Lady Gaga is a monster.
And I mean that in the very best way.
Early last year, I actually had the impulse to tweet “I have no idea who Lady Gaga is, and I’m glad.” Rarely listening to the radio, and never watching celebrity-fetish TV, I’d absorbed her name only through some collective unconscious osmosis, and I literally had no idea who she was other than the latest outré pop diva. Which made me reflexively dismiss her as just another turd floating in the bowl of MTV/Perez Hilton culture.
But I didn’t make the tweet, because I don’t like commenting on things I don’t actually know about, and because I didn’t want to be unfair to Gaga, whoever she was. I’m quirkily integrous like that.
Having resisted the impulse to blindly besmirch her, I found my curiosity roused. Did she deserve my scorn or not? I sat down with my good friend YouTube to find out.
She most definitely did not.
Lady Gaga is the Frankensteinian love child of Alice Cooper, Debbie Harry, and Zoolander. She’s taken high fashion, which she clearly adores, and made it her bitch. She’s smart as hell, and subversive as fuck: this is a woman who made a shiny, expensive music video in which she does a lurching, ungainly dance on crutches. She knows fashion is monstrous and ridiculous, and has gutted it and worn its intestines like her meat dress.
I don’t give a damn about fashion, but I loves me some subversion.
But the most important thing about Lady Gaga, née Stefani Germanotta, is that she’s incredibly talented, not only as a performer, not only as a singer with a gorgeous voice, but as a songwriter. Her lyrics are sharp, her arrangements complex and manic, and she’s a virtuoso of the pop hook.
Hello, hello baby, you called?
I can’t hear a thing
I have got no service
In the club, you see, see
Wha-Wha-What did you say,
Oh, you’re breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you
I’m kinda busy.
Sorry, I cannot hear you, I’m kinda busy.
Just a second,
It’s my favorite song they’re gonna play
And I cannot text you with
A drink in my hand, eh
You should’ve made some plans with me,
You knew that I was free.
And now you won’t stop calling me;
I’m kinda busy.
And if you doubt her raw talent, in this age of Auto-Tune, just watch the videos below.
Gaga ain’t just a pop diva. She’s a woman of talent and brains and spine, completely in charge of her art as well as her artifice, in command of her life.
Now I know who Lady Gaga is, and I’m glad.
[UPDATE: I’ve added a few more great Gaga vids in the post following this one.]