Pop Music Needs Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga Needs an Editor
Well, that's where we get back in to the world of subjectivity, but the simplest answer may be this: she needs a strong producer to help direct her wilder impulses.
All artists should be true to themselves, of course, but all artists need to be willing to kill their babies when they're not working too. Artpop is proof that Gaga is perhaps a little too in love with her work. You cut out some of the fat from the record and we're not even having this conversation because deep inside Artpop is a good record being hidden by a lot of bloat.
A leaner, meaner ARTPOP still probably doesn't have the sales success of The Fame or Born This Way, because no amount of trimming is going to magically make good singles appear (although perhaps if she spent more time working on what was good and less time on what wasn't a song like "Manicure" gets that extra bit of polish that makes it something special), but at least the critics wouldn't have been able to turn the narrative from "Lady Gaga releases another popular album" to "the Lady Gaga Experiment is over!"
That wouldn't stop the haters from finding reasons to hate her and it might make her fans a little more insufferable, but it would be better for an often-boring mainstream-pop landscape that needs Lady Gaga around to keep things interesting. If not for her, all we're left with the emotional vacuum that is Katy Perry, a bunch of other singers who sing whatever their producers tell them to and Taylor Swift, the John Cena of pop music who would become infinitely more interesting if she would just turn heel.
So yes, if Lady Gaga could just find a musical partner to help her turn her wilder impulses into something a bit more fun to listen to, we'd all be better off. Still irrational, of course, but certainly in a better place.
(Writer's Note: Yeah, I know, it is I who need the editor. Good job, trolls.)
Lady Gaga performs Wednesday night at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
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