The Evolution of Lady Gaga
She’s at it again.
Friday’s release of the single “Born This Way,” along with the performance of the song at last night’s Grammy Awards, have signaled the next step in Lady Gaga’s inevitable evolution. She’s staken her claim as the biggest pop star in the game today, and she won’t be giving it up easily.
What interests me about Gaga is not that she dresses in crazy outfits or makes all-time great pop songs. While I do love her music and enjoy keeping track of her antics, what is fascinating to me is how her persona has changed through each of her records – and her music along with it.
Remember 2008? It was a simpler time for Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her debut album, The Fame, dropped on August 18 and rocketed to #1 in six countries (although it only peaked at #2 in the US). It was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2010 Grammys, losing to Taylor Swift’s Fearless.
Despite the near-instant success of The Fame, one secret hung over Lady Gaga: While it was a fun album to dance to, it wasn’t actually that good. I wouldn’t find myself sitting in my room, doing work, and listening to The Fame.
Instead of turning out another full album, Gaga brought a jam-packed EP to 2009. Not jam-packed because of the number of songs (8), but because of the quality. It was packaged alongside a reissue of The Fame, almost as if Gaga realized that her debut album fell short.
Yes, it brought the same brand of dancy/synthpop, but The Fame Monster rose above its predecessor in almost every way. The biggest difference was the number and quality of songs: instead of a 13-track record with three good songs, one decent one, and a lot of filler, she dropped an 8-track EP where every song was phenomenal. From “Bad Romance”‘s opening “ra-ra-ah-ah-ah” to the closing of “Teeth,” The Fame Monster made you believe in pop music again. This was Gaga 2.0: Yeah, she’s gonna make you dance, but you’re also going to enjoy the music on its own merits.
So, where does Ms. Germanotta go from here? After releasing a near-perfect EP and stunning the world with her theatrical performances, what could she possibly do for an encore?
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Tags: beatles, bono, born this way, gay rights, grammy awards, grammys, Important Music, john lennon, lady gaga, michael jackson, stefani joanne angelina germanotta, taylor swift, thriller, u2