I am a massive fan of the music video as an art form. And seeing as I had a spare bit of time at the exact same moment as Lady Gaga unleashed her latest audiovisual behemoth on the world I thought it might be fun to “review” it.
After another enormous amount of fanfare, we have all now had a chance to see the latest offering from this century’s most talked-about musician (by people over the age of 14, sorry Bieberphiles) – what do you mean you haven’t seen it yet? OK. Catch-up here:
Right, so where to begin, eh? Following on from her egg-cellent entrance to Grammys (oh yes I did), Ms Gaga is continuing on her theme of rebirth with an ostentatious but heavy-handed visual extravaganza into her own imagination – she is listed as the co-director of the clip. We start on an initial neon window, through which we just manage to glimpse a dream Alison Godfrapp had in 2002 before a hasty segue into a lengthy & pretentious opening monologue (something to do with a GOAT and Mother Monster) that misses the mark in terms of profundity. Sample clunky line “thus began the beginning” – well what else was it supposed to do? The emphasis in this clip is on physical and other in-camera effects, which deliver a much more visceral edge compared to the high gloss of Bad Romance. Where this really hits its stride is with the goo and gunge which pour forth from Gaga as she seemingly gives birth to first a giant egg and then herself. Scenes which reminded me of a recent Flaming Lips album cover.
Once we’ve got past the guff about being reborn as good and evil (what?) we finally get to the part that a thousand dance imitators have been waiting for, and the bit that is likely to make it on to telly. This is my favourite part of the video, just before the routine kicks in Lady Gaga walks amongst the semi-clad dancers and almost imperceptibly bobs her head along with the building intro. Much like we all did when we first heard the track – it’s a nice touch that emphasizes the growth in confidence that she has experienced since the days of having to hide behind a giant hat.
And so to the dancing. Now I’m no style maven, but is she wearing flip-flops? Having more than brushed with celebrity culture in the past, I can already feel a bunion conspiracy theory waiting in the wings – that’ll keep Heat magazine’s red circle of shame working overtime for weeks. Anyway – I’m sure that this routine is already being discussed by hungry choreographers, zumba dance teachers and teens who are YouTube famous all across the globe. I don’t have the creds to pass comment, but suffice to say that I think she stole a move from Austin Powers – on the line “don’t be a drag, just be a queen”.
So ultimately, this video, made for the internet and certainly not for MTV will surely live a certain amount of time in the public’s consciousness – although I doubt its legacy will come anywhere close to Telephone or the aforementioned Bad Romance. (Side note – checking YouTube, the boring video for Alejandro has more than double the number of views of those other two put together.) The real and “infinite” and “eternal” rebirth will be in the endless parodies and pastiches that we’ll be enduring long after the track has dropped out of heavy rotation.