Perfect Illusion – Lady Gaga Analysis

On the 21st September 2016 the music video for Lady Gaga’s newest single ‘Perfect Illusion’ was released. I love Gaga but I must say, after several listens to her new song I thought it sounded too similar to her ‘Born This Way’ album. My thoughts are that she did not sell as much with ‘Artpop’ which was fairly experimental so she is going back to what she knows and her older pop style of music (which is a shame because I loved the experimental side of Artpop and how she is talented enough to range over several genres!).

The Video

However, after I watched the video a few times I have begun to like ‘Perfect Illusion’. Watch the video below:

Obviously, I love a music video with a story, this does not have a set story but I like the idea and imagery behind it – which can kind of translate into a story.



  • Hair – I love the hair!! The colour looks very natural and her ponytail is perfectly styled. It stays looking really pretty even after her flinging it around. I think it was probably styles into a high pony for the simple reason of keeping it out of her face and to keep her cooler in the hot desert she is singing in. Or perhaps it is back to show she is ready for business and doesn’t want fancy hair as a distraction from the videos message. I wish my pony tails looked this perfect!
  • Make-up It is hard to get a really good look at her make-up because the camera is rarely still but from what I can see she has a strong brow and a fairly heavy eye but overall the makeup look is fairly natural. Nothing too drastic and I really like it. It fits well with the video.
  • Outfit – Wow! That those are some tiny shorts and a tiny top at the end too! I like how they match very well with all of the recent crop top and shorts combinations Gaga has been sporting. This is obviously her new look at the minute, I like the daring, very close boob flashes from these tops but I feel like they may lack some creativity that Gaga is known for.

Setting and Filming:

  • The Shaky Camera – At first I hated this element and thought it made the video really hard to watch. But it may have been used to depict the ‘illusion’ Gaga has been in. For example, she looks drunk in some parts of the video so the shaky camera may have been used to emphasise Gaga being drunk, high or whatever to depict her impaired judgement on her love. This is confirmed with her lyric line ‘High like amphetamine’ in the second verse.
  • The Gig – I don’t usually enjoy music videos of the artist singing at a gig and at first I wasn’t so sure of this one. But, there may a deeper meaning behind this. She is at a gig, having fun whereas at the end it cuts to her being stranded with no one around her. This may represent her being deluded as to think she is having fun and surrounded with people but realising things are not the way she perceived them. This most likely relates to her recent breakup with Taylor Kinney; she believed she was in love and happy but she was just deluded. But the lyrics say this delusion was perfect which suggests that she doesn’t regret believing something that hasn’t been true because she enjoyed it and had fun.
  • The Desert – This probably has no meaning but when she is lying alone at the end I feel like the setting was chosen for a reason. It may be to portray how alone and stranded she feels at the minute now her ‘perfect illusion’ or fiance has gone. I think this is further confirmed when she clings onto the guy, she could have seen her lover as someone she could really rely on and now he is gone. Break-ups can be sad and have this lonely feeling that come along with them.
  • The Car – I thought this was worth mentioning as it has the same rear view mirror shots as the ‘Telephone’ video where she is escaping everything – perhaps this is happening again?

There is definitely a contrast between her alone in the desert and her surrounded by people dancing. In both she is herself, dancing but in the desert shots she seems to be more erratic and perhaps angry or in despair.

The Lyrics

I do think the lyrics are quite repetitive but the verses flow nicely into the chorus. There is a pretty obvious message put across that she feels pain right now but she is glad she knows she was happily mistaken on their love all along.

There is no major lines that convey a message apart from the imagery of drug use to represent her feelings towards her love being similar to that of a ‘high’. For example she says ‘High like amphetamine’ and references ‘modern ecstasy’.

Overall Conclusion

I like the song and video combination but I am not so keen on the song alone. This song seems to be too obvious and there is little to analyse or nothing left to the imagination. I feel this is a goodbye love song, more for Lady Gaga herself than for anyone else.




2 thoughts on “Perfect Illusion – Lady Gaga Analysis

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