Tag Archives: Lady Gaga

Let’s Get Cynical About: The Brit Awards 2010

After finally finishing my ‘Songs Of The Decade’ posts, I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about next. But as luck would have it, the nominations for this year’s Brit Awards have just been announced – and they’re always ripe for a good kicking. Without further ado then…

British Female Solo Artist

Bat For Lashes
Florence & The Machine

Leona Lewis
Lily Allen
Pixie Lott

Bat For Lashes is clearly the standout act in this list – which means, of course, she stands bugger all chance of winning. Predicting a winner from the rest of the artists seems a little bit tricky, but if I were a betting man I’d put my money on the big-selling winner of last year’s ‘Critics Choice’ award, Florence & The Machine.

British Male Solo Artist

Calvin Harris
Dizzee Rascal
Paolo Nutini
Robbie Williams

Well, Robbie Williams has already won this about a million times before, and he’s picking up the Outstanding Contribution To Music award this year, so it seems a bit pointless for him to win here. As for the rest… well, Mika should clearly not be winning anything apart from ‘most irritating voice’. It’s not easy to make a prediction here, but I reckon they might be ‘edgy’ this year and pick Dizzee Rascal. He is performing at the ceremony, if that’s any indication of anything.

British Breakthrough Act

Florence & The Machine
Friendly Fires
La Roux
Pixie Lott

This category has been subject to the vagaries of the public vote for as long as I can remember, which has resulted in some truly terrible winners. That tradition is probably set to continue here – I predict a JLS victory, but I’ll be quite happy to be wrong. I’ll be voting for Friendly Fires, for what it’s worth.

British Group

Friendly Fires

While the only possible reaction to JLS being on this list is “oh, FUCK OFF,” seeing Friendly Fires get a nomination is a very pleasant surprise – but I don’t think either of them will win. It’s probably a two horse race between Kasabian and Muse, and I think Kasabian will take it.

British Album

Dizzee Rascal – Tongue N’ Cheek
Florence & The Machine – Lungs
Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
Paulo Nutini – Sunny Side Up

Considering the amount of brilliant British albums released in 2009, this is quite a mediocre list, in the grand scheme of things. Oh, wait, it’s the Brits. Anyway, I think it’s going to be Florence & The Machine or Kasabian, but I can’t decide which… Florence or Kasabian. Florence or Kasabian…


British Single

Alesha Dixon – ‘Breathe Slow’
Alexandra Burke Ft Flo Rida – ‘Bad Boys’
Cheryl Cole – ‘Fight For This Love’
Joe McElderry – ‘The Climb’
JLS – ‘Beat Again’
La Roux – ‘In For The Kill’
Lily Allen – ‘The Fear’
Pixie Lott – ‘Mama Do’
Taio Cruz – ‘Break Your Heart’
Tinchy Stryder Ft N-Dubz – ‘Number 1’

In recent years, the British Single category has devolved into the ultimate public-voted crapshoot, making it near impossible to make an accurate prediction. But isn’t it wonderful that there are three X-Factor acts in this category AGAIN! Isn’t it touching that both little Joe McElderry and his X-Factor mentor, Cheryl Cole, are nominated! Isn’t it brilliant that the best songs on here, by a country mile, are by La Roux and Lily Allen! Aren’t N-Dubz shit!

…wait, I’m not being sarcastic about that last one. Better hope Dappy doesn’t send me death threats!

BRITs Album of 30 Years

Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Dido – No Angel
Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
Duffy – Rockferry
Keane – Hopes & Fears
Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Phil Collins – No Jacket Required
Sade – Diamond Life
The Verve – Urban Hymns
Travis – The Man Who

Question: Which of these albums is the best of the last thirty years?

The correct answer is Radiohead Kid A. But uh, that didn’t win when it was nominated in 2001, and the slightly obtuse rules for this category state that, to be nominated, an album has to have won in the ‘Best British Album’ category at the Brits (as well as having sold a truckload). This one’s up for the public vote as well – as if one complete crapshoot wasn’t enough. As for a prediction… my stab in the dark would be Coldplay.

Most Memorable Brits Performance of 30 Years

I’m not even going to bother listing the extensive nominations for this category, as among them is one Michael Jackson – he of recently-deceased-King-Of-Pop fame – and as this is yet another publicly voted category, I would be massively surprised if anyone but him wins.

International Female Solo Artist

Lady Gaga
Norah Jones

Well, after reading the first name on this list, the rest just read like a formality. Personally, I’d take Ladyhawke over Lady Gaga any day of the year, but I really can’t see anyone but the disco-stick rider taking this.

International Male Solo Artist

Bruce Springsteen
Micheal Buble
Seasick Steve

Well, technically Lady Gaga could win this award too lolololol!!111! I don’t really know which way this one’s going to go, but Jay-Z lost out to Kanye last time, and with Mr. West nowhere to be seen, I reckon it could be the Hova’s year.

International Album

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
Empire of the Sun – Walking On A Dream
Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3
Lady Gaga – The Fame

While I didn’t particularly get into it myself, it’s nice to see the Brits academy at least acknowledging the critical love-fest that surrounded Animal Collective’s latest record. However, as always, they’ll reward the artist that sold a shit-tonne of units – that’d be Lady Gaga then.

International Breakthrough Artist

Animal Collective
Daniel Merriweather
Empire Of The Sun
Lady Gaga
Taylor Swift

For some reason, the Brit awards have seen fit to replace ‘Best International Group’ with this new, publicly voted category – and because it’s a public vote, Lady Gaga wins. The End. I guess it’s kinda funny that Animal Collective are considered a ‘Breakthrough Act’ after nine albums though.

And that’s your (Pixie) lot(t). Ho ho ho. Come back after the awards ceremony on the 16th to see how right/wrong I was!

… you can come back before then if you like though. I might even have written about something else.



Filed under Music

Let’s Get Quizzical: Is Lady Gaga Ironic?

While I was secretly hoping for a legion of outraged Gaga fans to react angrily to my last post (I could have called it ‘Gagagate’!), in reality the increase in page views was already more than I could’ve hoped for. However, I did receive one comment that suggested that I was missing the irony of Lady Gaga and her music, and as such, I thought I’d explore that topic further.

I stated in my previous post that I couldn’t find a shred of irony anywhere on Lady Gaga’s debut album, The Fame. Upon reflection, that’s not quite true – ‘Paparazzi’ is somewhat ironic in that it apes the standard R’n’B love ballad, but is in fact about a stalkerish obsession with famous people and the fame that surrounds them. But elsewhere? I’m struggling to see it. I struggle to construe any of ‘Just Dance’s lyrics as ironic, and the fact that artists such as Maxïmo Park have covered the song with complete sincerity further supports that view in my eyes. And Lady Gaga has openly admitted that ‘Poker Face’ is about “bluffing with your sexuality”, surely indicating once again that it should be taken at face value.

So, while irony appears to be in short supply in the music itself, is there anything in Lady Gaga’s character that suggests that everything isn’t what it seems? There’s one moment in this interview with Jonathan Ross where she responds to rumours of transsexuality by deadpanning “well, I do have a really big donkey dick,” which may not necessarily be ironic, but at the very least indicates that she doesn’t take herself entirely seriously. However, while she comes across as more likeable than in the interview I posted in my previous post, she still appears utterly self-involved, wrapped up in her own little world without realising how unintentionally hilarious it can be for other people. And there doesn’t appear to be the need for further evidence – even though she (presumably) jokes about naked men fanning her and feeding her cherries, her answer to the final question in this interview seems to dismiss the possibility of irony entirely:

“I have a lot of complexities, and people constantly wonder if I’m putting up an act or something. But how I am on stage is exactly who I am, how I am living my life is exactly the way I had envisioned it to be. If people want to know me better, they have to get that.”

Now, it’s entirely possible that the above is a bare-faced lie, and Lady Gaga’s interview persona is as elaborately constructed as her costumes. But it just doesn’t seem plausible, particularly if you consider that if she was laughing behind everyone’s back, she’d probably prefer to be laughing all the way to the bank – and yet she’s apparently managed to bankrupt herself four times. How can someone who ploughs all the money she makes back into her stage show be doing it ironically?

But, I think the crucial thing about the concept of Lady Gaga being ironic is that if she isn’t perceived as such, then it’s all for naught – after all, in the eye of the beholder, perception is reality (what do you know, marketing did teach me something…). I highly doubt that Lady Gaga’s detractors are taking her music to be as ironic, and I surely can’t imagine that her fans are either. People aren’t praising Lady Gaga because her songs are some sort of wonderfully cutting tryst on fame and fortune. People aren’t buying her records because they’re ‘ironic’. The critical praise and the gargantuan sales come from the fact they’re infectiously catchy pop tunes – and, even if you dislike her as much as I do, that’s something you can’t really deny.

So, if you’d like to point out some irony in Lady Gaga’s music that I’ve evidently missed, then feel free – I’m all ears. But all the evidence I’ve found points to the exact opposite – she believes in what she’s doing with a commitment and sincerity that even I find begrudgingly admirable.

…doesn’t make her album any less irritating though.

(And with that, I’m hopefully done with Gaga. Next post will be about someone different, I promise.)


Filed under Music

Lady Gaga? *Insert your own joke here*

…because I couldn’t decided between any one of a number of terrible puns for the title.

My first exposure to Lady Gaga was in October last year, when I was watching a Swiss music channel with my girlfriend. ‘Just Dance’ popped up, and we spent a few minutes wondering who this stupid-looking woman was and why she was prancing around the remains of some house party – and then the next video came on and we thought nothing more of it. Come the beginning of 2009, I see her name in the BBC’s ‘Sound Of 2009’ poll, and wonder if it’s the same woman I saw before – then ‘Just Dance’ splurges itself all over the UK chart shortly after, and my fears are confirmed. By the time her album was released in April 2009, Gagamania had swept the nation, and she went straight in at number 1.

Now, before you read the rest of this article, this video is required viewing. Try to resist the urge to vomit, injure yourself or damage your computer, but go ahead and laugh by all means:

Finished? Good. Then you probably have some insight into why I think Lady Gaga is a despicable human being, a vapid slut who has shamelessly prostituted herself in front of both the media and the general public – only for them to not only happily bum her but then turn around afterwards and beg to be fucked up the arse with a strap-on.

…unfortunately, she also has an infuriatingly catchy way with a pop song.

Take the aforementioned ‘Just Dance’. Lyrically, it’s almost suspiciously tailored to the British public. Hey British people – ever got so battered that you’ve ended up on the floor, half-dressed, unable to remember where you are, and sans keys/phone/man? Of course you have! Here’s a song for you guys! Throw in a thumping beat, some garish synths and a gloriously dumb chorus hook (“Just dance/gonna be ok”) and you have a winning pop formula – well, except for poor bastards like me who hate the silly bitch but can’t get her irritatingly catchy songs out of their heads. ‘Poker Face’ is pretty much more of the same, except with lyrics about how she plays men like a deck of cards – if she wants to lose the ‘slut’ tag she’s not doing herself any favours. ‘LoveGame’ just reinforces that image, with the line “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick” cropping up within 5 seconds –  classy bird, eh? ‘Paparazzi’, on the other hand, slows the pace down a little bit to become an almost oddly affecting stalker-ballad – even if, musically, it’s the same beats ‘n’ synths style as before.

So yes, she’s got her slick pop formula down to a tee, but her music struggles to seem anything more than superficial in nature – and if you’re hoping for some respite from that on the rest of debut album The Fame, then forget it. Just one look down the tracklisting tells you all you need to know, with names like ‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich’, ‘Money Honey’, and ‘Boys Boys Boys’ making it even more difficult to take her seriously.

Still, I resolved to at least try and listen to the album in full. Unsurprisingly, I failed – halfway through I became so sick of her that I resorted to listening to the first minute or so of each of the remaining tracks in order to speed up the torturous process. ‘Boys Boys Boys’ and ‘Money Honey’ sounded just as vapid as their titles suggested, and the only respite from the relentless beats/synths combo comes in the form of pointless balladry (‘Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)’, ‘Brown Eyes’) and the mind-numbing swagger of ‘Again Again’. The whole exercise is a frankly vomit-inducing insight into of how much Lady Gaga loves herself – it’s like listening to some air-head blather on about boys, sex, fame and money while someone beats you over the head with a synthesiser. Actually, it pretty much IS that – and crucially there’s not a shred of irony to be detected anywhere.

Still, at least having heard the album I feel more justified in my hatred of the woman. How we’re supposed to take her seriously when she goes on about ‘art’ is a mystery to me when her ‘art’ basically consists of her going on about how much she likes money, fame, and taking rides on ‘disco sticks’. One can only hope that the British public find a new obsession, so that she eventually disappears and takes her shallow, repetitive music with her. To quote Orwell’s 1984: “If there is hope, it lies with the proles.”

…fuck. I guess that means we’re going to be stuck with Lady Gaga and her ilk for a long, long time.


Filed under Albums, Music