Release Date: May 3rd 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Hold My Hand
There are a few things that are constants in this world. Gravity- this unexplainable force that keeps us all grounded, is something that will always stay the same. Same with the fact that the sky is blue, or that the sun is 150.83 million kilometres away from Earth. And as of not too long ago, I figured that my indifference for any music from Lady Gaga (birth name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta), would be one of those constants. Yet as my brother Jon and I were searching for honourable mentions for our blog series about influential artists, writing about Lady Gaga as one of these 50 artists over a couple of blogs… was unavoidable. She was one of these artists who missed out on the arbitrary list of 100 influential artists of all time, and if you read about her on Wikipedia (and I mean extensively read about her!), then undoubtedly you will conclude that Stefani is influential. Sure, her music style may not be what you all prefer- but can’t we agree that objectively, Lady Gaga is a visionary and a masterpiece at her craft?
I don’t know much about Stefani’s music. It’s only over the past year that I’ve cast away all preconceptions of what I thought Lady Gaga would sound like and would be; and instead focused on who she is. And the result is an artist that I can appreciate. She’s not my favourite artist- but boy is she impacting, moving, inspirational and relevant for these times. Yesterday, Stefani unveiled probably the most poignant, heartfelt, passionate, compelling and honest song of the year thus far- and if you told me even at the start of this year that I would find a song by Lady Gaga to be one of the best of the year, I’d have laughed at your face. I’d have considered it though, and still laughed at your face.
But such is the nature of me now understanding that God can use anyone to inspire us. A good song is a good song is a good song, and “Hold My Hand”, the theme song for the blockbuster film Top Gun: Maverick (the sequel to the 80’s iconic film Top Gun!), is an inspirational song about sticking by someone when they’re down, and standing close by your mates. It’s as relevant and relatable as any song out there right now… and the beauty is that you don’t have to be a Top Gun fan to resonate with the song. And this song is as good as they come. I’m not going to be someone who will try to seek out a Lady Gaga album and listen to one from start to finish. But I won’t shy away from a song from Stefani if one happens to be on in the background. I’ve learnt this from Gaga’s previous albums like Chromatica, Joanne and the soundtrack to A Star Is Born. There are artists that you love, and artists that you hate, and artists that you can kind of marvel at without fully loving their entire discography. Lady Gaga falls into this third category personally- and so as I end this ‘review’ (because “Hold My Hand” is awesome, period- and that’s all I can say about it- except that Lady Gaga is a genius in being a part of composing all of the score!), can you all please listen to this song once, and then pass out judgement. Gaga isn’t on everyone’s own personal list of influential artists. Nor is she an artist that should be on everyone’s list. Yet this song is special and magical. That’s all there is to it! Well done Stefani, I’m definitely intrigued as to what you release next! Maybe a Christmas album or an acoustic album?
When I wrote this song for Top Gun: Maverick, I didn’t even realize the multiple layers it spanned across the film’s heart, my own psyche, and the nature of the world we’ve been living in. I’ve been working on it for years, perfecting it, trying to make it ours. I wanted to make music into a song where we share our deep need to both be understood and try to understand each other—a longing to be close when we feel so far away and an ability to celebrate life’s heroes. I’m so grateful to Tom and Hans and Joe for this opportunity—and it’s been a beautiful experience working with them. Me, BloodPop, Ben Rice and everyone else who worked on it with us are so excited to share it with you. This song is a love letter to the world during and after a very hard time. I’ve wanted you to hear it for so long.
RIYL: Kesha, Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, Ava Max, Demi Lovato