If you haven't seen A Star is Born, it's best you avoid the soundtrack for now – the album follows every narrative beat of the film, especially as snippets of dialogue spell out where they sit plot-wise. There's a version available without the dialogue, but even then, the polarity between the first and second halves of the record essentially reveals the journey of the film.
In the film, Bradley Cooper plays Jackson Maine, an ageing rocker, while Lady Gaga is Ally, a young singer who starts her career with Jackson's help and swiftly becomes a fully-fledged pop star. She doesn't become Lady Gaga in the world of the film, as others have tried to argue to detract from Gaga's acting muscle, but she certainly becomes an artist with the same pipes and charisma as the Lady Gaga we know.
It's for that reason that the latter half of the soundtrack is its best. Always Remember Us This Way, Gaga's first solo song on the tracklist, begins a slate of pop tracks that range from charming and classic (Look What I Found) to uplifting (Heal Me) to pure dance-floor bop material (Hair Body Face). Even Why Did You Do That?, which verges on ridiculousness, is a window into one of the main conflicts in the film (and it's pretty damn catchy).
Cooper's vocals are strong, particularly on Shallow, the showstopping pinnacle that ignites the film's trailer. But he can't keep up as Gaga runs away with that tune, nor can he keep pace as she eventually steals the entire soundtrack.
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Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper,A Star is Born Soundtrack
Artist: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper
Album: A Star is Born soundtrack
Verdict: This is Lady Gaga's record, with Bradley Cooper along for the ride.