Thursday, April 15, 2010

Single Review: Telephone

Alright, it's time for me to take on Lady Gaga's most recent hit. Now, I'm a bit nervous. Lady Gaga tends to inspire a great deal of blind devotion from her fans, specifically the gay ones. My previous attempts at criticism tended to yield reactions that look like this:

That's Naomi Campbell, by the way.

Anyway, I would like to start this post with a few disclaimers:

1. I like Lady Gaga's music
2. I like Lady Gaga's political leanings
3. I want Lady Gaga to be successful
4. I have no fears and weaknesses, so if you do decide to hunt me down then you're wasting your time.

All that being said, I think Gaga is full of horse doody. I think she makes very good--albeit standard--pop songs that aren't much more special than anything else on the radio. However, when she starts going off on how "she's such an artist" and "everything is so full of meaning" I want to sit her down and fish slap some sense into her. Look at it like this. Pretend it's your birthday and you get this present:

That's pretty awesome looking on the outside AND it's being pulled by a doggie. You're probably super excited because this gift looks really special and creative. You can't wait to open it and see what it's all about!! Then it turns out to be Law & Order on DVD. That's all very pleasant, and you know that you'll like it, but considering all the hype that went into the presentation you expected much more. That's Lady Gaga.

Ok, now you're Lady Gaga and you're about to release the most typical song ever. What do you do? CRAZY FRIGGIN MUSIC VIDEO!!!! Somehow, she managed to take a song about dancing in a club and turn it into a jailbreak/mass murder/sandwich making extravaganza. I actually know someone who sat in the writer's room for the video and this is how they turned Telephone into that music video.

" sandwich...sandwich...making a sandwich!"

"Phone...foam... Styrofoam...Styrofoam cup...cup...cup of coffee...diner"

"Dance...movement...bowel movement...toilet...toilet bowl...bowl...bowling...bowling alley...alley...back alley...back alley abortion...illegal...crime...criminal...jail...jail dancing"

Etcetera. Now don't get me wrong, I think the video is super fabulous. It just makes no sense and has nothing to do with the song. Even most of Madonna's crazier videos at least thematically related to the song to some degree. Plus she's Madonna and I'm pretty sure criticizing her is illegal in some parts of New York.

Let me be clear. I don't really care if she changes her songs. They're super catchy, fun, and great for dancing. Also, I'm pretty content with the music video. I mean, would you rather have Telephone's video be what it is now, or have something more along the lines of Mariah Carey's I Want to Know What Love Is? MARIAH DOESN'T EVEN MOVE IN THE VIDEO!! SHE JUST STANDS THERE. IN A BASEBALL STADIUM. THAT'S EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS THAN LADY GAGA'S VIDEO. So naturally I'll take Telephone. It's just that I feel like some of her fans are starting to confuse her with another long-haired diva:

(Sorry Gaga
fans for any
this might

I can see a difference. Can you?

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Sooo, a few things:

    1)you are right about Gaga's songs (thanks for being brave and sayin it)--most of em aren't THAT special, but I think people are so in love with her because she IS an entire package--she is actually living as her self-created image, being constantly 'in costume' in some way, and emitting this melodramatic, larger-than-life persona. Whether that excuses the average song-making, I'm not sure, but I do think she's doing something new--or at least reviving something that died a long time ago--that the pop world desperately needed.
    2)I also totally agree that it's weird that the song and the video didn't match up at all (besides the telephones everywhere, I guess?). The reason it has the story line it does have though (and you may know this, but in case some people don't), is that the video is supposed to be a continuation of a story(/movie epic?) started in the 'paparazzi' video--she didn't have a song that worked with the story she wanted to tell, so she was all "how about we use telephone?" and they were all "ummm...k."

    On the other hand, I think that the video was actually so awesome that the fact that the song has little to do with the video is ALMOST unimportant... and even if most of the ideas for the video were randomly thought up, they were filtered and put together in a way that made really bold statements about American consumerism and femininity, AND the visuals were just kind of awesome as a whole, no?

    and finally...Woo! I commented on a blog post that wasn't about someone else traveling!! Thanks for inspiring me, Riha, and sorry if it sucks and is too long (it is)--but I can't go back and fix it bc I'm afraid of getting fired.