…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.