Going Gaga over Lady GaGa

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From the first note, you know that the music defines the lady even more so than her quirky, alternative, odd and edgy sense of fashion.

Within the first three seconds of the music starting, a wave starts in your tailbone and moves up to your neck and sends unexplainable messages to your hands, feet, leaving you jiving from side to side.

The genre of her debut album, The Fame is as indefinable as her strong, out-of-the-ordinary voice. It’s like a piece of rainbow layer cake, with a base of retro-bubblegum pop, filled with electro-disco jam and iced with a good lot of rock. Her new take on the tunes is more than what most would like, but it’s still a flawless combination that keeps your feet tapping, and those muscles in your waist gyrating.

Music’s Andy Warhol
Lady GaGa first entered the music scene in the Lower East Side clubs of New York. “Beautiful Dirty Rich” illustrates this background of which she started in; it’s wild, theatrical, and often tongue-in-cheek “shock art” performances. The New York Billboard has commented that with “the full length album (The Fame), it has proved that Lady Gaga is more than just a one hit and a bag of stage tricks”
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She has come a long way with her stand to reinvent pop culture, along the way being compared to the lights of Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani.

From the first note
Lady GaGa kicks of her album with the power packed “Just Dance“. The single debuted with little coverage, spending five long months on the Billboard Top 100 Charts before peaking to the No. 1 spot in January 2009. Since then, it has bounced up and down in the top three.

Just Dance“, a high-energy dance number, sets the bar for the rest of the album, raising all expectations for Lady GaGa’s music.  Very quickly after “Just Dance” the album shifts seamlessly into “Lovegame” a blunter cut but with a catchy rhythmic mix, no less. Lady GaGa’s songs all have a steady, heavy beat; which is what makes it so easy to catch on and move along.

To the odd note
The fifth song on the CD lands like a spaceship in a cornfield following the previous songs. Track 5 “Eh Eh (Nothing Else I can Say)” just sounds like a mad scientist’s experiment to mix a Hawaiian luau, a watered down cup of Jamaican reggae and a serious obsession with repeating words. Aside from the undeniable inability to make the stanzas of that particular song gel without adding ‘Eh’ (so much of it that it must be why the song is also titled as such), the lady adds ‘they’ and ‘way,’ in a half-hearted attempt to rhyme.

Her mid-album track, “Brown Eyes” is perhaps her slowest song and most emotionally expressive. It is a refreshing break from all her raw complicated mixes of eclectic electronic tunes and what can only be cited as an attempt to show her softer, more sensitive side. However,  her vocals are too raw to suit such a ballad which requires a deep powerhouse voice to carry off. The song at it’s core is harpy and mixed with heavy drum beats and slides on the guitar, “Brown Eyes” just somehow falls short after the glory of sexy, sultry “Boys Boys Boys”.

Too much too soon
The album leaves you quite confused as to which genre the lady wants to pursue, from the ghetto sounds of “Paper Gangster”, to the psychedelic reggae sounds of “Eh Eh (Nothing Else I can Say)” and then the melodramatic “Brown Eyes”. In an attempt to prove herself to be capable of carrying off multiple genres, the lady might have just bit off a bit more than she could chew for her first album.

Intensive English, Please
Along with the new era of lyrics that hardly make sense, Lady GaGa’s many depictions of what she claims is a story about people wanting fame, can only be aptly described as grammatically incorrect. While it is understandable to cut certain rules of speech to facilitate creativity, hers are most over the top.

“Cherry Cherry Boom Boom”, the first line of “Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)” along with the whole of “Paper Gangster” simply reeks of mismatched and unestablished ideas. Some songs just have simply unforgettable lyrics, some songs just tend to have lyrics that turn you off, unless you are half drunk and dancing. Almost half of Lady GaGa’s tracks should be returned back to the clubs and left there until the general audience has imbibed enough alcohol. Which then justifies as you scroll down to her fan base, as reflected on Ultimate-Lady GaGa.

Last verse
Just Dance” as a single is catchy, lyrically sound and is definitely worth listening to, although it is not set in stone whether or not the entire album is worth buying. A good alternative is to visit Lady GaGa’s MySpace page for a full preview of her songs before you make your decision. An underdog in the CD’s tracklist might be “Pokerface“. With a mind-blowing music video to boost it’s listener volume, it might just chase up on the charts in a while.

In general, the tunes are jumping along extremes of this UrbanWire writer’s meter; the good are hot, the bad should just be trashed and never played again. The funny thing is however, the songs somehow grow on you. Now, if only the lady would just attend a few more grammar classes.

The Fame Tracks (listen on myspace)
1. Just Dance (featuring Colby O’Donis)
2. Lovegame
3. Paparazzi
4. Poker Face
5. Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)
6. Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
7. The Fame
8. Money Honey
9. Again Again
10. Boys Boys Boys
11. Brown Eyes
12. Summerboy
13. I Like It Rough
14. Starstruck
15. Paper Gangster

For more about Lady GaGa, visit her website

About Shyanne Wang

Contradictory is the word that can be used to sum up my inordinate quirks; for it spares the confusion of well, contradictory adjectives like messy perfectionist. Having a value of close to zero in narcissistic points, this introduction seems harder to write than throwing a full dinner party. Which brings us to the wide ranging interests of my highly fascinating soul; from perfecting the rise of a chocolate souffle, to capturing a moment in time on film, and of course not forgetting watching the world pass me by. Other vices include coffee at every juncture of the day; sleep at every opportunity; and shoes in every heel, pattern and colour. Also known to have a great weakness for toddlers, travel, the telly and trampling on people with cynicism and sarcasm to boot. End of life dream? To be a freelance writer for Vanity Fair with 2 kids and a man-slave living in an Upper East Side penthouse overlooking Central Park.