Hi, my name is Stefanie and I’m addicted to Lady Gaga.
I have to admit, I’m a recent convert. I held out for a long time, because, let us be frank, her hair, her Kermit suits and her pantslessness, they did not convey to me the impression of “serious artist.” It’s only in the last few weeks that I’ve found myself falling unsuspecting prey to the Gaga loop — an endless cycle of playing her songs on repeat and, when iTunes tries desperately, for my own good, to make me listen to something else, quickly clicking over to play “Paparazzi” for the twelfth time running — but I’m pretty much sunk. It’s a recent change, but, I suspect, irreversible.
Because say what you like about the woman — that her hair scares you, that she doesn’t own pants, that you disagree with her stance on feminism, that she’s the bastard lab baby of Anna Wintour and Miss Piggy — but damn, does she know how to write a pop song.
More than that, she seems to be in the process of reviving that dying art form, the music video. In an age when MTV is more concerned with — well, honestly, I couldn’t tell you what they’re concerned with, because I stopped watching MTV when they stopped showing music videos. Which was like a decade ago. I’m pretty sure I was in middle school, that’s how long it’s been. So in this age, it’s refreshing to see an artist get her crazy on, because that’s the other thing Gaga does well: whatever the hell she pleases. If she wants to wear a bear suit and blow a guy up with the fire from her cone bra, that’s what she’ll damn well do, because, as she so eloquently puts it herself, “I’m a free bitch, baby.”
She’s also a performance artist, something to admire when the videos trickling out of the music industry these days are weak cop outs without story or pizazz, centering almost without exception around the musician gallivanting around in lingerie with some sexy model of the gender of their choice, like the making of a music video is now just an obligation to fulfill. It probably is. Gaga embraces the form, reviving it in a brilliant and choreographed thematic sideshow reminiscent of the Michael Jackson and Madonna era of music videos, back when everything was still comparatively fresh and new; she’s proving that it hasn’t, after all, all been done.
Her latest single and video, “Bad Romance,” are just further proof of all this. The song is fast climbing up my Most Played list (and overtaking nearly every other song by her already, though “Beautiful Dirty Rich” refuses to be dethroned just yet). With its catchy hook and intriguing premise, it’s Gaga at her finest — somewhere under the nonsense syllables, she explores concepts of love that are darker than your standard fare, repeatedly circling back to notions of obsession and the seedy underbelly of glamour. As for the video, it may well be one of the greatest of all time. Of all time. Or, you know, just this year. I don’t have any idea why she decided to dress like a bear, but you know what? I love it. Haters to the left, she’s a free bitch, she’ll dress like a bear if she wants to. Check it out for yourself:
Don’t tell me that’s not awesome. I will not believe you.
So say she’s crazy, say she’s a permanent persona, a living editorial out of a fashion magazine, say she needs a new wardrobe, say that the sight of her spine freaks you out. Whatever else you have to say about Lady Gaga, it’s difficult to deny: she’s bringing back the art of performance with a vengeance.