Lady Gaga underwhelms with “Applause”
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The one thing Lady Gaga does not suffer from is obscurity and a lack of interest in almost anything she does. Her next album “Artpop” has been a subject of fervent discussion among the members of her global fanbase since last year. It is without a doubt one the most anticipated albums of the year. In true Gaga style, the “Lady” surprised her fans and released the album’s lead single “Applause” ahead of schedule this week. The song has debuted on our 24/7 global radio broadcast. But does that mean we are particularly fond of it? Not particularly.
The song opens with an electronic pulsating beat followed by David Bowie-esque vocals on the verses. Gaga sings rather self-indulgently about the epic head-rush that she experiences from her fans that cheer their heads off as she puts on her theatrical performances both on and off stage. She thrives on the mass adulation that she has been the beneficiary of thanks to fantastic global media coverage, love from nightclub DJs, and even attention from Marketing professors that have picked her as one of the subjects of their cases in Marketing Strategy. She makes no secret of this. There is a tiny little streak of arrogance that emerges in the lyrics on her second verse. It is exemplified by the line “Pop culture was in art, now art’s in pop culture in me“. The chorus suffers from the rather annoying repetition of the word “Applause” – thus not making it the most sing-along or memorable chorus.
Despite the fact that we have spun some of Lady Gaga’s music on our radio station, we do not necessarily consider her as an innovator artistically or stylistically. For those folks that were alive in the 80s, they surely remember that all of what Lady Gaga is doing now from a style perspective feels like somewhat of a rehash of what Boy George and Madonna did back in that glamorous and “larger than life” decade. Many inside sources have suggested that Lady Gaga is infinitely more talented than her rather generic brand of electropop would suggest. We actually believe that to be true. Hence, there is always a curiosity as to when she might embrace that inner talent as opposed to being a puppet for someone else’s artistic vision. In our article about the “Veteran acts to look out for in 2013“, we raised the question as to whether “Artpop” will be the album that “True Blue” was to Madonna back in 1986. That album broke Madonna beyond the realms of her teeny bopper and predominantly gay fanbase to a larger and mainstream audience – also winning her critical acclaim in the process. If “Applause” is reflective of most of the material on “Art Pop”, we are guessing the album will not be the milestone that “True Blue” was for Madonna. Here is a full-length video of the track below:
STAR RATING: 2.5/5
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