She’s got the tunes, the moves and the charisma, plus she’s already slapped up the 2009 charts, plonking herself ahead of the many versions of Hallelujah with some in-yer-face dance-pop fizzing with synths and drama. If you want to jump up and down in a club, Lady GaGa’s your girl – she’s already being touted as the new Madonna and RealMusic Blog can understand the comparisons. On The Fame, Lady GaGa has produced a collection of schizophrenic glitter-laced pop tracks, stealing tricks from 70s disco and 80s new wave electro while teaming up with Flo Rida and even conjuring memories of Boney M. All that, and she dresses like she’s an extra from a Bowie video. Eclectic, yes…
The hype surrounding this album has been huge, and Lady G is already repaying some of her advance with infectious lead single Just Dance galloping to the top of the charts this week. Long-player The Fame is a lengthy trip (16 tracks) into electro-pop, which is hardly ground-breaking when every pop starlet worth their salt is grabbing a Casio and taking a crash course in Vince Clark et al. The difference with Lady GaGa is that she writes her own tunes, designs all her own outfits and has been getting rave reviews for her live shows – this is a lady on the up.
Uber pop and proud, Lady G has also evidently bathed in musical history daily since the age of 0. Summer Boy has the laidback beat and attitude of early Blondie; title track The Fame has a dirty beat and along with UK bonus track Again Again both reminded us of Pink; Beautiful, Dirty, Rich is Britney meets the Scissor Sisters; and other UK bonus track Disco Heaven is Kylie’s Your Disco Needs You, albeit a little less camp – just. Meanwhile, next single Poker Face has a Ma Baker-style background beat which made RealMusic Blog smirk, and Paper Gangsta is reggae-electro fusion which Lily Allen would be proud of. Lady G even ropes in Flo Rida on the rap-fuelled Starstruck and deals with the subject du jour on Papparrazzi. No topic is left unturned – so long as they’re based around boys and clubs – but what this album most wants to make you do is dance, and do it with a swagger.
It succeeds on the whole, apart from the sub-standard Boys Boys Boys and the Eurotrance-inspired Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say), which really should have been donated to Cascada’s next epic. Still, at just 22 and coming from the streets of New York, Lady GaGa is primed and ready to roll. She wants to live forever and with The Fame as her starting point, who’s to say she won’t?
Reviewed January 2009