The cinematic event of the summer very well could be shaping up to be Top Gun: Maverick. The highly-anticipated and long-delayed sequel to the 1980s action classic will find Tom Cruise strapping back into the cockpit for the first time in over 35 years. To keep interest high, we’ve gotten our first cross-promotional tie in with Lady Gaga’s new love theme for the film, ‘Hold My Hand’
“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,” Gaga explained on Instagram. “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.”
Obviously, there’s a high bar to clear. A couple of high bars, actually: first and foremost is the fact that the original Top Gun has its own monster ballad in the form of Berlin’s ‘Take My Breath Away’. The other consideration is that Gaga has had one of the biggest movie soundtrack hits of recent memory with A Star Is Born‘s ‘Shallow’. Both songs went to number one in America and both songs won Academy Awards for Best Orginal Song.
‘Hold My Hand’ is not quite up to those lofty standards. It’s a big, sweeping power ballad that sounds custom made to appeal to the biggest possible audience. That’s not necessarily a criticism, but there does seem to be something hollow at the centre of ‘Hold My Hand’. Maybe it’s the boilerplate lyrics, or maybe it’s the production style that makes every sound seem blown-out and oppressive. Gaga might have been going for emotional weight, but instead, the song just comes off as bloated and forgettable.
Just because ‘Hold My Hand’ isn’t a great song doesn’t mean that it won’t get a chance to drum up some major business. Top Gun: Maverick has a surprising amount of buzz behind it, and Gaga is still one of pop’s biggest stars, even if her days as a ubiquitous hitmaker are probably now in the past. ‘Hold My Hand’ could very well see a big chart run as the film’s release date grows nearer, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t rise to the same level as ‘Shallow’.
Check out the audio for ‘Hold My Hand’ down below. Top Gun: Maverick will be released on May 27th.