Lady Gaga has always been an ambitious visual artist, from her red carpet fashions to her onstage performances, and of course to her music videos. On September 18 she dropped “911,” her third single and video from her “Chromatica” album, and it may be her most adventurous yet. Watch it above, and stick around for the twist ending.
The video opens with Lady Gaga waking up in the desert and arriving at a place filled with strange characters and religious imagery. All of this would only seem unusual if you weren’t watching a Lady Gaga video, but by the end we discover that all those images are her unconscious mind’s interpretation of the scene after she is involved in a severe traffic accident. Watch it again after seeing what it all represents, and it all clicks together in a stirring, unsettling way. It’s no surprise, then, that it was directed by Tarsem Singh, who also helmed R.E.M.‘s iconic “Losing My Religion” video as well as the mind-bending feature film “The Cell.”
“911” follows two other releases from “Chromatica” this year. “Stupid Love” was the lead single and peaked at number-five on the Billboard Hot 100. Then came “Rain on Me,” her collaboration with Ariana Grande, which debuted at number-one and won three MTV Video Music Awards: Song of the Year, Best Collaboration and Best Cinematography.
This song was co-written by Gaga with Michael Tucker, Hugo Leclercq and Justin Tranter, and it’s about her use of an anti-psychotic medication to treat mental illness: “It’s because I can’t always control things that my brain does. I know that. And I have to take medication to stop the process that occurs,” she told Apple Music. So in that way the video’s focus on emergency medical intervention fits closely with the song’s themes. What do you think of this video? Have you already watched it multiple times like I have?
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