Lady Gaga. Ugh. The name alone just invokes an eyeroll from me. When I first heard of her work, my initial response was to write her off as another Britney or Avril or even Amy Winehouse. That’s how most of the “big” female names are these days: fluff, bluster and eye candy. Finding a shred of substance behind their work is like finding a diamond ring in a gumball machine. So I took this newcomer as “the whole Lady Gaga thing,” not even taking the time to give much regard to her or her work.
Well, in going through videos for the new format, I stopped in and looked at her video for “Bad Romance” on a lark and found myself just blown away. She writes her own songs, and they’re actually good songs. There’s Queen in her work, and Bowie, and T-Rex, and the whole great Glam tradition of days of yore. “Speechless” is an absolutely stunning tune, and you’d swear to God it had been written by Freddie Mercury himself.
She might be very flashy and have a whole lot of money in production values, but so did the great old ones. Ziggy Stardust wasn’t exactly a cheap endeavor, and it was pretty damned legendary. This has that kind of feel to it.
So here I am, enjoying something way out of my normal sphere of taste and all in all groking on it immensely. Maybe she’ll give Bowie a run for his money on the longevity schtick.