The art direction behind pop’s finest superstars has been in poor taste lately, starting with Britney Spears’ Glory cover and now Lady Gaga’s first official teaser for a new single, “Perfect Illusion,” coming out September. You could argue we’re being overly critical of radio’s leading ladies, but we’d argue back that “pop,” as a genre, is best when its pristine production is complemented with dynamic visuals to round out the full package—you simply can’t have one without the other.
Though Gaga’s only shared mere words to her Instagram—”Lady Gaga Perfect Illusion New Single September”— what’s been posted shows no sign of a visual shift from ARTPOP’s tasteless art direction and back to the days when every detail was carefully composed before its public release. Visually, Gaga’s teaser reveals nothing beyond saturated pastel colors and a lazy font choice, but when the world’s been patiently awaiting her comeback from 2013’s blunder, you’d think her team would’ve composed a more stylized first reveal.
Hopefully “Perfect Illusion” will be a more successful lead single for Gaga than “Applause;” Producer Mark Ronson, who’s been working on her fifth studio album, sounds especially confident, telling Zane Lowe on Beats 1, “it’s some of my favorite music I’ve really ever worked on”—a powerful statement, considering he’s previously collaborated with greats like Amy Winehouse and Adele. We will see.