The weather forecast for his week calls for rain. Before Lady Gaga released her new album “Chromatica,” she let us have a taste of what is to come with a second single. “Rain On Me” featuring Ariana Grande was teased for weeks, with album art that resembled cover art from an old-school PlayStation 1 game. Then on the evening of Thursday, May 21, the song was released with the music video coming out the following day.
In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Lady Gaga commented that this song, as well as her new album, “Chromatica,” works as her return to pop and the reclaiming of her dancefloor. Fans of Gaga, as well as fans of Grande, are left with no other choice but to dance.
“Rain On Me” is a combination of dance-pop, electropop, disco and house. The song was produced by Bloodpop, who has worked with Gaga previously, but Grande was also present in the production of the song, even receiving writer’s credit.
It was refreshing to see the deep involvement of Ariana Grande, as artists all around have not taken this level of involvement in collaborations. This allowed for the song to feel as if it belonged to both artists. Grande also talked to Apple Music, where she mentioned that the friendship she has with Gaga allowed for trust during the recording process, and thus pushed both artists to try new things and get out of their comfort zones.
Lady Gaga describes the lyrics as multidimensional. The concept of “Rain On Me” touches on her past with alcohol. “I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive. Rain on me” is a lyric about how she would rather not have to drink, but at least she is still alive and she is in a position in which she can only rise. This may not be super clear to casual listeners, but the song does have an uplifting vibe.
From the first few chords, the song sounds like a pop banger with high energy in the tempo and a powerful baseline. After the first bridge, Grande comes into the song very swiftly, with a higher tempo than what we have been used to. Grande’s style in “Rain On Me” aligns more with her dance roots on her album “My Everything.” Her vocals are soft yet powerful, which worked really well with Gaga’s strong vocals. The harmonies between the two are very particular in a good way, but they could be polarizing. It seems as if Gaga let Grande put an air of gracefulness with her voice while Gaga focused on using her vocals to add more of an edge. This helped to make the song sound more like collaboration rather than just a song with a feature. Overall the song has a new and fresh feel while still feeling familiar among Gaga’s discography and even Grande’s.
The music video carries a similar aesthetic as Gaga’s previous music video for “Stupid Love,” as well as Grande’s music video for “Break Free” featuring Zedd. A collaboration between Gaga and Grande was not something that I expected out of 2020, but it makes sense when it is wrapped in a package like this. The music video is filled with splashes of pink and purple, which seems to now be a trademark of “Chromatica.” The music video also has fun dancing that has been copied left and right around TikTok and other forms of social media, confirming Gaga’s claim that this is her reclaiming of a dancefloor.
With great production, a fun beat and two of the greatest figures of pop at the moment, it is simple to see why people all around are calling “Rain On Me” a highlight in pop music for 2020. The success of the song left fans of Lady Gaga as well as fans of pop music with great excitement to see how the rest of “Chromatica” will sound like.
Verdict: “Rain On Me” is a fun dance song that is bound to be a highlight in Gaga’s career. It is a sure way for Gaga to reclaim her dancefloor, and I am definitely looking forward to being able to dance on it.