Have you heard? Lady Gaga’s coming to Singapore! (Rhetorical question. You probably have, these banners have been everywhere.) Here’s a look at Lady Gaga and her music videos to get you hyped.
From her debut to her recent album release, Lady Gaga has been an ever present on our airwaves and screens. A combination of equal parts Madonna, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Gwen Stefani and weird singing noises, she possesses visual flair that has captured the imagination of a desensitized generation, she has divided critics on her music but one thing’s certain, everything she does is eye catching and even, dare we say it… exciting.
Frequently described as odd and violent amongst other things, her music videos serve not just as what they are, but also as short films that have pushed a dying medium (Thanks MTV!) back into public consciousness with her controversial ways and shocking imagery.
One of her earliest videos, Gaga doesn’t actually star in it but has a group of young males and females lip sync to her songs, As you can see, one of her most constant themes; androgyny is present here. It is a subject that has always been linked to Gaga, so no surprise that people started speculating that she was a hermaphrodite (false rumour, by the way). Also, Gaga is a known advocate for LBGT issues on account of her loyal gay fans from the start of her career.
On her first major hit, "Just Dance", we see hints of the Gaga we had come to know. The makeup, weird poses and dances moves are all there but we had yet to see any of the outrageous costumes. These videos would differ from most of Gaga’s other videos, with mostly dancing and partying going on and less bubble dress and other quirky fashion choices.
The Fame… indeed:
"Paparazzi" features Gaga finally moving towards more elaborate concepts for her music videos, giving them the aforementioned short film feel. Note the gratuitous amount of product placement. It was her first collaboration with famed music video director Jonas Åkerlund who is a longtime collaborator of Madonna and a former black metal drummer; he’s an interesting dude in his own right. The video marks a shift to a more graphic nature, jump cuts all around… just like a film. Alexander Skarsgård from TV series True Blood plays Gaga’s conniving boyfriend who gets what’s coming in the end.
Lady Gaga draws from a heavy dose of influences, whether it’s in his music, fashion or her videos. Even her name is drawn from a Queen song! Combining hints of glam rock with electro pop sensibilities, Gaga often wears her influences on her sleeves. This is none more prominent than in "Telephone", where she proudly displays homages to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and even Thelma & Louise amongst the countless references in the music video. Chock full of B-movie ethos and girl power themes, Telephone echoes classic exploitation movies like Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! and the aforementioned Tarantino picture. Note how she starts off in a jail or asylum of sorts, almost as if the story was continuing from that of "Paparazzi".
Of course, even in a video like the *cough*bannedinsingapore*cough* "Judas", she finds a way to fit in a choreographed group dance. Like it or not, Gaga is here to stay. She feeds this generation’s bloodlust demand for the bigger and the better. The more over the top it is; the better. Gaga feeds off it, fuelling a news cycle of controversy, with her constantly in the stream. She probably can’t help it, she was Born This Way.
Of course sometimes, we just wish she would cut out all the weird stuff and do more of this:
Yeah. That’s what we’re talking about.
Lady Gaga performs in Singapore on Jul 7. More details to be confirmed.
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