"The Cure" is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Lady Gaga. She co-wrote the song with Paul Blair, Nick Monson, Lukas Nelson, and Mark Nilan; Detroit City, Gaga, and Monson produced the song. The song originated from a positive vibe between the collaborators, created as a response to atrocity happening around the world. It was developed in Los Angeles where Gaga and her team were working on some other music before the singer became busy acting in the film A Star Is Born. Consisting of finger snap and an electronic dance beat, "The Cure" is composed around an R&B sound. Lyrically it talks about the healing effects of love, with the singer advocating herself as the one administering the cure.
The song was released as a standalone single on April 16, 2017, after Gaga performed it live at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where she was a main headliner. Gaga later included it on the setlist of the 2017 Joanne World Tour. Critics analysed the sudden release of the track, finding it to be a departure from the singer's previous releases, and the anthemic nature of the composition. Commercially, "The Cure" reached the top 10 of the record charts in Australia, France, Hungary, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain and Venezuela, as well as the top 20 in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Latvia, and Malaysia.
"The Cure" was written after Gaga's performance at the Super Bowl LI halftime show. Gaga worked with longtime collaborator DJ White Shadow (aka Paul Blair) for the track. He recalled sitting with Gaga and feeling a positive vibe, which led them to write the track described by Blair as "upbeat and cool". Their camaraderie originated due to the "terrible stuff going on in the world right now, it's like when you're a creative person you do your best to try and combat evil with creative stuff, so that was kind of the vibe." Gaga and her team wanted to release the "one-off" single as soon as production was completed.
The song was developed in Los Angeles, where Gaga and her team were working on some other music before the singer became busy with her acting endeavor for A Star Is Born. Gaga utilized the free time from her schedule and asked Blair to meet up and see if they could come up with any new music. "The Cure" was released due to the positive nature and message in the track, although Gaga had already released Joanne, her fifth studio album, six months prior. According to Jocelyn Vena from Bravo, "The Cure" reminded her of the singer's dance-pop songs. Blair explained that the release happened after agreement between all the personnel involved: "Joanne's a great record… we weren't sitting there like, 'Oh, we need to make a song for the summertime and put it out this weekend'.
Lyrically, the song talks about the healing effect of love. In an article for Bustle, Danielle Jackson presumed it to be love from her fans who had supported Gaga throughout her career. While performing "The Cure" at 'Coachella', the singer said to the crowd: "I love you guys so much. I have been through so much in my life and I've seen so much. And you cure me every time with your love." The dedication-like lyrics begins with the singer comparing her music as an escape route for her fans. This is expanded upon in the chorus when Gaga belts "If I can't find the cure, I'll, I'll fix you with my love", thus positioning herself as someone who advocates for the troubling time in anyone's life, evident by the closing line "Promise I'll always be there, Promise I'll be the cure". Ally Hirschalg from Mic also found other explanations from the lyrics: a mother talking to her children and someone who had a recent break-up, the latter alluding to Gaga's break-up with fiancee Taylor Kinney the previous year.
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