This is where I stand with Lady Gaga: she's got a lot of talent. The reason she frustrates me? It's because songs like Applause do not show this talent. Nor has she shown any musical development with it. If anything, I'd say she's regressed - it's sounds like a demo from her first album to me. The salt in the wounds is her personality.
I remember when Just Dance came out. Admittedly I wasn't impressed but the subsequent singles made me check The Fame out. And I really liked it. I thought she was capable of going onto even better things, too. I even thought she was incredibly cool with this hybrid style of retro and futuristic. The problem is as time went on, she got bigger. So did her ego. She quickly developed a heightened sense of self importance.The more ridiculous she got, the more I went off her. She relied too much on gimmicks, on hype. If she didn't have talent I'd say it was style over substance. Although because she seems more interested in hype these days, I guess it still is a case of that to a degree.
The problem is, she does have substance. Lots of it. She's got a great voice, is a terrific performer, and songs like Schiebe from Born This Way were fresh and innovative. However, in songs like Applause it's just not translating. What's compounding it is the fact she hypes herself up so much and seems to think that the music she's releasing these days not only demonstrates her talent, but it's of an exceptional quality. The problem is, it's frankly not. On either level. The Fame Monster was good for a pop album, so was Born This Way, and occasionally her talent is fully realized. Was it the best of the decade though? Not a cat in hell's chance. A good pop album, but let's have some perspective here please. She's making herself a walking target of undelivered promises. In her head, she seems to think she's a lot better than she is.