When two of the biggest names in pop announced their collaboration, the music industry was instantly changed for the better: Gaga and Grande together is a cultural reset. Fans across the world were stunned by the unlikely team-up, but Twitter soon became abuzz with excitement. We’ve seen a disappointing increase in women in music being pitted against each other, the media creating the narrative that they’re always in competition for that number 1 spot. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s anthem for self-love instead sees them unite to support each other in their success.
And what a duo to sing this song. Grande has suffered hugely in recent years, losing her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller suddenly in September 2018, and Gaga’s struggles with mental health issues and sexual assault are well-documented. Released on the third anniversary of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, ‘Rain on Me’ is a track that showcases the hard-working attitudes of both stars: all about channelling the pain into something better. Grande’s impressive vocals with Gaga’s new grungier image mesh into pop perfection, and the dance influences that Gaga has said inspired the entire Chromatica album are evident in the Scheiße-esque chorus. This track was made for blasting in the club, but for now your room will have to do.
The highly choreographed music video, which was shot pre-quarantine, takes us deeper into the world of Chromatica. Dancing alongside the Kindness Punks (a key theme of the album), Gaga gives us the high energy performance that this song commands. The same sadly cannot be said for Ariana Grande: she stays in her new-found box of gently bopping around. While Gaga shows she’s far from afraid of dedicating herself completely to her desired aesthetic, Grande fails to fit in.
For a music video that was delayed so long (Gaga pushed back the release of Chromatica 9 weeks from April 10th originally), there was a lot of room for growth with this video. Visual effects weren’t up to their usual incredible standard, something which is disappointing when it comes to two of the biggest artists ever to exist. From the artist that brought us iconic videos such as ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Telephone’, and ‘Judas’, people expected better.
But ‘Rain on Me’s value doesn’t come from its video: it comes from the song and lyrics themselves. Visuals aside, the song has a powerful and important message from two of the people who needed it most. Fans have been thrilled to see the outpouring of love the pair have shown for each other on Twitter in the lead up to the single’s release. In a time when we have disappointing declarations from the likes of Lana Del Rey, hopefully more will be like Ariana and Gaga, and dance through the rain together.