Carole King’s] Tapestry, but her version of Tapestry. I heard two of the songs. They’re not complex arrangements, but they’re great songs. It’s all about the song.”

Listen to Elton’s full, fascinating interview on Zane Lowe.

And for those who aren’t already fully aware of Carole King’s 1971 record-breaking, influential classic that Elton suggests Gaga could be crafting for herself in 2016, have a listen below. Can you hear Gaga doing the same, Mother Monster style?

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