*Management does not guarantee results.
That amazing AMAs performance from last night is a good reminder: Lady Gaga is a really enjoyable popstar! She just desperately needs someone around saying “Good idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Good idea.” (You’d probably say “Bad idea” about eight more times before saying “Good idea” again, but we’ll elide for brevity.)
Which is why I pretty much always find myself re-sequencing her albums to maximize my enjoyment of them. ARTPOP in particular is riddled with speedbumps, so I’ve done my best to smooth them out and create an album that’s actually a lot of fun to listen to, assuming you’re prepared to buy into the zanier shit she’s up to and assume she’s just laughing her ass off through the whole thing. Which, it’s worth noting, I almost ALWAYS assume she is; I genuinely believe she’s a lot less self-serious than most people figure.
Anyway. You have to cut the obvious stinkers — “Jewels n’ Drugs” is surely only on the album in order to recoup its guest-artist costs; “Donatella” is basically the dictionary definition of a b-side; and “Mary Jane Holland” was more musically compelling on the last album, when it was called “Bloody Mary.” What you’re left with is twelve songs that have at least one of the two key Gaga qualities: enormous hooks and productions, or intriguingly off-kilter (but half-realized) concepts. Some of them even have both! Shuffle ‘em around a bit for a better flow, and you get the following, which breaks nicely into four three-song vinyl sides:
- "Do What U Want" (feat. R. Kelly)
- "Sexx Dreams"
This playlist let me focus on what’s going right on this album, rather than the several things going weirdly wrong. And don’t get it twisted, plenty of things are going wrong. Ever since “Born This Way” she’s seemed to take an alarmingly first-draft approach to writing verses, for instance. I love the shit out of “Do What U Want,” but was that first verse really the best lyric she could come up with to succinctly summarize how the media’s gaze captures women? Are we sure? But one of Gaga’s gifts is the ability to just muscle past her weaknesses and still make it look like she did something worth applauding. (File under: her dancing.) When she minimizes the number of mulligans she asks you to let her take, the effect gets more pronounced.
Maybe this version of the album will get you the same results it got me. Or maybe you’re just sick of her shit! Valid! But I tend to think that Gaga’s never boring, only exhausting — so taking her in smaller, more refined doses is much more rewarding.
(This has been another installment of Chris Devoting Too Much Time To Things That Don’t Matter.)
Who said a degree in comparative literature was useless?
SO glad somebody overthought this for me before I fell into a hole doing the same. (I am a particular kind of nerd.)
Well, THIS is an unexpected little treat. I quite like that Wild Beasts album and have not yet paid money for it, so in the wake of the UK warehouse fire, now’s the time to do so for sure.
Couldn’t have said it better.
Gaga is releasing the lyrics one snippet at a time to a ton of different online news outlets — Perez, Gaga Daily, Billboard, Popjustice, Rolling Stone. As stunts go, this is totally hilarious and kind of inspired in a make-something-out-of-nothing way.
National holiday? I THINK SO.
Lady Gaga has revealed that she is considering releasing two albums in 2011, after her creative impulse was sparked by the overturning of California’s Proposition 8 last week.
“I felt like it was a revolution, like a gunshot went off, like it set us all into rotation,” Gaga said. “It was so exciting when it happened…I was so happy and I went into the studio and kept writing. I know I told everybody my album was done, but I can’t stop writing music. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I might have to put out two records.”
Title to be revealed at midnight on New Year’s Eve. That’s a long time to sit on a finished album; this is bound to be… interesting.
Gaga’s devotion to, and promotion of, every aspect of gay culture is legendary. Bisexual herself, while her musical education might have been classical, her cultural education was homosexual, and comes to a head in the video for her forthcoming single, “Alejandro.”
Sprawled across the banquette, in a mood of eager excitement, Gaga shows me stills from the video shoot on her BlackBerry.
She’s dressed as Joan of Arc, with a ferocious Purdey haircut. To be honest, I can’t see much more than that, because she’s a bit pissed and her thumbs keep getting in the way.
The video is about the “purity of my friendships with my gay friends”, Gaga had explained, earlier. “And how I’ve been unable to find that with a straight man in my life. It’s a celebration and an admiration of gay love – it confesses my envy of the courage and bravery they require to be together. In the video I’m pining for the love of my gay friends – but they just don’t want me.”
What is it about Lady Gaga that makes artists who are nothing like her so goddamn desperate to assert their superiority over her? Shit is UNSEEMLY. You do not see this kind of conversation about anybody else. Joanna Newsom wasn’t out there talking smack about Rihanna a couple years ago, y’know?
I’d like serious answers to this, for real. What are other musicians talking about when they talk about Gaga? Why is it so hard for them to be OK with the fact that her music is dancepop?