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The Lady Gaga Thread


Adam

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Is Madonna kaputt? :unsure: As a singer, persona, phenomenon? Are we done there? She peaked a looooooooooong time ago and we're done?

I believe so.

On top of that, she has become waaay to snobbish and pretentious and b!tchy without much to cover it with.

Her tours always sell out, and she's the most successful solo touring act, despite how overpriced her tickets are and the state of the economy. There's a nostalgia interest there, one that many of her contemporaries and people who started in the mid 80's don't have today, or at least on her scale.

She's always been a huge bitch though. I think she's mellowed, if anything, in recent years. Since her divorce, I think she's been a lot more fun. I thought she always looked miserable and unhappy during the Guy Ritchie era.

Funny that she's mentioned in this thread when she too worked with Jonas Åkerlund...

Edited by Y&RWorldTurner
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Yes and no--youtube and other online sources has made a big change again. Certainly a lot of Gaga's sustained success has been partly due to word of mouth from her videos--

I won't deny the importance of YouTube, but the music video has been dwindling in importance even before YouTube came along. MTV, for example, moved away from music videos in the late 90's, and they simply stopped being the promotional tool they were in the 80's to mid 90's.

I don't think Gaga's music videos had that much to do with her popularity. There's NOTHING interesting about the Just Dance and Poker Face videos, they're pretty generic videos, but yet, those were her breakout songs. I certainly can't claim there was any substantial buzz about those videos.

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Her tours always sell out, and she's the most successful solo touring act, despite how overpriced her tickets are and the state of the economy. There's a nostalgia interest there, one that many of her contemporaries and people who started in the mid 80's don't have today, or at least on her scale.

She's always been a huge bitch though. I think she's mellowed, if anything, in recent years. Since her divorce, I think she's been a lot more fun. I thought shhe always looked miserable and unhappy during the Guy Ritchie era.

Funny that she's mentioned in this thread when she too worked with Jonas Åkerlund...

I love Madonna. I do.

But her music no longer interests me, and the whole peformance thing that actually made her a star (destroying taboos, "sexualification", bla, blah) never really interested me.

I want an album with beautiful melodies, sonically gorgeous, something mature, but I'm not going to get it. Other stuff is in vogue nowadays. Music is just another gizmo, gadget, whatever.

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But my point was, you used to be able to depend on Madonna to at least attempt to do an ambitious video. She's still (no matter how half heartedly or with mixed results) trying to do new music genres, etc--yet the fact that she herself, who was madeby videos, seemed to lose any real interest in them 6+ years back seemed telling to me. (then again her last ambitious video--the runway models with war one for American Life was banned, something she oddly never fought, and with that she seemed to lose any interest in the medium)

I think her last great video era was Ray of Light, though I did love the What It Feels Like For A Girl video. And of course, Jonas Åkerlund directed the Ray of Light video...

But she used to be at the forefront of the music video, but I think she stopped caring about them as she got older and started focusing more on touring, where the actual money is.

We also have to keep in mind, record companies stopped wasting money on music videos long ago. They realized they weren't getting anywhere or reaching the same type of audience they used to with them.

I think the product placement in this Telephone video, for example, helped Gaga to cover the massive production costs this video entails. I know it all didn't come from Interscope or Universal Music...

From a budgeting standpoint, they're right. Why waste all this money on a videos, when you can strictly promote a song for radio, and it will be a massive hit? After all, particularly in North America, if you don't have radio support, you can't have a successful pop career.

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Her tours always sell out, and she's the most successful solo touring act, despite how overpriced her tickets are and the state of the economy. There's a nostalgia interest there, one that many of her contemporaries and people who started in the mid 80's don't have today, or at least on her scale.

She's always been a huge bitch though. I think she's mellowed, if anything, in recent years. Since her divorce, I think she's been a lot more fun. I thought shhe always looked miserable and unhappy during the Guy Ritchie era.

Funny that she's mentioned in this thread when she too worked with Jonas Åkerlund...

It was Madonna who broke Akerlund into the trendy mainstream with Ray of Light (before that he had done many Roxette videos...), so I think it makes sense.

I thought Madonna was at her worse when Hard Candy came out--suddenly she seemed to becoming the joke people mocked her about--self serious, looking her age but trying to look young and hip, etc. But I agree that even just in the past year suddenly she seems to be getting more of a sense of humour about herself.

Her tours are funny--she always complains about how so many tickets go to casual fans who just wanna hear the 80s stuff (to her credit, or not depending on your POV, she always focuses on her new stuff--even the ReInvention tour which was billed as a Greatest Hits still had nearly half the program devoted to her underselling American Life album)--and that too many blocks of tickets are sold as corporate seats. But at what she charges she can't get all the younger fanboys (and girls)--even though many do still manage to come. So it's her own fault. (I paid prob about a fifth to see Gaga than I did to see Madonna the last time--actually I paid even less to see Kylie Minogue's tour last year--both Gaga and Minogue's concerts were actually MORE elaborate with much better staging than Madonna's Sticky and Sweet tour--you certainly didn't see the money on stage).

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I think her last great video era was Ray of Light, though I did love the What It Feels Like For A Girl video. And of course, Jonas Åkerlund directed the Ray of Light video...

But she used to be at the forefront of the music video, but I think she stopped caring about them as she got older and started focusing more on touring, where the actual money is.

We also have to keep in mind, record companies stopped wasting money on music videos long ago. They realized they weren't getting anywhere or reaching the same type of audience they used to with them.

I think the product placement in this Telephone video, for example, helped Gaga to cover the massive production costs this video entails. I know it all didn't come from Interscope or Universal Music...

From a budgeting standpoint, they're right. Why waste all this money on a videos, when you can strictly promote a song for radio, and it will be a massive hit? After all, particularly in North America, if you don't have radio support, you can't have a successful pop career.

Yeah, I can agree with all of that (though the Music videos in did make some impression--the Don't Tell Me one was a bit of a pop culture item with the MTV parody, etc). Still, I woulda liked or hoped Madonan would continue making interesting videos maybe partly out of her own pocket--but I guess I get why she hasn't.

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I want an album with beautiful melodies, sonically gorgeous, something mature, but I'm not going to get it. Other stuff is in vogue nowadays. Music is just another gizmo, gadget, whatever.

Do you get that from Mariah? :lol:

To be fair, Madonna probably hasn't done that kind of an album since Ray of Light, and if we're want to dig deeper, since 1989's Like A Prayer (my personal favourite Madonna album, actually).

Edited by Y&RWorldTurner
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I won't deny the importance of YouTube, but the music video has been dwindling in importance even before YouTube came along. MTV, for example, moved away from music videos in the late 90's, and they simply stopped being the promotional tool they were in the 80's to mid 90's.

I don't think Gaga's music videos had that much to do with her popularity. There's NOTHING interesting about the Just Dance and Poker Face videos, they're pretty generic videos, but yet, those were her breakout songs. I certainly can't claim there was any substantial buzz about those videos.

Sorry I wasn't clear--I meant that only recently music videos have become more important again thanks to youtube, etc. And you're right, the early Gaga videos were pretty generic (though I suppose it could be argued they did help introduce people to, tamer versions, of her look), still I think it's undeniable that, at least since Paparazzi her videos have gotten quite a bit of buzz, and will help sell records (but I agree, the way videos are used for promotion, etc, is a very different game than 20 years ago).

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Do you get that from Mariah? :lol:

To be fair, Madonna probably hasn't done that kind of an album since Ray of Light, and if we're want to dig deeper, since 1989's Like A Prayer (my personal favourite Madonna album, actually).

It's funny, I loved Ray of Light so much when it came out--and I can still appreciate it, but it's VERY VERY dated. In its way I find it even more dated than her 80s stuff or the now archaic "sleaze" sound of Pettibone's production for Erotica (which, despite being overlong is prob my personal fave).

Madonna still tries to do a few, as Sylph says, "melodic" tracks an album-- (The second half of Bedtime Stories--the Bjork song aside--actually is pretty much all in that style and of course around the same time, partly to get past Erotica backlash, partly to court Evita, etc, she tried to model herself as something of an adult contemporary singer even--the Somethign to Remember compilation of slower songs, Take a Bow, the David Foster stuff).

Sylph, I mean this with all due respect, but when I read your post about music "now" being a gimmick, etc, I just pictured that crotchety old neighbour everyone has on their block growing up shouting at the teens to turn down their infernal music. :P Are you 83?

Edited by EricMontreal22
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It was Madonna who broke Akerlund into the trendy mainstream with Ray of Light (before that he had done many Roxette videos...), so I think it makes sense.

Yes, it was Madonna who got his name out there. Apparently she saw the Smack My Bitch Up video Akerland directed for Prodigy and she just had to work with him for the Ray of Light video, which was, of course a massive critical success for her.

I thought Madonna was at her worse when Hard Candy came out--suddenly she seemed to becoming the joke people mocked her about--self serious, looking her age but trying to look young and hip, etc. But I agree that even just in the past year suddenly she seems to be getting more of a sense of humour about herself.

Hard Candy was arguably her worst album. It felt like she was a featured artist on her own record. That type of Urban production just doesn't mesh with her. Either she did that album to be hip in modern times, or Warner wanted it to conclude her contract with them.

Edited by Y&RWorldTurner
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It's funny, I loved Ray of Light so much when it came out--and I can still appreciate it, but it's VERY VERY dated. In its way I find it even more dated than her 80s stuff or the now archaic "sleaze" sound of Pettibone's production for Erotica (which, despite being overlong is prob my personal fave).

Yes, William Orbit's production is VERY mid/late 90's.

Though, I do think Ray of Light was the most important album in her career. It kind of proved she still had some relevancy after the 4 year break since Bedtime Story, and proved she could do another mature and soulful effort since Like A Prayer.

Erotica is a sleeping pill for me, you're right it's too long of an album. I think In This Life is one of the worst filler songs she's ever included on an album.

Madonna still tries to do a few, as Sylph says, "melodic" tracks an album-- (The second half of Bedtime Stories--the Bjork song aside--actually is pretty much all in that style and of course around the same time, partly to get past Erotica backlash, partly to court Evita, etc, she tried to model herself as something of an adult contemporary singer even--the Somethign to Remember compilation of slower songs, Take a Bow, the David Foster stuff).

Yeah, I thought that was all very calculated by her. After the media backlash of the SEX/Erotica era, she almost had to show a softer side of herself following it.

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Do you get that from Mariah? :lol:

To be fair, Madonna probably hasn't done that kind of an album since Ray of Light, and if we're want to dig deeper, since 1989's Like A Prayer (my personal favourite Madonna album, actually).

No! :P Mariah is a different matter.

But we all know Madonna will continue to chase trends, instead of making them.

And neither of those two is a strategy. A mature album with beautiful acoustics is another matter.

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I liked when she sang In This Life on the Girlie Show, but I have to agree (I, being a Madonna completist, made the mistake of getting the original uncensored Erotica--which has that HORRENDOUS song by some rap group Maverick records were promoting Did You Do It or whatever tacked on right near the end--UGH)--still I really love the album overall (I do agree with one critic who said that it really wasn't about erotica and sex as much as she claimed--the quote was something like "when an album that's meant to be as explicit as a porno has the song Why's It So Hard, and it's not about teh obvious but a plea for AIDS tolerance..." lol). Oh and I'd drop the one joke Where Life Begins too...

And yeah, I was just starting high school when ROL came but you're definitely right--it really proved that Madonna was still relevant, etc--it was a big risk forher that paid off, which leads us to... Hard Candy is a mess. While I was so underwhelmed by the tour for it, I admit I realized some of the tracks (Dance 2Night is a fun Chic style disco number, and I think overall the Pharell produced tracks like Incredible and Heartbeat are way better than the Timbaland by numbers stuff) are fun on their own. But the album just feels so cynical and routine, like you say, and like she's the guest. It's telling that she doesn't even get co-production credit with Timbaland--a first for an album of hers since Like a Virgin I think. I also found her image from the time really misguided--just... meh. As much as Celebration (the song) was such a date Oakenfold production, I admit as a long time fan I breathed a sigh of relief just to have the silliness andold school Madonna back (not that the song made any impact really--funny I just realized Ackerlund directed the *awful* video for it too--I guess comparing his work for Gaga on Paparazzi and then Celebration which came out a few months later does say something about what product placement willget you budget wise). Apparently David Guetta is working on a song with Madonna now, which I found kinda disappointing but at least it's a better fit than the Timbaland bandwagon.

What was most ironic to me about Hard Candy was she was going urban at a time when American radio top 40 was finally moving away from that and starting to use more dance and euro elements... For the first time in a long time Madonna truly felt behind the times (but I guess the dire 4 Minutes was a chart hit in the US--and for some reason Madonna still really cares about the US market. Of course it's been an awfully long time she's had a SECOND single in the US from any album that's had much impact...)

No! :P Mariah is a different matter.

But we all know Madonna will continue to chase trends, instead of making them.

And neither of those two is a strategy. A mature album with beautiful acoustics is another matter.

Right, but why would you expect that (of either lady, really?) *confused*. And what is an example of such an album? I keep on picturing you listening serenely to Enya or something, by that definition :P

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I think her last great video era was Ray of Light, though I did love the What It Feels Like For A Girl video. And of course, Jonas Åkerlund directed the Ray of Light video...

How about Frozen by Chris Cunningham? I think that is her best video.

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