Which road leads to Lady Gaga?
Road A) Wierd Al Yankovic, Ali G/Borat/Bruno
Road B) Boy George, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna
Road C) All of the Above
Road D) None, She’s Totally Original!
I’m tempted to say mostly Choice A via Choice B, but of course, since it’s Lady Gaga, it’s with a twist. And of course, this is heavily based on my own biases and ideas. For Lady Gaga , despite all her amazingly amazing outfits, is really a blank canvas onto which we project our own ideas.
So those who want to see a brand new amazing pop star are seeing just that. Those who want to see an intelligent, sophisticated, and sneaky critique of pop music and pop stars are seeing just that. Those who want to see a musician being a fashionista are seeing just that.
And this is the true genius of Lady Gaga.
But her videos and outfits are also truly genius. If you haven’t seen any of them please watch them. After seeing them, you’ll really wonder “WTF did I just watch?” and then you’ll go back and watch them again. And again. Just as Justin Timberlake brought sexy back, Lady Gaga is bringing the Music Video back.
Exhibit A – Bad Romance
Exhibit B: Her MTV VMA 2009 Fashion Choices (Slideshow)
Exhibit C: Lady Gaga performing Paparazzi @ said MTV awards ceremony
And just in case I wasn’t clear earlier – I think she is totally taking the piss out of all of us – ala “old-school” Sasha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G/Borat/Bruno). It’s pretty amazing to watch her work over a whole scene. Kind of like watching those old Ali G episodes from “before he was discovered”. Just wonderful comedy, genius timing, and certainly a sense that it is possible to lose oneself in the world of the character. For just as Lady Gaga won’t appear “out of character” anymore, and the lines begin to blur (is she Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, or Lady Gaga?), it becomes both more difficult to take her seriously and also to doubt her.
I just hope she’s able to keep it going for a while – certainly she has injected a certain energy into pop which is positive, disruptive, and sorely needed.