Saturday, 17 April 2010

Gaga for Gaga?

I'm a bit late to jump on the pop culture wagon that is Lady Gaga. As far as I can tell, she zoomed to popularity sometime when I was in the UK. Most of the days that Elena and I went to the gym I saw (but not heard, as I really didn't fancy remembering to bring headphones) her Poker Face video and was less than impressed. So here I'm debating whether or not I actually like her as an artist. Discussion on the matter is encouraged.

First off, let me get all pretentious- Gaga? Really? You couldn't come up with a better name than that? Oh well. I suppose I'm not in the pop music business, nor am I her. Moving on. I think her voice is gorgeous. For some reason I tend to really like female singers with deeper voices. I couldn't tell you why.

I also think her image is phenomenal. (I also THINK she's really pretty. You know, somewhere underneath all the makeup. I say I think, because I really can't tell.) We all know my sense of fashion is... well... you know. (I'm sure Jenni could supply us with a few choice words on that subject) I find (most of) her wild and funky outfits rather refreshing- mostly because they go beyond normal fashion to bizarre high fashion. This brings me to two points, each to be discussed in turn, but both about her music videos. Again I'll use the terms refreshing and bizarre in relation to her videos. Back in the late 90s, it was practically impossible to tell the difference between all of the pretty blonde pop stars. But between the costuming, general eye-candyness (which is the main reason I watch any of her videos), and way out dance movies, I think Gaga has done a great job of breaking out of the mold set for her by previous pop-stars. It's nice to see unusual movement incorporated into the dances (for an example of this I refer you to the beginning of Bad Romance- which looks like the evil zombie nurses in the basement of the hospital at the end of Silent Hill)

Moving on to the other (and less positive point): While I thoroughly enjoy the crazy weirdness of her videos, I'm tired of seeing her crotch. HIgh Fashion is one thing. So is weird fashion. And sometimes it's thoroughly appropriate to the rest of the video to be artsy and naked. But really- how many bikini clad crotch closeups does one need in any given video. Yes- I realize that I sound like the prude that I am. But I've watched the 'clean' version of the Telephone video, and I really don't see how it could possibly get more explicit. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against showing off one's body. I guess this is where we get to the part I'm torn about.

Her songs are really good (as someone who shall remain nameless calls them) booty-shakin' songs. And I enjoy (most of) the eye candy aspect. But as a general rule I've always tried to keep away from media that more or less offended my (again, admittedly prudish) morals. Quite a few of Gaga's lyrics fall into that category. As do quite a few parts of her videos. Also, I have to question her popularity among young girls. I've heard quite a few girls at B&N comment about liking her- and here I'm referring specifically to the 4-7 age range. My co-workers are right- those young fans probably have no idea what 90% of her lyrics mean. But I have to question their parents letting them watching videos which practically feature orgies, prostitutes and murder/suicide.

And thus, I am undecided. *sigh*

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