Album review: Lady GaGa - The fame

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'Best Pop album' is a title that gets thrown around quite a bit in the music game. And it'd seem that Lady GaGa's The Fame album has had the term slung at it. It's a fair comment to make given her mammoth success and residency at the top of charts worldwide. But is it really just that good an album?

Lady GaGa's album is a slice of pop from start to finish. Full of gimmicks, studio wizardry, catchy hooks and hot productions. It's not what I'd deem pop perfection, but it's definitely pop in as polished a form as you can get for a debut. Some ladies go for years trying to hone their style and get their sound right. GaGa has it pretty locked down from day one.

The album serves up a mix of uptempo club records, with urban twists. Something many have experienced with Lady GaGa's now overplayed single "Just dance". A song that I didn't think was all that amazing, but appreciated why everybody else did. The song is infectious, and whilst not new in terms of sound - has enough quirkiness going on for it that it stays memorable. "LoveGame" takes things to the next level, and is just crack. The lyrics are cringe worthy and cheesier than a stack of Kraft slices, but you just appreciate how silly the song is and fall in love with it. Plus, the beat is absolute fire and then there's that video. "LoveGame" is a song that's difficult to dislike and has as much #1 potential as "Just dance" and "Poker face", if not more - because I think it's the better song. "Poker face" works the synth pop trend which continues to run rampant in clubs and on charts nowadays. Something we can blame songs like "The way I are" for. It's song which borders on annoying. But the beat is so hot and the lyrics are so catchy that it's difficult to hate.

As hot as the club tracks are, they are all very similar - with similar song structures which involve Lady GaGa semi-rapping, spouting a verse with her vocals heavily filtered, and throwing at least one line out there which has a not-so-subtle double entendre involving sexual acts. You do hit a point in the album where you do get bored of the same sound and style being ran into the ground.

When Lady GaGa slows things down and eases the gas on the RedOne productions, she shines more so than she does on the club cuts. The sweetness of her vocals comes through more, and you also get an insight into the girl behind the eccentric blonde wigs and over sized shades. "Paparazzi" is a beast of a song, and my favourite cut on the album. GaGa's vocals shine, as she showcases a clarity and emotiveness to her vocals which aren't evident on many other songs on the album. "Eh eh (Nothing else I can say)" channels old school Madonna during her Who's that girl era. Sounding like a cross between "La isla bonita" and "Who's that girl" - with GaGa's vocals once again taking a surprising turn by exuding a sweetness you wouldn't know she had in her based on "Just dance", "Poker face" and "LoveGame". "Again again" is a great song, which has a very Sheryl Crow-esque sound about it. It sounds incredibly out of place on the album due to its sound, but it's such a great song you honestly don't care. Lady GaGa has a great rock voice on her and shows she's no one trick pony and that she has it in her to work a completely different sound aside from the overly synthed anthems she's become known for. "Beautiful dirty rich" and "The fame" see GaGa adopting an old school funk sound, rife with guitar licks which suits her better than the synthed out club and radio friendly jams she's now become known for.

The fame is a good album. But it's not as new and as revolutionary as many are making out. Gwen Stefani stomped this ground several years ago with her album Love. Angel. Music. Baby and had done the peroxide blonde hair, whacky fashion sense, kick arse videos and worn love of all things camp and 80's on her sleeve from day one. So Lady GaGa isn't really bringing much new to the table. The package of Lady GaGa is what sells her more than anything, because she seems to have a clear vision of how she wants to be as not only an artist, but a brand. And this is what makes her stand out. To have such a clear indication of how she wants to stand as an artist this early in her career is pretty amazing. Some artists don't grasp this until albums later. GaGa had it all sussed from the beginning.

The Fame certainly isn't what I'd deem the best pop album to have dropped over the past 2 years. The sound is wholly familiar and, the lyrics on many of the songs are juvenile: bordering on nonsense. But the album is worth checking out. The GaGa brand definitely looks like it'll be a mainstay in the game for some time. It's refreshing to see a female act arrive on the scene who is memorable and you know is going to be around for a while. And as debuts go, The fame is pretty solid, if a little repetitive.

Album highlights:
■ Just dance
■ LoveGame
■ Paparazzi J's fave
■ Beautiful dirty rich
■ Eh eh (Nothing else I can say)
■ Poker face
■ The fame

1 comment:

  1. Wow, with the way you were talking about it I thought you were gonna give it a 8/10 or 9/10 or something.


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