July 21, 2011

The Rebirth Of Lady Gaga

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The first time I ever saw Lady Gaga was when she performed at the 2008 Miss Universe competition, and I remember immediately assuming that she was some wacky overseas act that would fade into oblivion soon because people just wouldn’t get her. And so, I changed the channel. But something about her intrigued me, so I switched back and upon further observation, noted a few things: her style was a little different and she was certainly no dancer, but her voice was strong and she seemed really passionate about performing.

She blew up soon after with ‘Just Dance’ and as soon as I put two and two together and figured out it was the same girl, I found myself very pleasantly surprised. And as I got to know her, I grew to adore her; she shared my love of double entendres and blunt conversation (watch some of her earlier interviews). Imagine my delight when I found that not only does she hail from New York, the place I too call home, but was young, smart and sexy. She had this coy but whip smart talent of luring the world in that other pop stars of this generation lacked.

But Gaga has changed. In the few years since her debut she has morphed from this tough, sexed up, intellectual kitten to some sort of spiritual enlightenment devotee and a “rejects of society” savior. I remember when she first came out, she reminded me of the Paris Hilton party girl type except with actual brains and space-age sartorial ensembles. She was the girl you could dance all night with and have intellectual conversations with the morning after.

She’s still as smart as ever; judging by her album sales, award winning streak and ever increasing popularity. But her steez has changed, morphed if you will, into something far different from who or what she started as.

She’s become a martyr for human rights and a mouthpiece for the lost, disenfranchised generation. Although I think many of her fans can relate to that and wholeheartedly appreciate it, she is alienating her fans who cannot relate to such musings – she alienated them with the title track of her new album, the lackluster and Express Yourself pt. II jingle ‘Born This Way.’ ‘Born This Way’ was surely no ‘Bad Romance,’ and the video didn’t even help sell the package.

In the beginning I realized that Gaga had fans of all types: Marilyn Manson once professed his perverted thoughts of her, Snoop Dogg filmed a short video expressing interest in collaborating with her, and even at her concert, I observed revelers of all types. She was pop royalty and appealed to so many of the masses.

Even her music has changed: songs like ‘Starstruck’ and ‘So Happy I Could Die’ were true pop, with danceable beats and lollipop lyrics, all expertly hemmed together. Now she’s singing about Judas and Jesus, and as an Agnostic, I have to say, she lost me. I mean I like ‘Bloody Mary’ but do I feel weird as hell singing along? Yes.

In my eyes, ‘Bad Romance’ was Gaga’s creative peak. She looked her best, she danced her best, and although the song was not a personal favorite, the fact remains that it was a perfect blend of radio friendly pop and the dark gloom and boom of a Euro dance track that she was so intent on trying to merge. And with the glamorous video attached to the tune, her goal was achieved.

But after that it was downhill; ‘Telephone’ was a weak song with a Looney Tunes-tinged video, ‘Alejandro’ never quite stuck with me and I found the video to be all-out spooky… and it just got worse from there. In many ways it seems as if the Born This Way album is just a mish-mash of scraps left over after the creation of ‘Bad Romance,’ it has much of the dark gloom and boom but little of the fun pop. Unless you want to count ’80s pop, her rendition of which I find lackluster and mostly cringe worthy. It probably didn’t help that she recorded most of it while on tour, it seems to me that a short break would have provided better material. Too many of her songs sound like they’re recycled from other artists’ catalogs, or even remixes of her own songs… ever notice how the “OoOoOoOo” that she sings in beginning of ‘Judas’ sounds very similar to the “OoOoOoOo” she sings at the beginning of ‘Bad Romance’?

Yeah. Gaga, take a break, doll. Your interviews are repetitive, your music is sucking and I’m afraid that you’re actually losing your mind.

See you on the come up baby. We miss you. TC mark

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