Remember when Lady GaGa was the first and only word in pop? When she burst onto the scene in 2009 with floor-filler ‘Just Dance’ it signalled a new dawn of GaGa where she would rule supreme for many years as the Queen of Pop. Her star grew and grew until it did what all stars eventually do… it exploded.
When GaGa was just starting out, her crazy outfits and attention-seeking styling made her stand out from the crowd. We hadn’t seen anything like the beautiful insanity ‘Poker Face’ or ‘Bad Romance’ before.
But what was initially a key selling point for GaGa eventually became her downfall. When you depend on the element of surprise to sell your records you have to keep pushing the envelope with every release. To put it more simply, you have to keep shocking people and GaGa shocked us so much for so long in such an unsustainable way that the bubble was always going to burst in the end. We reached the point where nothing would shock us anymore. She had nowhere else to go and the public had become over-saturated with GaGa.
It’s not GaGa’s fault that she became too depending on surprising the public. It’s what we wanted, until we didn’t. She ran with this approach until the messy release of ‘ARTPOP’ which became her lowest-selling album and was a critical flop.
GaGa had also begun to suffer from other artists imitating her style. She had opened the floodgates for artists to be more inventive with their visuals and they took full advantage of their creative freedom.
Dare we say the world had gone a bit too GaGa? It was time to go back to basics for Mother Monster.
Following the catastrophic release of ‘ARTPOP’, GaGa didn’t put a foot wrong. She parted with her management and chose a completely different style of music for her next project, which may have not appealed to her core fanbase, but certainly showcased her versatility and strong vocals. GaGa’s curveball of a jazz album with Tony Bennett ‘Cheek to Cheek’ also saw her sounding much happier and more invested in her musical output than in her ‘ARTPOP’ days. She was re-energised.
After ‘Cheek to Cheek’ she took a well-earned break out of the spotlight which turned out to be a stroke of genius. We needed a rest and she needed a rest. Like Ross and Rachel…
We all know that absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all.
While she took a break from releasing albums, GaGa played her cards exactly right so that we didn’t forget her (she always did have a good poker face). She expanded her brand into film, winning an Academy Award for the emotional ‘Till’ It Happens to You’ and gave a star turn in ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’. It’s hard to think of a more appropriate TV show for GaGa.
Suddenly we remembered why we went GaGa in the first place. Stripped of her handbags and gladrags Lady G was still just as compelling as when she first started out. Fans begged for a new album and it wasn’t until we were almost in tears from the wait that she decided to reward us for our patience.
‘Perfect Illusion’ may not be the strongest GaGa lead single (the bar is set quite high for that), and it may not be as attention-grabbing as some of her other songs, but it is definitely a move in the right direction. She wears quite a simple outfit in the video, but it’s still fun, catchy and purely GaGa. In a recent interview with the BBC Lady GaGa said she felt like a “brand new artist” and it really does feel like it.
Now she has been all but confirmed for the ‘Super Bowl 2017’ it looks like we’re in for a lot more GaGa in the future. Are you excited? Share your opinion using the comments box below.