Archive for November 23rd, 2009

Review: Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster”

The second album by Lady Gaga, “The Fame Monster“, was released today. It includes 8 new songs, and one remix. The new album is very electronic, but it also feels more mature too than her previous album. In detail:

* Bad Romance – 8.5/10
* Alejandro – 9/10
* Monster – 9/10
* Speechless – 7/10
* Dance In the Dark – 7.5/10
* Telephone (with Beyonc̩) Р10/10
* So Happy I Could Die – 7.5/10
* Teeth – 8/10

Best moment: The opening of “Alejandro” between 00:25 to 00:42 seconds.

Overall rating: 8.3/10

This places this album on my top-10 favorites for the decade, next to Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album. I know that many of my readers don’t understand my fascination with Madonna and GaGa when 95% of my music is actually alternative rock, but I recognize good pop when I see it, and I try to give it credit when it’s due.

I also bought Adam Lambert’s “For your Entertainment” album, but it’s not as good as GaGa’s (still, some very good pop in there too — “Sleepwalker” is the best song on his album). Rihanna’s & Shakira’s albums (also released today) felt very blunt and un-catchy to me.

Regarding Adam Lambert’s performance at AMAs

The internet is abuzz right now debating if Adam Lambert’s AMA performance was softcore porn or simply somewhat raunchy. During his performance he and a dancer touched his crotch (Madonna did this before), he had male dancers on leash (Madonna did this before), he put his face to another male’s crotch (Madonna did this before), and finally he kissed a same-sex band member (Madonna did this before).

So, everything of what Lambert did on stage last night was already done before (17 years ago, no less). The difference is that what he did was all part of the same number, and that it was broadcasted live in national television (most of what Madonna did was for her live performances only available on VHS/DVD). And when Madonna kissed Britney and Christina on stage it was for the cable MTV channel rather than on a network channel (in the US, there are different rules for networked and cable TV channels).

So basically, what shocked most people is not exactly what Lambert did (since it was all done before), but the fact that it was all that shown on network television within 4 minutes — and rumor has it that ABC did not know of the kiss. But the question really is: was it really that shocking?

In my opinion, no. I found his performance theatrical and entertaining. I was not offended at all. And I don’t really understand why people get offended over real or simulated sex. It’s just sex. It’s something everyone and every living thing does. Why the taboo? Why the shock? My guess is because half of the people who found the performance “offending” are boring puritans, and the other half are homophobes. That’s how I see it.

BTW, Lambert told CNN that his kiss with the male keyboardist was not rehearsed, but I don’t buy that. The keyboardist did not look shocked at all. It was probably not rehearsed at AMAs (and that’s why ABC didn’t know about it), but it was surely agreed with the band. I mean, come on. Lambert will have to play that card and say it was just an impulsive move to avoid future award/TV/show banning. Of course, if TV viewers didn’t get offended that easily he wouldn’t have to lie to do what he wanted to do.

The bottom line is that Lambert is doing his thing one way or another (I never expected anything less from him btw), and just like Madonna, he will use that controversy to build a career. It was a calculated risk he took last night. I would have done the same thing.