Monday, 23 November 2009

"Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-roma-mamaa! Ga-ga-ooh-la-la! Want your bad romance?"

I am continuously confused by Lady Gaga. I want to hate her music on the basis that, in theory, I shouldn't think she's worth my time, but whenever I listen to her stuff I find that she has this amazing grasp of what it takes to make really catchy music, and she's captured this insane zeitgeist that is very much where we are musically right now. But with capturing that zeitgeist so succinctly... does that mean that there needs to be a new one? Because when you capture the essence of something, doesn't that make it mainstream and obvious and something that we as listeners have to reject until we find our own thing to love that we can try to claim is our own but is in fact the new mainstream? And then obviously, rinse, repeat?

Not that I like where we are, of course. But this "RnB", electro-dance fusion, or whatever her genre bending music results in, is kind of permeating the industry, and her stuff... well, it's good, isn't it? But she's had to change everything about herself to get to this place, it seems. She's had to sell out her old identity and create this new one-- and yes, she might be more comfortable inside this skin, but I've seen her videos, and as her career, her amazingly successful, fast track career, has continued, her videos seem to change and the layers that are 'Lady Gaga' are peeled back, and she's becoming someone else entirely.

Obviously Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta had to become something else so that she'd become famous. So Germanotta became Lady Gaga, and she's found success. Obviously, I'm not trying to dissect her career, but it's interesting to see that blotchy fake-tanned, bleach blonde step away from that image.

So we go from her debut video, with obligatory 'hype man' being featured (sorry, I always have this problem with the need for sexist, chauvinistic rappers making appearances in d├ębut singles, ala Flo Rida with the new Alexandra Burke track. It's unnecessary, and really forced nowadays. Almost like it's something that's required for females to break into the business and be successful?)...

...To this video, her latest that I know of...

... and also this Beyonce appearance. Weird shit.

It seems to me like she's no longer hiding her face-- and whilst she isn't the most conventional beauty, she is still quite attractive, but is her 'weirdness' the hook that she had before? And will she have to return to that to continue being successful. Already, reviews for her new LP, the continuation of her first album, are saying that the tracks aren't as good as the ones that came before. And is that connected to the step away from the established Lady Gaga identity?

Not only this, but is she becoming a new form of celebrity? Her lyrics are so self-aware, almost meta-textual in regards to her new position as a major star, the kind of observations that we as fans/listeners make when we buy or hear a new album/single, you know? She seems to buck the usual trends that come with that status. She gives the press intimate looks into her lifestyle, makes stark confessions about other wise taboo subjects (sexuality, money-- and yes, money when it comes to celebrity is a taboo, in my opinion).

It's almost like she's the first in a burgeoning line of nu_celebrity... so what does that entail?

I've not seen many others, none that I could name right here, that are moving in this path, but this is the 21st century, and we've not yet seen a new breed that have emerged from the turn of said century. We've got the holdovers from the dying embers of the last century, of course, and the manufactured popstars that have come from reality television, etc, but nothing that really defines us yet.

So, where will she go from now? I don't know. But it'll be interesting to see, won't it?


  1. youve made what was easy to label as a bland tarty show off quite fascinating... kudos to you.

  2. That "vintage" video is amazing. I never knew her voice is so beautiful.

    I think Lady Gaga is playing her own game. She will do what she wants, in her own time. She is clearly very conscious of the way she is perceived, and she is manipulating that for maximum success. (That's what I think.)