Lady Gaga Storms Cathartically Through the Desert in “Perfect Illusion” Video

One problem some people had with the new Lady Gaga track, “Perfect Illusion,” is that it starts at such an adrenaline high that the rest of it seems like a bit of a plateau. The new video for the track (directed by Andrea Gelardin and Ruth Hogben) actually plays that aspect of the song up — to a successful effect — envisioning the whole song as one unwavering emotional purge, seeing Lady Gaga dressed down for an impromptu desert concert/road trip/emotional journey, flailing against stark landscapes, blue skies, and singing to an also-flailing crowd about a love that was just a “paaaahfect illoosion.” She’s joined in the video by collaborators Mark Ronson, Kevin Parker (of Tame Impala), and BloodPop.

The video is directed by Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin. The track remains the only single released thus far off Lady Gaga’s upcoming (it’s set for an October 21 release) album, Joanne. Clearly, between this video and the cover art of Joanne, following the over-costumed theatricality of Artpop, Gaga’s shifted her vision towards bare emotionalism over aesthetic — or at least towards an aesthetic of bare emotionalism.

Watch the video: