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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Track-by-Track: Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster

Coming off of such a massive debut success, Lady Gaga had a lot to prove with her second album. Luckily, she's more than up to the task, eclipsing her debut in every way possible. The Fame Monster is her official arrival, a declaration that she's in this for the long run.

1. Bad Romance - Her best single to date, and surely one of the defining singles of her career, this takes everything that was wonderful about her older songs and amps it up, adding a rock edge and multiplying the hooks by ten. Gutsy, dramatic and undeniably catchy, this is an absolute masterpiece. 10/10

2. Alejandro - Slowing down the tempo, Alejandro goes for a Middle Eastern/Latin American Ace Of Base pop sound. It's a surprising detour, but one that's an absolute success and displays Gaga's ample pop skills. The chorus is especially addictive. 10/10

3. Monster - One of the many highlights, this uptempo features some of the best lyrics on the album, and a brilliant spoken intro that sets the tone for the dark, tongue-in-cheek feel of the song. The drums in the verses are a personal highlight, as is the "he ate my heart" refrain. 10/10

4. Speechless - Her best and most dramatic ballad to date, this showstopper leaps right out of the seventies (think Bowie, Queen, etc) and cuts the album in half, sounding like nothing else on it. Her vocal talent is certainly highlighted here, as are her skills on the piano. This feels very much like the type of song Gaga feels most comfortable writing. 10/10

5. Dance In The Dark - The big Madonna moment of the album, this track even has a Vogue-style spoken middle eight. Probably the most straightforward dance track on the album, the synths are gorgeous and the beat is huge (so huge, in fact, that it often seems to fuzz up coming out of my speakers). 10/10

6. Telephone (ft. Beyonce) - Originally written for Britney Spears, this is like a Britney song on steroids. Of all the tracks, it's the one that caters most to radio's taste, but this is not a bad thing when the sound is so mammoth. Beyonce's verse isn't all that necessary, though it does add some urgency to the song. 10/10

7. So Happy I Could Die - The only song on the album approaching filler. Of course, Lady Gaga's filler is better than most artists' singles, but I still wish this was just a little bit stronger. It's a midtempo, synth-driven "lay in the sunshine" type of track. Pretty, but just not as strong as the others. 9/10

8. Teeth - Now this is really left-field. Probably the only track she's recorded that actually matches her crazy image, this theatrical stomper mixes elements of big-band, swamp rock and Broadway musical. It sounds like nothing else she's ever done. "Take a bite of my bad girl meat." Brilliant. 10/10

Album Grade: 9.9/10


Blogger A1 said...

the Gaga is amazing!!
just wish it was a proper new 2nd album , but anyway still ahead of all contemparies....she is the Madonna of a new generation but travelling in days rather than years!

6:09 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Totally agree. It's like we've been settling for the likes of Britney Spears, solo Gwen Sefani, etc in the pop world and now that Gaga's here we can all realize what was missing.

6:30 PM  
Blogger A1 said...

Lol Britney was always a weak, cheap, comparison..she had a few good moments and her longevity is doing adequately but Lady Gaga has redefined pop, seriously she is in a league of her own and good on her!
Love Stefani a lot, actually Paparazzi is such a Gwen sounding single it doesnt surprise as being one of my favourite Gaga tracks!

Oh finally and possibly most importantly your blog..well how can i say this most effectively its at Gaga standard! :)

2:37 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, Gaga sounds shockingly like Stefani at times. Summer Boy could have easily been a No Doubt song.
Glad you're enjoying the blog!

5:55 PM  

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