Friday, January 9

Lady GaGa

. Friday, January 9


I have been 'aware' of Lady GaGa for about 6 months now but only just got around to hearing her album 'The Fame' ahead of its UK release next week (January 12th). The two things I knew about GaGa was that she had a strong and striking image and that Christina Aguilera had begun working with Ladytron in order to keep up with the run away success Gaga had been having Stateside. I, mistakenly, assumed the music would be a glam/ electro pop blast a la early Goldfrapp or Xenomania. It is a shame then that upon listening to 'The Fame' I discovered it's a demographic 'catch 'em all net'- i.e. a bit pop, a bit rock, a bit R'n'B, a lot bland.

For those needing context as to where she sits Lady GaGa has worked with Akon as a songwriter as well as touring with Pussycat Dolls so any hopes of a mainstream infiltrator are somewhat mislaid. 'The Fame' will no doubt sell by the truckload in the UK (lead single 'Just Dance' is set to replace X Factor winner Alex as this weeks No.1) and keep showbiz magazines in business with the details of her salacious (read boring) exploits. It begs the question where is the next great pop star going to come from?

Sure, acts like La Roux and Little Boots are making brilliant pop-centric music but it’s all too arched and knowing. I want to see someone arrive and become ubiquitous whilst remaining pure pop brilliance. I want to hear their music blasted out of tinny phone speakers on the bus and for my Mum to know the name of their album. I don’t know about you but I’m fed up of the mainstream providing a conveyor belt of processed, homogenised rubbish for the masses to consume. When are we going to see a new T.Rex or the next Boy George? Someone who can sell millions of records whilst remaining individual and idiosyncratic.

Have people become so boring that they need their musical icons to mirror them? Duffy outsold everyone last year narrowly beating off a late surge from Take That. I have no problem with that in theory, if say Foals had been in contention I’d be beyond confused. What bothers me is how staid and middle aged both acts are. People like Girls Aloud and to an extent Alphabeat are pushing things in the right direction and their respective success is warming but the rumours regarding the latters job security are very worrying. As for short term major label cash cows like Katy Perry, savour them while they are around ‘cos they don’t last.

Basically what I want to see is the rise of an eccentric enigma, a subversive, cool and dangerous dynamo. Someone who oozes charisma and decade defining hits at every turn that are adopted by the Great British public and not left to rot in Zavvi’s clearout sale (Annie). I don’t want an album to be sold on the strength of the artists ability to rack up column inches (Amy, Lily) but because people need to hear it. I fear that Simon Cowell has exposed the mechanics and string pulling nature of the music industry to such a graphic extent that people file the word pop alongside Tories and Rationing under words never to dirty ourselves with again. Eternally the optimist I hold hope that my pop vision will manifest itself one day but until then I will wait, fingers crossed using my Lady GaGa album as a coaster.

'Just Dance'



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