Has Lady Gaga Peaked?

24 04 2011

I suppose there have been several red flags in the short career of Stefani Germanotta, known the world over as Lady Gaga.  But who could have known that the outrageous fashions and manic lyrics were just expressions of a deeper, much more complex series of issues with herself, organized religion, and society as a whole.

With her latest single, “Judas,” drawing controversy before it’s even officially released, Gaga’s “Born This Way” continues to dominate the charts and our airwaves.

Personally, I was let down by “Born This Way.”  After months upon months of buzz for the title track of her junior effort, and a convoluted premiere at the Grammy’s in late February (see below), I was underwhelmed by the presentation. The music itself was not nearly as layered and technical as some of her other work, and the lyrics — which are fairly profound and topical — get lost in the showiness she has to maintain.

The question of whether Gaga has taken her affection for the maven of envelope-pushing, Madonna, a little far and (inadvertently?) copied the 1989 hit “Express Yourself.”  Comparisons of the two songs have been popping up for months, online and in print, and someone finally had the balls to ask the new Queen of Pop what she thought of the implications.

I totally understand the concept of a creative process, and I respect Gaga for putting herself out there. But there is definitely a line between what is (performance) art and what is publically marketable; if Stefani Germanotta loses the understanding and appreciation of consumers with her ranting and higher-than-thou attitude, she loses what makes her Gaga.

I’ve listened to both songs several times over, and I hear more than a few similarities… basically “Born This Way” is jut a faster pace than “Express Yourself” but the underlaying notes are the saaaame! 

<<Click Here to Listen for Yourself!>>

Gaga saying that she hears no overlap, considers no comparison, is like Vanilla Ice saying he didn’t rip off Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” for his one-hit wonder “Ice Ice Baby” in 1990. 

It’s obvious to everyone else, but some people just have to live in denial. The idea that their own success has piggybacked off the hard work of others is infathomable.

I consider this the crossroads in Gaga’s career, if she keeps up this ridiculous behavior and clings to the idea that her ‘Little Monsters’ will support every single thing she does or says, she will ascend to the level of nonsensical jabbering previously displayed by Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Prince. They have all maintained consistent fan followings, and continue to cash in on events, but they are arguably no where near the level of fame and talent they used to be.

Lady Gaga is set to appear as the musical guest on this season’s finale of Saturday Night Live (May 21), so in the event that she rips up a picture of the Pope — ala Sinead O’Connor — don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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