[sic] Magazine

Lady GaGa – The Fame

Even the finest cutting edge can lose threatening effectiveness if left to sit and shine. A well maintained working sword will give a worrier better chance to live than one that has been convoked and shelved for admiration. This discipline is known by my crew, all too well, and that is why they have collectively agreed to go spelunking without me, in the nearby caves of my sister’s grand estate. This short visit was for me, but her castle has turned it into one long welcoming party for all. I must also admit that my two well-grown nieces have garnered far too much attention from those crafty and well versed hunters. While waiting for map and seal of freshly commissioned quest, I have decided to spend some time with my sister and her noble family.

Much time, during these rainy summer days, has been spent in the instrumentally abundant music room of their costal fortress. When the girls are not actually performing Bach or Mozart, their favorite recordings turn the hall into a ballroom with a well-used dance floor. Nothing is played at low volume and if you can’t at least Charleston to it, you probably won’t find it there.

My sister’s youngest girl insisted that I listen to the entire ‘Lady GaGa’ CD while it was still her favorite. I knew of the big hit but had never given the entire album a once over. Preparing myself to be both rationalizing and agreeably polite with the girls, regarding such blatant commercialism, I was placed in the sweet spot of the room and left alone with my beverage of choice.

There are a few different versions of this release. This one is from the Canadian distributor and consists of twelve full tracks. The CD starts right off with her most successful song ‘Just Dance’ and, surprisingly enough, shows some real depth of melody and high production value. Apparently this young girl has a real name and a real following with credits that carry to such artists as Britney Spears and The Pussycat Dolls. Regardless of how one may feel about such a resume, this artist has tuneful talent.

Dance music is what it is, but actually only half this CD is of that ilk. Stefania Gabriella Germanotta is a girl who clearly has melody. Youth has not opened the door to lyrical genius just yet, but basic song structure is something this artist has found with ageless stride. I see melody the same way friends appreciate colour, and in her music there is a strong stroke, like an accomplished painter. Only in and with the most basic and rudimentary of comparison, comes my comment. There is a clear and visceral use of colour and chime in some of her tracks that can be considered brilliant. Irony will decide the future for this pop star, but there is a strong melodic force to be reckoned with, regardless of genre placement. I realize all to well that rolling of eyes and gnashing of teeth can only come from my opinion but, with apologetic redundancy, I must reiterate that basic melody is where I am coming from.

Much speculation and throw has been brought to her live performance because of flaw, but I listen to a highly manipulated production of fun and punch that showcases her vocals quite well. Once again Interscope’ has manipulated vocals right to the edge but I leave the love and the hate at the door and tell of ‘The Fame’.

From dance, to the punchy funk, like ‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich’, to the piano driven ‘Again Again’ to the pure pop offering ‘Eh Eh’ production, this album shows a bit of diversity beyond the expected load. I don’t hear Bowie, Queen or Genesis in these songs but some tracks share many of the same colours. ‘Brown Eyes’ is actually a mix of all three, but with her own lilt. Through the help of ringmasters, this woman has put together a very cohesive pop album.

Since my first listen I have personally witnessed adults, who originally purchased this disk for their kids, secretly and joyfully dancing around the room in guileless guilt. Great legs, shame about her name. When a formula works many stick to that until all reserves are spent. I however see an artist that hopefully will use her mainstream success to bring us future offerings of more mature lyric and less manipulated farina. There is nothing new under the sun and we are all fools of time, but I find entertainment in at least half of this debut effort. I am not jaded enough to overlook the raw gift she has for getting it done and doing it well.

I dungeon myself in the knowledge of my own guttural tastes but to be the joker in the deck parallels my life and art. To hear the promise of future more mature expression, which is held within this CD, is enough for me to more than expect a progression in her music and theme.