Friday, December 11, 2009

Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster (review)

Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster

I was a bit surprised by how fast Lady Gaga came out with her follow up album The Fame Monster (from a marketing standpoint releasing a new album just as she has hit her stride is incredibly smart, but still - too soon?). I was hoping she would just take a little break, recharge her batteries (wink wink) and then release something akin to her first album, which spawned several hit singles and could even make a grown man break down in tears and scream "POKERFACE!!!" What we got here is less pop gems and something very short and safe, but oddly enough, not really as bad as one would expect for something with such a small production window.

The first song/single off the album is "Bad Romance" which went off to be one of her most popular songs ever. It's a great song but I kind of felt like she was just being way too inane and self indulgent throwing out lyrics like "Gaga, ooh la la." It's just weird and self absorbed even though it's *probably* meant to be funny. But what was that whole line about a vertigo stick? Lady Gaga has mentioned having an affinity for old horror/sci-fi movies before so I guess the lyrics "give me your psycho, your vertigo stick" are just references to Alfred Hitchcock. Fair enough. But I can't help but feel she is trying to cash in on the ever popular line "disco stick" from her previous album The Fame. However, I really like the little bloops throughout the song - they sound a lot like the sound Mr. Game & Watch makes when he walks around in Super Smash Bros. Don't believe me? Check it out:

I doubt that sound is made by an instrument... but I could be wrong. It's interesting to say the least.

Other songs worth mentioning are "Alejandro" and "So Happy I Could Die" (my personal favorite, but the lyrics are kind of explicit). I find it kind of funny that Lady Gaga is at her best when she doesn't say anything - just says things like "eh-eh, eh-eh/ye-ha, ye-ha." That's not really an insult but moreso a testament to her ability to craft catchy choruses that burn their way into your bobbing head. But back to those songs: Alejandro seems to be some sort of love letter to a guy who I assume exists. You'd be hard-pressed to find a catchier out right now... every time I read the song title I start to hear the lyrics in my head: "alejandro, alejandro/ale ale jandro, ale ale jandro."

The song will sink into your cranial cherry pie and beat the fucking lyrics into it. It's that catchy.

So Happy I could Die is probably the most *touching* song on the album - not only in an emotional sense but a risque one as well. For example: she constantly mentions touching herself and not being able to get enough (/groan). Even so, it's just as catchy as Alejandro so don't expect to walk away from this album without gibbering these lyrics to yourself like a lunatic (which may or may not be a good thing, so you decide - then again, you couldn't be any crazier than her right? The only outfit she hasn't worn yet is a dress made out of Twizzlers).

The Fame Monster is a highly infectious, albeit shallow and short package that doesn't really live up to her previous album The Fame. A lot of people will argue that this album is just a quick cash-in but I disagree: it's a great "this is me, take it or leave it" statement. It's probably not what a lot of her old fans are expecting and she just keeps getting weirder and more experimental, but at least now people can't really say she has no depth. I'm sure a lot of people want to nail gun her face to death at this point, but you can do a lot worse than Lady Gaga and her innate weirdness (genius?). I will take an unpredictable freakazoid like her over a predictable normal person any day. This whole album - including the artwork - is just fucking creepy, over-the-top and insane... and yet it works.

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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Anonymous said...

The line "Vertical Shtick" is in reference to Alfred Hitchcock.

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