Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Report Card: Lady Gaga

As many of you would know, I'm quite fond of the pop sensation that is Lady Gaga. Who am I kidding... I freaking love her. She's been a breath of fresh air, or more accurately, she's been like a tornado that's left her rivals in the dust since late 2008. Her unprecedented rise to the top has seen many a comparison to Madonna and Christina Aguilera didn't know if she was a man or a woman, something that has dogged the Gaga more than once. Her response? A memorable Q magazine cover complete with a dildo down her trousers. Outstanding.

Surprising even myself, I've yet to feature Ms Germanotta in a feature capacity here on It's My Kind of Scene. What better time than the present, right? It's the debut of a new feature... Report Card! The premise is pretty simple; I'll be looking back at each song the chosen artist has released and grade them on it. An overall grade will be assigned at the end. That's not pretty simple, it's very simple. Let's get to it!

1. Just Dance ft. Colby O'Donis

As debut pop singles go, 'Just Dance' is well above average. While it merely hints at the head-scratching craziness that's to come it more than succeeds in establishing Gaga as the new 'it' girl of the moment. Colby O'Donis' involvement never feels important or necessary. You could have understood pairing Gaga with an established artist to garner more attention, instead O'Donis leaves you questioning what the point was of his random 30 second interlude. The video is pretty much, "Hi! I'm Lady Gaga and I just LOOOOVE to party." Fairly standard, see Ke$ha's 'Tik Tok.'

Song: B+
Video: C+

Poker Face

The evolution to pop superstar takes a major step forward and it's only her second single! Nominated for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and winning Best Dance Recording at the Grammys seems pretty good, but when you're topping charts in over 20 countries you know you've got a winner on your hands. It's funny how tame the video to 'Poker Face' comes across now when you compare it to say, 'Alejandro.'

Song: A
Video: B

Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)

"Cherry cherry boom-boom," indeed. Don't worry, I won't try to defend it. Easily the worst single release so far for Gaga, 'Eh, Eh' wasn't even released in the US. She looks quite good in the music video, but that's not enough to make the grade.

Song: D
Video: C-


A memorable step in the right direction, made possible by skanking up the subway and rides on disco sticks. The video highlights her ability to work a choreographed dance routine more than anything else. Oh, and her willingness to make out with cops, both male and female. Because lady cops need loving too.

Song: B-
Video: B

Wale ft. Lady Gaga - Chillin

Riiiight. It's not that it's a bad song, it's just that, as many have already pointed out, what's with Gaga turning into M.I.A? The video is uninspired and funny, but I'd say not on purpose. If watching Gaga doing her best to be a statue behind Wale doesn't elicit a chuckle from you then I ask, what is your trauma?

Song: C
Video: C


The return of the mini-movie music video. 'Paparazzi' the video was the real star of the show here, which is a shame because the song's very good, possibly her best. Ok, not her best, but still very good. 'Paparazzi' is the real turning point for Gaga. She'd go from fairly typical pop superstar to the extremely creative 'artist' that she's now celebrated for being.

Song: A
Video: A+

Bad Romance

Yeah... it's amazing. Possibly the greatest pop song of the 2000s. Possibly the greatest pop song of all-time. I kid, I kid. Or do I? 'Bad Romance' is definitely Gaga's best single and probably the one song that will define her for the rest of her career. The video has received a massive 10 nominations for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, which will be handed out September 12.

Song: A+
Video: A+

Beyonce Knowles ft. Lady Gaga - Video Phone

If you've heard the original version, pre-Gaga, you'll understand how much better her presence actually makes 'Video Phone.' It's not exactly a song worthy of the two biggest female music stars on the face of the planet. Beyonce rocking the Bettie Page look works well for the video, but when she's trying too hard to be like her guest artist it doesn't work as well. Gaga seems to be having the time of her life in the video. Her breakdown whilst shooting her gun is hilarious, possibly even intentionally.

Song: C+
Video: B-

Telephone ft. Beyonce Knowles

Hmmm. Another mini-movie music video. The sequel to 'Paparazzi.' Never believe someone when they tell you that covering your sunglasses with lit cigarettes is a safe or practical idea. And coke cans curled into your hair is not a fashion statement. The crazy for the sake of being crazy arguments start to come up at this point and you can kinda see why. Beyonce is a taco-eating champ for actually going through with everything. But enough about the video, what of the song itself? It outclasses the previous collaboration, 'Video Phone,' easily, but 'Bad Romance' is a pretty touch song to follow-up on so 'Telephone' possibly suffers when compared to what came before it. Anything would.

Song: B+
Video: B


And the first signs of a true backlash emerge. 3 MINI-MOVIE MUSIC VIDEOS?!? Outrageous! Or maybe it was the swallowing of the rosary beads or the overtly homoerotic themes presented throughout the video and the song. MTVs James Montgomery accurately pointed out that 'Alejandro' marked the first time that even LGs biggest fans (her little monsters) were admitting to being a tad disappointed. Still, the song went top 10 in every major market (which makes her 7 for 7 in the USA for those keeping score). A lot of people seem to think that one misstep means the end for Gaga, but she'll bounce back. New single 'Dance In The Dark,' will hopefully go a long way in rebuilding some lost street-cred, if we ever see a video for it.

Song: B
Video: B-
Overall Grade: B+
Not too shabby, wouldn't you agree?

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