Thought Catalog

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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    • http://www.facebook.com/jade.orlich Jade Mitchell

      I couldn’t disagree more that “Bad Romance was her creative peak.” 

    • Anonymous

      I loved her when she first came out. Truly.

    • loti1087

      I haven’t heard anything better then Bad Romance, the only thing better then listening to that song on the radio or on my computer was seeing her live during the Monster Ball playing her older songs and giving a hell of a performance.  However the whole Born This Way appeals to me as well.  She still seems to be rising though even thought her songs are not as good as they used to be.  The woman has turned into an icon.

    • Joseph Simone

      I have to say I disagree with this ENTIRE article.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

      Agreed.  Not one song from her new album sniffs her top five tracks.

      • YES

        Scheibe is brilliant.

    • Guest

      To quote you quoting Lady Gaga “There’s really a very big difference between what people say about you, and what people actually do about you.”

      This isn’t intelligent. It’s pop psychobabble, a head-smackingly obvious maxim.
      How anyone finds this woman “intellectual” is beyond me.

      • ER

        Um, excuse me, he never said he thought she was book smart, which seems to be what you are referring to. He seems to mean “industry smart.” While you may not think that she is “smart” as people normally think, you must admit that she knows how to work the industry. She knows how to sell her product, she knows what people want; that they are looking for a new leader in music, someone who can represent all of the “unrepresented,” the so called odd ones out. People wanted someone different, a little crazy, and as some people say, a new Madonna. Whether or not you agree with this, that woman knows damn well how to work a multi-billion dollar industry that is part of your life everyday. I say that’s pretty smart. Pretty powerful.

        • http://twitter.com/LadyBlueShame ✔ Lady Blue

          I wrote this… and I’m a woman by the way.

        • http://twitter.com/LadyBlueShame ✔ Lady Blue

          I wrote this… and I’m a woman by the way.

        • Guest

          Did you read the article? She says JUST THAT.
          Gaga is an “intellectual kitten” and “the girl you could . . . have intellectual conversations with.”
          Please, dredge up some speck of evidence that implies that being an intellectual has nothing to do with being book smart, and instead refers to industry intelligence. Oh wait, you can’t, because the definitions and your misreading are crystal clear.
          Seriously, this is in the paragraph just above the “industry smart” passage that you are probably referring to. Is your brain broken?

        • http://twitter.com/LadyBlueShame ✔ Lady Blue

          Oh wait… you must not know how to infer. 

        • http://twitter.com/LadyBlueShame ✔ Lady Blue

          Oh wait… you must not know how to infer. 

    • Aaron

      Intelectual? huh?  the woman that says “make your identity your religion”?  She is ice ice baby Vanilla Ice.

    • Anonymous

      “she reminded me of the Paris Hilton party girl type except with actual brains”

      Wait… why do we think Lady Gaga is smart? Because of her outfits?

    • http://twitter.com/RyaninAustralia Ryan Culliver

      “…I have to say, she lost me. I mean I like ‘Bloody Mary’ but do I feel weird as hell singing along? Yes…” 
      This is where I fell in line. I agree completely with this article. I’m trying to sing about boys who are monsters, putting makeup on in the club, and how alejandro just can’t stay away from me. I can’t bring myself to sing along to  “Jesus is my virtue & Judas is the demon I cling to” that is NOT what I’m trying to be about on a Friday night. 

      • anon

        I think you lose out on that message… I’m down with it on a Friday night, because I know I’ll probably end up booty calling my Judas, when I should really be staying with my Jesus guy friend at the club. It works, I swear! Gaga 4 lyfe

      • MM

        On Friday Nights I’m about  “Party and Party and YEAH!”

    • Anti-Climacus

      Everyone who is upset with this article obviously forgot that it’s opposite day. 

      • Guest

        No one who is happy about this article esoterically remembered that it’s not-opposite day.

        Wrong?

      • Guest

        No one who is happy about this article esoterically remembered that it’s not-opposite day.

        Wrong?

    • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

      There was some pretentious column on Pitckfork, I believe last year, about how all of pop-music was in a “Post-Bad Romance” period. This article is kind of like that but better because it’s not ascribing the minor reverberance of that song throughout all of pop music but only on the artist who created it.

      I’m gonna disagree that Alejandro and Telephone weren’t good, but all I’ll agree that all of the Born This Way singles have been terrible. Haven’t peeped the album yet and I haven’t really wanted to it. 

    • http://www.derrickmedina.com/ Derrick Medina

      Gaga used pop music and iconography to become a prominent figure of the zeitgeist. Her cultural accomplishment is more innovative than her music— She’s an ultimate pop culture trickster who can do whatever the fuck she wants now. What’s relieving is that she’s mastered fame to become one of the most outspokenly passionate pop stars about human rights and self-identity.

      You still have Kesha and Katy Perry seeping sugar pop in space-age sartorial ensembles if you want something sweeter to swallow.

      • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

        Nothing Kesha or Katy Perry piss into the stream is as worth hearing as any of Gaga’s material. Neither of them could make a song half as good as “Disco Heaven” or “Dancing in the Dark”

    • Marisa

      Maybe Lady Gaga’s point is that she actually is a down to Earth human being that is relatable to all. Perhaps the reason why she gained the respect of the “normal” first is because she was hoping the “normal” fans would follow her into her fight to protect the “rejects.” Saying you “lost” Lady Gaga only means you couldn’t open your mind. She’s the same person, still producing amazing music. Her message never changed, you just couldn’t. To say you don’t relate means that you have never experienced being bullied in any way, shape or form. Or maybe you’ve never been questioned on something you believed in. I hate to tell you, but you’re one in a million. And even though you are that one in a million, Lady Gaga still has reached out to you to show that she is STILL supporting the “normal” along with the “rejects.” The mission is peace. Let it in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/t.jason.ham Jason Ham

      One big “I GUESS” at this entire article. Didn’t download her album, was never a huge fan of her music but having to read your little sentence about how “Born This Way” /alienated/ people who aren’t “rejects of society” was frustrating! Not frustrated with you, but with the fact that your observation is correct.

      Straight, protestant, attractive white people without any form of physical handicap, developmental retardation or mental illness must HATE Born This Way because for the first time in their life they feel unimportant!

      It’s a shame because as fucking dumb and campy as that song is, I basically live for the smile on the faces of “rejects” when I play this song… She may have doomed her career but I do not think this song was made in vain. No.

    • r3t0dd

      “She’s still as smart as ever; judging by her album sales, award winning streak and ever increasing popularity.”
      By that logic, Justin Bieber must be a fucking GENIUS.

      • MM

        i thought Justin Bieber’s fame is going down right now especially since he is going out with Selena Gomez..

    • Lee

      “She’s still as smart as ever; judging by her album sales, award winning streak and ever increasing popularity.” -This can’t be  how you really judge her intelligence. She endorses cocaine! And she grew up wealthy and privileged. I’m so glad she has the time to pity the poor and disenfranchised and be the voice of our generation.  Our stupid, stupid generation.

      • ivy

        she was quoted less than a week ago saying that cocaine is the devil- admitted that you have done coke and endorsing coke? two very different things

    • Lee

      “She’s still as smart as ever; judging by her album sales, award winning streak and ever increasing popularity.” -This can’t be  how you really judge her intelligence. She endorses cocaine! And she grew up wealthy and privileged. I’m so glad she has the time to pity the poor and disenfranchised and be the voice of our generation.  Our stupid, stupid generation.

    • http://twitter.com/no_cazador hunter ray

      THIS ARTICLE IS TOTAL SHIT <3

    • Cutty Holmes

      Well, despite this being a crap article, the premise is correct. Gaga has changed, and there were one or two interviews about six months ago where she explains it — in the beginning she was terrified, and therefore put on a persona that was a little strange and definitely reserved. She even says that that’s why she never took off her sunglasses. It was all happening quickly and she was terrified it was going to crumble, that someone was going to break her. The Elton John collaboration was the first time she started allowing her emotions to come through and being more open in interviews. 

      Unfortunately, while we might applaud her for her current honesty and sentimentality, I liked her before; the wacky (and certainly intelligent) icon that was untouchable. BTW has a few good songs (Government Hooker, Marry the Night), but I think the emotional ebullience is just something she needs to get out of her system.

      Wait for the next album.

    • MM

      I mean I have the whole deluxe album to Born This Way album and I feel like there are a gems and some misses…

      but the singles she has put out frankly I love. I mean I love Edge of Glory, Judas comes next and then Born this Way
      …however my favorite lines of Born this Way is “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian or transgender life, I’m on the right track baby I was born to survive;no matter black white or beige, chola or orient made, I’m on the right track baby I was born to be brave.” AWESOME AWESOME

      and Edge of Glory has a lot of deep meanings, even if the video was boring.

      I think she is reinventing her self and I have noticed the change because If you look at “Pokerface” and “Eh, Eh, Nothing Else I can Say” are so different than even “Bad Romance” and TOTALLY different than “Edge of Glory” “Schiebe” and “Bloody Mary”

      I do agree with the author about the Jesus stuff because I don’t belong to religion/agnostic and I feel awkward singing it but I also feel awkward singing Rhianna’s S&M and Katy Perry’s Peacock. 

      I guess we all change, but I do wish she would take out this 80s pop and start making more killer beats and lyrics than alot of the fillers from the Album

      still a Little Monster though! She is still awesome! 

    • guest

      I think the best Lady Gaga album would be a mix of 1/2 of The Fame, 1/3 of  The Fame Monster, and 1/6 of Born This Way

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20920895 Emily Diepenbrock

      heaven forbid lady gaga put out music that actually has a message rather than just partying and boys. btw, you forgot about every other song on the born this way album, which is absolutely killer. “Heavy Metal Lover” is fantastic.

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