Lady Gaga – The Fame

May 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Posted in Lady Gaga | 2 Comments
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  1. Just Dance (feat. Colby O’Donis)
  2. LoveGame
  3. Paparazzi
  4. Poker Face
  5. Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)
  6. Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
  7. The Fame
  8. Money Honey
  9. Starstruck (feat. Space Cowboy and Flo Rida)
  10. Boys Boys Boys
  11. Paper Gangsta
  12. Brown Eyes
  13. I Like It Rough
  14. Summerboy
  15. Disco Heaven
  16. Again And Again
  17. Retro, Dance, Freak

Back in 2008 when Lady Gaga was just starting to break into the music industry I witnessed one of her television performances and I’ll ever forget it. I was taken back by her unique look because no one else in America was pushing a look like that. It made her easily stand out against all the other new acts. Her statement that “pop music will never be lowbrow” really resonated with me and I was immediately entranced by her from that moment on.

The album starts with the mind-blowing dance anthem Just Dance (feat. Colby O’Donis). It’s incredible and it’s the perfect song to open the album because it demonstrates what the album is all about, pop music that doesn’t try to be anything else. Everything about this song screams “hit” from the sick synths, catchy hook and great vocals. The second the song begins it reels you in with it’s thumping beats and Gaga’s vocals shine throughout, “what’s going on on the floor?/I love this record baby, but I can’t see straight anymore.” The chorus is downright addicting and it’s made for the dance floor, “just dance, gonna be okay/da-doo-doo-doo.” It’s fairly repetitive but that’s why it gets stuck in your head so easily. Colby O’Donis makes his appearance after the second verse and while he’s okay, he really doesn’t do anything for the song. In fact, it would have been better without him because his backing vocals during the chorus are atrocious. The bridge is pretty trippy with Gaga’s psychedelic vocals and Akon does the backing vocals, although he isn’t credited. The song gets even better during the final chorus which is amazing and her ad-libs are killer. LoveGame is a sexually charged music drug and it’s one of my favourite tracks on the album. It’s straight up dirty and the opening line makes that very apparent, “let’s have some fun, this beat is sick/I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.” Right after the intro, the synths come to life for one of the catchiest arrangements on the album. Gaga’s vocals are so crisp, she sounds sexy and her backing vocals singing “huh” are really fun. The verses are chock-full of addicting beats and some of the lyrics are so weird which makes them awesome, “got my ass squeezed by sexy Cupid.” The flow of the pre-chorus is delicious and the chorus is so darn catchy, taking the song to a whole other level. Gaga gets really dirty during the bridge and spews out some suggestive lyrics, “I can see you staring there from across the block with a smile on your mouth and your hand on your huh.” I love that the final chorus mixes the pre-chorus into it because it makes it so much better. Paparazzi is a masterpiece and the first time I listened to it I was instantly hooked. The beat is fire and Gaga’s vocals are emotive and on-point. The chorus is a concoction of dreamy synths and Gaga embraces a stalker vibe for a phenomenal performance, “I’m your biggest fan/I’ll follow you until you love me.” She moves to a high register in the chorus and I really love how it flows with the beat. The bridge spices the song up a bit as the synths become darker and even though it slightly messes up the flow of the song, it’s a unique twist. I love the slowed down chorus at the end because it takes the stalker vibe and enhances it even more.

Poker Face is another massive hit and the intro is spectacular. It begins with a heavy synth line and as it progresses more synths are added on top of it until it explodes into the main melody. It’s a great build-up and it demands your attention. Gaga’s vocals are vocoded and there’s a nice deep quality to them in the verses. There’s a lot of repetition in the chorus but it’s insane and filled with energy. It’s also extremely catchy especially the “p-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face (mum mum mum mah)” parts and the male backing vocals are perfect. The most amusing part of the song is the bridge because the lyrics are so playful and humorous, “cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin.” The song does get too repetitive at the end and it kind of drags on. It would have been better if a few of the choruses at the end were cut out. Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) is summery goodness and it has an irresistible retro vibe. The bright atmosphere of the melody is heavenly and Gaga’s vocals are very sweet. I love everything about this song and it’s always been one of my favourite tracks. The chorus is brimming with fantastic synths, the melody is so fluid and the repetition is beyond catchy, “there’s nothing else I can say/eh eh, eh eh.” I love when the music slows down during the final chorus because it’s so beautiful. This is a perfect song for the summer. Moving on from a light feel, the album jumps right back into heavy synths for the funky Beautiful, Dirty, Rich. This is quite a groovy tune and it’s dominated by drums. The verses aren’t as catchy as the chorus but Gaga’s vocals are nice and the “honey but we go no money” parts are so fun. The synth line in the chorus is addicting and she sings quite enthusiastically. For the bridge, she repeats “a bang bang bang, bang bang bang, beautiful, dirty rich” which is the best part of the song because it’s so catchy and I just love the way she sings it.

The title track, The Fame, continues where the previous song left off as it also has a pretty funky vibe. The maracas and guitar are a great inclusion because so far most of the instruments have been synths and drums. This is a materialistic anthem about how Lady Gaga is obsessed with fame. The verses are filled with references to material wealth and the guitar melody is super funky. The chorus is laced with synths, superb vocals and it’s very catchy especially the end, “the fame fame/we live for the fame fame baby.” Her distorted voice at the start of the final chorus is so interesting and I love how it’s followed up by her normal vocals because it gives the song a unique feel. Money Honey is an addicting tune and it has everything that makes a good pop song. It has a hot intro, “that’s M-O-N-E-Y, so sexy, I,” the vocals are great, the beat is infectious and the hook is amazing. The chorus is fantastic and I love how she sings in a high tone at the end of each line, “when I’m your lover and your mistress/that’s money honey.” Even though it’s the shortest track on the album, it still has all the pop goodness of the other songs. Starstruck (feat. Space Cowboy and Flo Rida) is a monster of a song and I fell in love with it the moment I listened to it. I heard of Space Cowboy a few times but I never actually listened to any of his work. I understand now why people are crazy about him because his production on this track is amazing. It has the same electropop sound of the other tracks but it has a stronger club feel. It starts with an introduction by Gaga that leads into twinkling and buzzing synths. The chorus is crack and Gaga’s vocals are mesmerizing, “so starstruck, baby could you blow my heart up?/I’m so starstruck.” Flo Rida’s rap isn’t necessary but it’s good and gives it more of a club feel.

Boys Boys Boys is one hell of a club banger. It opens with heavy and light synths overlapping each other which gives it a slightly dark feel. The verses are hot and I love the “I like you a lot lot/think you’re really hot hot” parts so much because of how flirty she sounds. Her vocals are perfect on this track and the deep and high tone she uses throughout makes it stand out even more. The chorus has 80s written all over it because of the light atmosphere mixed with the cheering, “boys boys boys/we like boys in cars.” The “ohs” after the chorus are to die for and I could listen to them over and over again. I find the chorus to be a bit weaker than the verses but everything else is flawless. Paper Gangsta is a unique mid-tempo because nothing else on the album sounds like it. The piano melody is dark and dramatic while Gaga sounds, literally, gangster. These two things really make the song for me and the lyrics are great as well, “‘cause I do not accept any less/than someone just as real, as fabulous.” With the added synths in the chorus that replace the piano, the arrangement gets more upbeat and I can’t help but like the atmosphere it gives off. It’s heavy but it’s also relaxing and it just flows so well. Gaga’s full of surprises and the next track, Brown Eyes, is a shocker because it’s the first of two ballads. I was skeptical at first and I wasn’t sure how a ballad would fit in an electronic dominated album but this gem shows off just how good of a singer she is. This is also reminiscent of her earlier music when she went by her real name, Stefani Germanotta. It has a very simple arrangement compared to the rest of the album and the piano is stunning. Gaga’s performance is heartfelt and she finally shows her emotional side. The little bursts from the electric guitar in the verses compliment the piano and provide a taste of what’s to come in the chorus. The guitar is front and centre in the chorus and her tone is delicious, “I guess it’s just a silly song about you/and how I lost you and your brown eyes.” Her vocal runs in the final chorus are excellent and they wrap up the song nicely.

Gaga leaves the past behind for I Like It Rough. It starts off with robotic beats and vocals that lead to the main melody. This isn’t a massive dance song because it’s a bit slow but it still has enough energy to make it more than a mid-tempo. The verses start off slow with Gaga’s echoing vocals and when the synths come in she picks up the pace with her singing. Despite a repetitive chorus, it ends up working great because the melody is infectious. The bridge is the highlight of the song where she sings with vocoded vocals and over these vocals another layer of vocals are added producing one of the catchiest bridges on the album. Lady Gaga channels Blondie for the summer anthem, Summerboy. Her vocals on this track are completely different from her vocals on the rest of the album and she reminds me of Gwen Stefani. She sounds fresh, girly and her high voice fits the theme of the song like a glove. The second it starts, it oozes summer goodness and it has a wonderful beach feel due to the melodic electric guitar. The verses are playful and Gaga shows some of her humour, “get your ass in my bed.” The chorus draws you in with the synths and they amplify the summer atmosphere while Gaga uses her vocals to lock you in “let’s get lost you can take me home/somewhere nice we can be alone/bikini tops, coming o-o-off.” Gaga gets even more interesting during the bridge where she speaks in a flirty tone. It’s sexy, addicting and Gaga sounds like she’s having a lot of fun. Disco Heaven, as its name implies, is heavily influenced by disco and it’s the only song on the album to have such an influence. The guitar and synths keep the energy going and Gaga’s vocals on this track are great. I love the emphasis and power she puts into her vocals when she sings “relax, relax.” Gaga continues with the strong vocals for the chorus which is a blast of disco-infused beats. It literally is a disco heaven and the hook is crazy good, “oh the lights still on, we’re dancing/yeah the floor is shaking/in this disco heaven.” The beat is consistent and doesn’t change much but Gaga mixes things up with her vocals. In the bridge, rather than singing she begins speaking in a fun manner and this really helps the song from being too static, “y’know there’s disco in the air/and hairspray everywhere.”

The final ballad on the album, Again And Again, opens up with a cappella singing from Gaga before the piano starts. Just like the other ballad, this song is a nod to her roots and it’s all about her voice. There’s more going on in this ballad because the guitar and piano are more upbeat and there’s a lot of percussion. With soulful vocals, Gaga delivers the most passionate performance on the album and she sounds great doing it, “and if I had one wish/yeah, you’d be it.” The chorus is really repetitive but Gaga’s vocals are so good that it doesn’t even matter. Retro, Dance, Freak, is an old school dance tune that has Gaga singing in a fun and unique way. Her vocals are very cool and I love how she sings “hello everybody!” enthusiastically. She speaks more than sings but it suits the song perfectly and she sounds super cute. It’s easy to listen to and it has a light dance flavour that works its magic on you. While it’s not the most extraordinary song, it’s a change of pace that is very welcome even if it is at the end of the album.

Conclusion: The Fame is a collection of electropop dance music with wicked hot beats, catchy hooks and great production. In other words, it’s pop perfection. It’s well crafted and the fact that Lady Gaga wrote the songs and took part in their production makes it even more impressive. She gained a lot of fame with this album and it’s not surprising since it’s one of the best electronic pop albums to come out in the last couple of years. Gaga has a fantastic voice and she shows off many of its facets as she sings in a variety of different ways. With her intense sense of fashion and creativity, Lady Gaga raised the bar for pop music with this album.

Recommended Tracks: Paparazzi, LoveGame, Just Dance (feat. Colby O’Donis), Starstruck (feat. Space Cowboy and Flo Rida), Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say), Paper Gangsta and Boys Boys Boys

Rating


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  1. This album was good but ‘pop perfection’

    errr not really, the beats are good however suffer from being slightly generic due to her main producers being quite prolific and the lyrics are non-sense, and not pop non-sense, just plain non-sense, however they are undeniably catchy and have garnered lots of hits. For me,the album got stale after 6 months safe a few tracks.

    I dunno if she raised the bar, since Gwen’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby and Outkast popularized zany out their pop music and groups like the Black Eyed Peas took it further (before what they are now), rather I think Gaga’s has been really good at branding herself as a creative genius and fashion setter and therefore her music now revolves around what will she do and not what will she sing

    TBH, if you a are fan ignore what I am saying since I am biased since I really don’t like her and I just can’t listen to her nowadays without rolling my eyes (never knew I feel this way about a singer but I do)

    • Some songs do have a generic feel but every song is so catchy. There’s not a song that I would say I disliked which is why I called it pop perfection XD. I’m not a huge fan of Gwen Stefani or Outkast but I do think Gaga has had an impact on the music scene. Ever since she became famous music videos have become a lot more creative and singers have really become more fashion orientated. Of course, it could just be a coincidence. I’m not a massive fan of Gaga but I really like her music. Even if I was a fan I wouldn’t ignore what you said :p. I’m not easily offended so you don’t have to worry about what you say.


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