Friday, May 21, 2010

A Bad Romance.

A new music post, yes! 
Now, now, don't get too excited. Try to hold in the enthusiasm just a few seconds longer, for the subject is quite tired (Lady Gaga). Thus, if you have no interest in continuing to read then I completely understand and will take no offense. I simply am in the mood to exercise my critical, journalistic writing.

You see, my boyfriend and I are avid readers of PitchforkMedia (though he admittedly is better with the keep up than I), and the other day he told me about a couple of articles featuring some of today's most prominent female musicians lashing out at the "new age Madonna"- the Sri Lankan hip hopper, M.I.A., and renowned harpist and singer songwriter, Joanna Newsom.

Here are some snippets of what the articles entailed:

So what? It isn't uncommonly known, after all, that Lady Gaga thrives on this form of hype. I guess the fact that these words came from such pronounced indie musicians struck a cord with me. It is obvious that civilians in general are fairly accepting of her unconventionality, but I have always been curious as to how other musicians/artists think of her.
Though some of the accusations are a bit extreme, my take on the situation is as follows: on some levels I agree with the statements made by Newsom. "I am mystified at the laziness of people [who assume] there is a high level of intelligence in the songwriting." Agreed. Her lyrics are quite generic and bring nothing new to the table. However, I am also convinced that Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) could absolutely be famous for legitimate musicianship if that is what she truely wanted. The girl has talent! If you don't believe me, take a look at this video from 2005 that was recorded at NYU.

Hello, can we say Norah Jones?
Gaga CHOSE to market herself the way that she did. And she'll reap the benefits that follow the decision.
In the end, Newsom needs not worry about the public's opinion on the regalness of Gaga's lyricism or the long-standing effect of her music. Yes, Gaga has secured herself with a legendary title, and there is absolutely no way around that. My prediction though, is that her masked persona will be remembered more than her "formulaic pop" music, similar to Madonna.
In addition to this, M.I.A. makes a good point. "None of her music is reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is." Perhaps Gaga realizes this. We know she is capable of producing much more substance than she has, and maybe she is striving to make up for her lack of musical content with an eccentric exterior. For this, Gaga has succeeded.

Nevertheless, years from now, Newsom will be remembered for her exquisite harp playing and M.I.A. for her innovative sound, but I guarantee you that noone will remember Lady Gaga as a ground breaking pianist.

I know that this is such an exhausted subject, but she is so controversial to music lovers worldwide and I realized today that I have yet to give my opinion on the matter.
In recap: props to unconventionality and becoming, in a sense, a mega superstar. Musically, she lacks innovation.

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