By Amanda Wicks
The first single off Lady Gaga’s latest album Joanne, “Perfect Illusion,” is reminiscent of the electronic pop that first made her famous, but in a recent appearance on the Japanese show Sukkiri, she strips the song down to its barest and most somber parts.
The pop star sits in front of a piano, her instrument of choice over the years, and delivers a much different version of “Perfect Illusion.” Instead of the almost manic tempo and delivery of the original, Gaga plays it slow and meaningful.
As a result, the song’s lyrics feel even more poignant, and convey the heartbreak that resonates from its center. “I still feel the blow/ But at least now I know,” she sings before diving into the piano and pulling a blue-tinged melody out. Then there’s the key change that takes place around the three minute mark, and sends the song soaring. The show’s hosts all heartily applaud at the conclusion.
Gaga has long been in a class of her own, vocals-wise. When leaked audio of her performance on Saturday Night Live circulated, it only proved that she had the chops to stand on her own without all of the production techniques that can hide a weak voice in order to sell a powerful image.
Watch her somber version of “Perfect Illusion” below.