Is Lady Gaga's "Perfect Illusion" About Taylor Kinney? The Lyrics Get Real About Love
Thursday night brought Mama Monster back to her original fierceness. Yes, Lady Gaga released "Perfect Illusion" after a long three year hiatus following her last solo album Artpop; it had gotten to the point where we thought we had lost her to Tony Bennett duets and American Horror Story seasons. So what spurred her to return to song-writing? Well, even with Gaga's break-up still fairly fresh in our mind, it isn't fair to consider that "Perfect Illusion" is about Taylor Kinney.
Let's look at the facts, Little Monsters: Gaga and Kinney had been together for an impressive five years before they broke off their engagement back in July. So, if Gaga is drawing this song from her own personal experiences, he's the first candidate to come to mind. It seems strange that she'd write about a lover from six plus years back, or that she fit in a quickie romance between July and September, at least one significant enough to stir this (although you know, artists). But the one thing that seems suspect about Kinney being the subject matter of "Perfect Illusion" is that Gaga seems to take a vindictive bite out of her lover in the song. And, well, at first glance, the pair's break-up didn't seem to suggest any hardcore drama.
If you take a peak at the original Gaga's original announcement of their relationship's dissolution, it seemed as though she was still on some level trying to work things out with Kinney. In fact, in the Instagram post that showed the pair arms wrapped around each other, the caption suggested they weren't even formally broken up:
Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates. Just like all couples we have ups and downs, and we have been taking a break. We are both ambitious artists, hoping to work through long-distance and complicated schedules to continue the simple love we have always shared. Please root us on.
Now, this kind of sentimental send-off doesn't seem like it would warrant the "Perfect Illusion" treatment, since the lyrics of the song imply that Gaga's lover was cheating on her. "My guessing game is strong/ Way too real to be wrong/ Caught up in your show/Yeah, at least now I know," she sings. All of this sounds as though Gaga uncovered something rotten, and it's quick to assume an affair took place.
Ultimately, "Perfect Illusion" seems to be about the illusion of love more than anything else, and it may just be broad commentary on that. When Gaga sings, "Mistaken for love, it wasn't love/It was a perfect illusion," perhaps she just feels betrayed that they couldn't make things work out, that he couldn't fit her into his life, and the lie was that he didn't really love her. Hell, maybe she feels like she had to put up the illusion that they were in love herself (which would certainly explain that Instagram).
No matter what the truth is, we're glad Gaga's back to form, and you can dive into her high-energy heartbreak by listening to the track.