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Criticism | ‘The Fame’ marks Lady Gaga’s triumphant debut in music



Originally published March 24, 2019.

Stefani Germanotta, better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, started making her own name in 2003, when she performed in small, dusty pubs on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Despite the powerful voice that brought rock’s biggest names of the 1970s and 1980s back to the fragmented contemporary scene steeped in a growing dominance of pure pop, it wasn’t until 2008, with the release of their debut album. official studio by Interscope, that she fell in favor with the public and surprisingly went viral until she endorsed the fame she still has today.

“The Fame,” as his first full-length work was titled, is perhaps one of the greatest all-time premieres in music. Not only because it represents a radical change in the scenario in question, but also to rise as a hybrid palette of sound compositions which at the same time forged a missing originality in the digital medium, filling a void that was opened there has long, besides not having to hide the clear influences of names like David Bowie, Cher and Cindy Lauper, whose contributions to the music industry are undeniable and which are remembered until today.

The great epic tale composed by Gaga is an ode to love and ambition. In other words, the two concepts are linked in a series of ironic and sarcastic events that subtly despise the other in favor of a self-acceptance of the inherent desires of the human being – as seen, for example. , in the track “Beautiful, Dirty, Riche”. The whole line-up is based on strong attacks on those who don’t support their level – and the singer is keen to state repeatedly that the only thing she really needs is the strength to achieve what she wants, that she have or not have the support. others or not. While clearly explaining this position, Gaga also submits to what she absolutely does not want as “means to an end” – in “Again, Again”, the unofficial single from the album, the artist talks about her passion. for a man who cannot have and has come back. to haunt her with his charm after finding someone else. It’s fun to analyze that, even with the supposed denial of how she really feels, she is considering leaving her current partner to embrace “one-eyed brown eyes.”

The epic opens with one of the greatest hits of his career, “Just Dance”. Beginning with a dialogic R&B rhythm, the track is an ode to tranquility and fun, as it revolves around a group of drunk people in a club who don’t remember what really happened. Gaga pointedly repeats “just dance, everything will be fine,” whose phrase is painted by masked hip hop rhythms as opposed to typical dance music from the early 2000s, including vocal arrangements that are both exuberant and mellow. The whole story progresses through the album in an almost psychological fashion, abandoning the timeline of a coming of age to give way to an obsessive hysteria hidden by the graces of the pursuit of dreams.

Despite the intimate perspective, it is possible to trace a beginning, a middle and a tragic conclusion to the story that the artist presents to us. In several titles, including the ode to the best style “Lauper meets ‘The Saturday Night Fever’”, “Disco Heaven”, Gaga wants more than anything to be relaxed, calm, as drenched in an intoxicating atmosphere of peace that may or may not be. threatened by an outside force. Eventually that barrier crumbles and gives way to something she certainly wasn’t expecting – a person who rises as her greatest ambition and who, in a romantic style, seems unfathomable and unattainable.

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“Poker Face” is the start of a trilogy of self-discovery and games of seduction. One of the singer’s most memorable songs revolves around a sexy electronic composition with classic pop beats and which tells the story of the many faces of a woman – in this case, someone whose jaded expressiveness does not. can be deciphered by whoever tries to seduce her. However, this ideal goes way beyond what the surface says, as it is even tied to the story of Gaga, whose avowed bisexuality was once obscured by her enigmatic demeanor. Either way, “morality” is established as your target being unable to read their eyes and truly understand what they want.

It may be that later this “seduction from a distance” gives way to something more visceral and carnal. In “LoveGame”, the singer’s ambition is too clear: she wants it. He wants you. They can both create magic when they touch each other – but really, who is she talking about? It is possible that there are two strangers fighting to win it, and it is this dubious interpretation that makes the piece so incredibly exciting, not to mention that, compared to other compositions, it is the most charged with contemporaneity. A maturing process so complex that it is likely to be misinterpreted, but which in fact emerges as something pure: its captivating melody leaves out the R&B influence and values ​​electro, creating an engaging and sexually appealing atmosphere. tense that speaks to the subject of the album itself.

The conclusion takes an unexpected turn. “Paparazzi” doesn’t just talk about ambition, but explains how deadly despair and obsession can be, both to the suffering and to the cause. “I’ll follow you until you love me” is practically a religious plea from someone who couldn’t stand the pain of being rejected or having their feelings swept under the rug. Besides the oppressive beat, which saves elements of “Just Dance”, “Poker Face” and even the acclaim for the fame that gives the title of the work its name, the narrative shows the dark side of the relationship between the fans. and celebrities and how this unhealthy love rises like uncontrollable ruin. It’s interesting to take into account the way the album carries events, starting at a breakneck pace, forgetting about problems and ending in a vicious and tragic cycle.

Redemption takes shape in “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)”, a mixed melody between blues and pop which speaks mainly of detachment. “We had a great time, and I wish you the best on your way” is the opening line of the composition, showing that the lyrical self, after encountering severe disappointment and its deadliest enemy, has finally succeeded in let go of the cause of everything. – and we do not know if this “cause” is himself or someone else.

“The Fame” is something unique. A different record that brings a banding imbued with the best of record, glam and even rock. The album isn’t about who you are – Gaga would later do with her masterpiece – but how the world wants to know how you express yourself. It may sound like too much pedantry, but it is an artistic movement that moves the world and which, like it or not, speaks of the most inalienable characteristics of the human being: that of ambition.

Notes per track:

Just Dance – 4/5 LoveGame – 4,5 / 5 Paparazzi – 5/5 Beautiful, Dirty, Rich – 4/5 Eh, Eh (Nothing else I can say) – 3/5 Poker Face – 5/5 The Fame – 4/5 Money Honey – 3,5 / 5 Again, Again (released in UK) – 5/5 Boys Boys Boys – 3,5 / 5 Brown Eyes – 4/5 Summerboy – 4/5 I Like It Rough – 4/5 Starstruck – 3, 5/5 Paper Gangsta – 3.5 / 5 Retro, Dance, Freak – 4/5 Disco Heaven (released in Brazil and Japan) – 4.5 / 5

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