Pop Music Needs Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga Needs an Editor
Art is subjective. We all know this, and then we proceed to try and stick art into black and white, good and bad distinctions because art also makes us all irrational. This is especially true on the Internet, where middle ground seems to be nonexistent and if you happen to disagree with someone, not only are you wrong, but you're a troll.
Photo by Marco Torres
It's hard to understand what makes people so irrational about Lady Gaga.
Consider the following: ARTPOP, her third album, has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide.
One side will look at that number and say, "See, she has tons of loyal fans who wants to buy her records!" The other side will say, "See, she's not as popular as she used to be and her career will soon die a fiery death!" The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Now, imagine how that irrationality might affect an artist. On one side you have everyone telling you everything you do is perfect, and the other is telling you everything you do is crap. The reality might actually be somewhere in the middle, but would you really be interested in the middle when you can have the irrational positivity?
Rumors of Lady Gaga's imminent career death are greatly exaggerated, but someone needs to move her closer to the middle.
Lady Gaga has yet to make a classic album, and that is not a troll.
The Fame is an okay album that it's easy to believe is great because it has four songs of varying levels of perfection; "Just Dance" and "LoveGame" are both basically perfect with small setbacks, "Poker Face" is perfect and "Paparazzi" zooms past perfection to some level we don't quite have words for. Things do get a lot better when you bolt The Fame Monster onto it, because "Telephone" and "Bad Romance" are also both perfect songs (and "Monster" is pretty nifty, too).
Born This Way is a very fun record that flirts with being a classic, but that weird stretch of not-so-great songs ("Judas"/"Americano"/"Hair") kills the momentum of the beginning, and a lot of the songs on the second half are plain good but not necessarily great.
Artpop, now that the initial wave of intense debate on whether or not it's going to ruin her career has passed, can finally start to be evaluated for what it actually is: an okay record. The bad ("Jewels 'n Drugs"/"Fashion") is still pretty bad, the good ("G.U.Y."/"Gypsy") is still pretty great and the baffling ("Do What U Want") was only made more confusing by those video clips that leaked out recently.
Here's the important part: Lady Gaga is absolutely capable of making a classic album. It takes almost superhuman-level talent to put together the body of singles that she has in the span of her career. So that begs the question: why hasn't she?
Story continues on the next page.