dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

It's Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" Video

I've always felt "Alejandro" is one of the strongest songs on Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster. But initial reaction to the video: way too over the top.

Here's what I wrote on Idolator this morning:
By the time the guns are jutting out of Gaga’s bra (all we can think of here is Madonna’s classic “Vogue” cones), all the symbolism kind of gets muddled by the whole OTT-at-any-cost nature of the video.

What happened to the fun Gaga of “Telephone”? Where’s the coy, stylish Gaga from “Bad Romance” and “Paparazzi”? And, we know she’s a bit preoccupied with death (see her Larry King Live interview), but, geez—this video is just really depressing for such an upbeat summer jam.

We get it—artists need to evolve. And Lady Gaga has come a long way since the “Just Dance” house party days. But she should be careful not to fly too far over her little monsters’ heads in a bid to stay ahead of the pop pack.



  • At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Johnny_d said…

    You have to wonder what her record label thinks, releasing these extravagant, expensive videos long after the single has peaked in the charts. There's even talk of a fourth single.

    As far as the video itself goes, its bleak, dull and not enjoyable to watch. And GaGa is painting herself into a corner because there isn't any way she can release just a standard pop video anymore because it will be a seen as a huge step backwards.

    This whole album campaign is really becoming exhausting.

  • At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Justin T. said…

    I posted my thoughts on my website at Justinyourmind.com, but in summation, I agree. She's just at a point where she's raised the bar so high for herself and others that in that vacuum of pointless pop, it's why people like Kesha and Katy Perry can also thrive. Some people don't want to be beaten over the head with empty symbolism, dreary/bleak interpretations of the future, or social commentary that seems more for the art crowd than the popular kids in school.

    And it is upsetting that many people of a younger age don't even realize how much she's referenced Madonna (or how all female artists have) in her career thus far. It's sad that I remember the doors being kicked down with Justify My Love and Erotica and Express Yourself and Like a Prayer, but I think many people don't know those references or the inspiration and true references behind those videos.

    I feel all of this artifice is being built up so as that she can pull a 'Stripped' so-to-speak. To reveal it all away and be herself to less of an extreme. If that's possible.

    Then again I wouldn't be surprised if she killed herself in a snuff film inspired music video.

  • At 12:15 AM, Anonymous kurtck said…

    This was a chore to watch. I did enjoy the Liza bit in the black Halston-esque pantsuit. The bed frame stuff always shows up in Klein's work -- he used it in his "X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS" video installation with Madonna at Deitch Projects back in 2003.

    Gaga really should have done something light and fluffy with this one. The video looks like it should have been released in the winter.

  • At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Robert said…

    The video doesn't seem to be playing well with popular audiences. I think that's fine. Gaga has been such an innovative pop artist because she combines pop music for the masses (i.e. collective expression -- everyone has to know when to dance at the same time, it's very straightforward, not terribly original) with avant-garde visual arts. The visuals is where she's cutting edge. She's the new thing. It's turned her into a superstar, while also causing a lot of people to scratch their heads and wonder what the hell this Gaga is about. And that's only made her more popular. This is very much like Madonna, with the legions of fans who dress like her and the impersonators and so on.

    I suppose it wasn't going to necessarily work every time. The complaints I'm seeing everywhere are understandable. Gay fascist men stomping around? Dreary dystopian imagery? Goth stuff? Steampunk goggles? Yeesh, no wonder! But, regardless of that, I'm not sure much of the second album can translate into happy summer fare. She said to German television the songs were inspired by European gothic-industrial music. Sunshine summer jams, they ain't.

    Anyways, the visuals here are very clever. The link between gay men and militarism, nationalism and fascism is an interesting and terribly unexplored subject. There's the Platonic body style, smooth and sleek surfaces with sharp edges, regimentation, the sense that you're seeing a bunch of clones walking around. There's the cult of action for its own sake, which gives gay men a sense of vitality and strength but also a dark side. The dancers are all white, which says something. There's white snow. The bedsheets are white. The only other color besides black is red, on Gaga, which in combination with the other two is the palette for the Nazi flag.

    Maybe they're going for regimentation, again, like clones. It's curious the only time I remember black dancers showing up in her videos was in LoveGame, which took place in a dirty and sweaty subway station. The dancers were jumping turnstiles, smashing cars, getting arrested by the cops. Here I'm seeing a lot of innocence and purity imagery. White is a "pure" and clean color, and there are other purity symbols such as the religious iconography.

  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger Joshua said…

    WTF I can't believe people wrote essays on your comment board about Gaga. All I can say is... How was Paula Abdul's "Crazy Cool" video banned from being played on MTV & VH1, but not this!?!?


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