Friday, 20 November 2009
I think I underestimated Lady Gaga
Since I first heard "Just Dance" I've liked her music and I appreciated, like everybody else, that the brilliant "Poker Face" announced the arrival of a brilliant new star, but until now I never really saw Lady GaGa's true significance as an artist. I picked "Bad Romance" as The Week's Best New Pop Song at the beginning of October but with only a modest rating and review. I'm now backtracking on that and it's because of the video which I think is sensational. Yes it's odd and pretentious and panders to her desire to thrust sex and horror into every frame but taken as a whole you can't help but have your breath taken away by the spectacle, creativity and sheer visual bravado of the piece.
It's made me re-appreciate her vocal performance on the track as well. Her voice has tremendous depth and guts, allows room for the vulnerability required by the lyric and completely sells the anger and desperation of "i don't wanna be friends" at the end. She's been compared to Madonna but she has reinvented her look more times and more stunningly in this one 5 minute clip than Madonna has in a decade. Men and women couldn't help but find her as sexy as hell in various different guises here and she has the strength and intelligence to show her unadorned, tear-filled face in among the theatrical pyrotechnics. The video clip of the decade has arrived as it draws to a close. Only Eminem at his peak has come to close to what she has achieved this year - which is to make what everyone else in the music world is doing, saying or singing more or less irrelevant.
PS she has been criticised for the amount of product placement in the clip. When people used to pay for music it might have been possible to produce this kind of high value production without commercial support but those days are gone.