Posted by Brandon Vesely on 08/21 at 04:18 PM
The media hype and fan anticipation surrounding the release of Lady Gaga’s third studio album, Artpop, is unprecedented. For the past few weeks, Mother Monster has been teasing fans with promo videos, a variety publicity stunts, and snippets of information about the album’s first single, ‘Applause.’
With information coming from a variety of sources and media, it’s a little difficult to put the pieces together. Here’s the big picture:
Artpop is due for release on November 11 of this year via Interscope records. The album’s first single, ‘Applause,’ was supposed to debut August 19, and Gaga is set to perform at the 2013 Video Music Awards on August 25.
A couple of weeks ago, Gaga tweeted what are presumably lyrics from the forthcoming track. The tweet reads as follows:
“I stand here waiting for you to bang the gong to crash the critic saying: is it right or is it wrong? 8.19.”
Next, a leaked demo from Artpop, supposedly a track entitled ‘Aura’ or ‘Burqa,’ received mixed reviews from industry sources like Spin and Stereoboard.
Finally, amidst rampant online leaks of her ‘Applause’ single, Gaga released the upbeat track ahead of schedule on Monday. Like the ‘Aura/Burqa,’ the new single was met with varying reactions from fans and critics and produced overall sense of uncertainty about the new album. Listen to the track here.
Despite the shaky feel of the leaked singles, it’s far too early to tell what the pop queen has up her sleeve.
Here’s a list of her most innovative videos, just to remind you what she’s capable of:
Gaga’s debut 2008 single, ‘Just Dance,’ catapulted her into the international spotlight and is the sixth best-selling digital song of all time in the United States. The production of the equally popular music video was overseen by Grammy winning director Melina Matsoukas. Despite the video’s relative simplicity, it established Gaga as a big-name artist with creative merit and high aspirations.
Gaga showed her willingness to experiment and take risks with her songwriting and performance art on her next big single, ‘Bad Romance’, which drew on a variety of non-mainstream genres including techno and industrial. Released in November of 2009, ‘Bad Romance’ was received well by industry critics and hailed as a career defining track. The track occupied the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in a row.
Like the song itself, the video for ‘Bad Romance’ illustrates the pop star’s growing zeal to display her individuality and embrace themes often considered controversial or taboo. Under the supervision of accomplished director/producer Francis Lawrence, Lady Gaga crafted an elaborate, stand-out video that earned seven MTV Video Music Awards and recognition from Time Magazine as one of the best music videos in decades.
Lady Gaga originally wrote ‘Telephone’ for Britney Spears to perform on her 2008 album, Circus, but Spears turned the track down. A short time later, Gaga enlisted the help of fellow pop diva, Beyoncé Knowles, and recorded the song for her own EP, The Fame Monster. Unlike ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Telephone’ was a cut-and-dry pop track that would reach number three on U.S. charts and receive a Grammy Nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
Although the track’s sound was less edgy than ‘Bad Romance,’ the video was not. Possibly one of Gaga’s most famous and memorable visual stunts, the video for ‘Telephone’ traces the duo’s departure from jail and subsequent crime spree.
‘Alejandro,’ also released on The Fame Monster, combines elements of europop and synthpop. Critics called the track one of the most memorable hits of the decade and compared it to legendary pop tracks like Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita.’
The video was equally groundbreaking. Directed by photographer Steven Klein, the video puts a military drill to music and adds splashes of homoeroticism and occultism. Critics and viewers speculate that the video is meant to be a visual statement of the singer’s unabashed support for LGBT rights.
‘Born This Way’
Mother Monster has described ‘Born this Way,’ the title track of her second album, as an ode to personal freedom and individuality, and says she was influenced by gay and women’s empowerment movements. The track entered at number one on the U.S. charts and remained there for over a month. The music video, directed by Nick Knight, has an avant-garde, artistic feel that reflects the lyrical themes of personal liberty and self-empowerment for the oppressed.
Despite controversy over its alleged blasphemy, ‘Judas’ reached number 10 on U.S. charts. One of Gaga’s most daring musical efforts, the track mixes elements of pop, industrial, and house music to create a unique and memorable dance track.
One of my favorites, the video for ‘Judas’ epitomizes Lady Gaga’s unparalleled creativity and ingenuity. Aside from its one-of-a-kind conceptual base, the video’s backdrops, special effects, and choreography are all fantastic.
‘Edge of Glory’
Written in honor of her deceased grandfather, ‘Edge of Glory’ is one of Gaga’s slower tracks. The surprise hit bears testament to the pop star’s vocal prowess, and topped charts across the globe.
Unlike many of her visual endeavors, the video of ‘Edge of Glory’ is devoid of flashy effects, a complex story line, or veiled symbolism. Fans and critics alike have praised the video for its emotional rawness and general simplicity.
‘You and I’
Another slower song, ‘You and I,’ incorporates elements of old-school rock and roll to create a catchy, innovative pop tune. The track’s distinctiveness from the rest of the tracks on Born This Way made it a hit among both critics and fans.
Like ‘Edge of Glory,’ this video for ‘You and I’ has a decidedly simpler feel when compared to Gaga’s other videos. Nonetheless, the visual effort does offer a few twists and turns, specifically the mad scientist and mermaid scenes.
Author: Brandon Vesely
Bio: Brandon Vesely is originally from the Pittsburgh area and is currently a junior majoring in Public Relations and Spanish at Penn State. In his free time he enjoys reading, writing, biking, and spending time outdoors. His musical interests are wide-ranging and include a variety of alternative genres including post-hardcore, indie, noise pop, and pop punk. Some of his favorite artists are Bayside, Yeasayer, Phantogram, and Fireworks.
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