Friday, March 4, 2011

Gag Gag

Lady Gaga doesn't seem wary in the least of the cash cow in the coalmine.  Her newest single and title track to her upcoming album "Born This Way" is a perfect example of this.

Formulated and unoriginal are two adjectives that lend themselves nicely to describing this new release.  It is in no way a positive progression from her previous work and is just more of the same product for consumption.  We found it interesting to examine just how unexciting today's hottest new single actually is.

Lady Gaga is a current mainstream pop star.  She has two albums out.  Her first album The Fame was released in the summer of 2008.  Her second album The Fame Monster was released late in 2009.  Both of these albums topped the charts. They also were nominated and won Grammy Awards.  For more detailed information about Lady Gaga read her Wikipedia page or check out her website.

Lady Gaga announced the release date for the single Born This Way and the album by the same name on last New Year's Eve via twitter.  The original release date for the single was February 13, 2011 but was released earlier than planned on the 11th.  She said on her twitter, "Can't wait any longer, single coming out Friday."  The single is currently holding the top spot on both of Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Downloads.

Born This Way has almost the exact same musical structure to her last three top selling singles.  It has the same pulsing drum beat, verse chorus structure, and of course auto tune vocals.  Artists have their signature sounds, but with Born This Way, Gaga is blatantly repeating herself.  Here are her last three best selling singles before Born This Way: Just Dance, Poker Face, and Bad Romance.  If you listen to them there is no progression as an artist.  Born This Way is no different.  She's using a formula that produces a product that currently sells.  She has a cash cow in a coalmine.  It's not only Gaga who is using this formula.  Here is another popular song by the singer Ke$ha released on February 8 entitled Blow.  The issue is much bigger than Gaga or Ke$ha.  The music industry is exhausting what currently sells.

This song is a perfect example of how rehashed our pop culture is.  This song is telling in what it isn't.  It isn't original, think Madonna with more advanced electronic backing music.  It doesn't have substance, the song is about being different and proud but it's not very believable coming from a thin and sexy singer.  Yet despite all this it sells like crazy.  This reflects us the consumers and what we value, mediocrity.  

The song is fun, catchy, and danceable.  This is Lady Gaga's standard.  The problem is you can't produce the same song over and over again and still sell.  It's hard to tell if the song is better than her previous releases but it's new.  Freshness is a very valuable asset for a song to have.  It's good for about a month.  Nothing about the song makes it anymore memorable than any of her other songs because again it's so similar.  The words of the song stereotype people who are different as being insecure.  Not everyone who is different from the normal are scared to be who they are and need a pop singer to validate them as good people.

Through our research on this subject we became more aware of what's currently going on with Lady Gaga's career.  We would have not know that she was releasing a new album this May if we hadn't looked into this song.  Still, I'm not going to by it though.  We will probably hear this song a lot more, but not by choice.  It's going to be unavoidable due to it's popularity.  The people we spoke to about the song had mixed feelings.  The older people dismissed it as boring and the younger ones liked it for it's catchy melody and danceable beat.

As much as Lady Gaga tries to present herself as something more than a corporate pop star that is exactly what she is.  She releases a product and nothing more.  Sense her song formula sells so well other singers are using it.  Only time will tell if this is good for her career in the long run.  

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