Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Applause.... For What?

Ah, Lady Gaga. How you frustrate me. Whether you love her or hate her you can't deny she certainly gets people talking. I'm a casual fan - I have The Fame Monster and Born This Way. I think they're both good with some excellent songs. Artpop I'm worried about though - because if Applause is anything to go by then it's going to be far from Artpop.

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. 

Frankly, I think Artpop is make or break for her. A lot of casual fans I know have long lost interest in her antics. Honestly, I think she needs to take a break after this album, recoup and get some new ideas. Electro-pop is a stale formula and frankly she's not being original in the slightest if she releases songs that are in that style. She needs to find a new style that she feels right with, change her style but at the same time it must be genuine. The hype needs to be toned down too. As I said before casual fans I know have long lost interest and if she keeps it up I think the only people who will buy into the hype will be the most diehard of Little Monsters. She'll alienate herself further.The bottom line? She needs to stop talking about her originality, and let the music demonstrate that. Time will tell how she does with that.

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