Lady Gaga, ‘Dope’ – Song Review
While Lady Gaga‘s ‘ARTPOP’ has leaked, she has officially released ‘Dope,’ the last taste from the album until it’s legal, Nov. 11 release date. The song was due to drop at midnight on Nov. 4, but it has arrived early, and boy, we’re glad it did, as it’s a dramatic, piano-driven power ballad, one with an incurable ache in its bones.
Melodically, ‘Dope’ reminds us of ‘Hair’ from ‘Born This Way,’ thanks to its epic and contemplative nature. The hook finds Gaga admitting “I need you more than dope,” summoning her soulful voice from the depths of her belly. It sounds like she woke up after a visit from her musical muse, sat down at her piano without brushing her teeth and took a swig from a bottle of whisky and started singing. It sounds that natural and that raw.
While it’d be easy to assume that she is tracing the steps of detoxing from drugs, this is Gaga we are talking about here.
There are plenty of layers to sift through. She is learning how to let go while trying to hold on while arriving at some difficult truths.
“I feel so low / From living high” is easily the best lyric of the song, and could go down as one of Gaga’s best … ever. It’s not easy to face reality or to do so with a clear eye and a clear head, but that’s what she’s doing with ‘Dope.’ The self-realization is set to a melancholic melody that almost hurts to listen to.
There’s not a lot accompanying Gaga’s voice in terms of instrumentation, but that’s so her voice can be the focal point and the centerpiece.
The construction of ‘Dope’ — Gaga’s voice, powerful lyrics and a piano melody– reminds us of Rihanna‘s ‘Stay.’ It’s naked, sacred and laid bare.
It’s confessional pop at its very best.
While ‘Dope’ may not go on to be a (mother) monster radio hit — or maybe it will, if programmers have ears! — it will easily become beloved by the little monsters.
Listen to Lady Gaga, ‘Dope’