Tag Archives: Bad Romance

The Art of Lady Gaga: Born This Way Music Video

Lady Gaga’s latest single, “Born This Way” exploded on the music charts. Lady Gaga tweeted that she had to release the song early because she was so excited about the track. She performed the song at the Grammy’s, emerging out of an iridescent egg and wearing latex to promote safe sex.

Last week, the music video for “Born this Way” was released online, topping Vevo’s charts.

The music video starts off like a 70s Sci-Fi movie, with 70s sounding music to boot. The purple triangle and the rainbow are gay symbols, and I think the unicorn also adds to the symbols. Unicorns are also known for purity and innocence. Gaga explains that she is the Queen of an alien territory in space, and she is an eternal mother. She promotes goodness, and there is also another mother of evil in space. Lady Gaga has explored feminist theories, images and also pushes the envelope with homosexuality.

With the explanation of a Queen Mother, Gaga is promoting the most feminine thing of all, being able to give birth. She sheds light on giving birth as a sense of control. Since she can give birth, she has control of the universe. A very strong message and image as well, as we see through a double mirror of babies being born. This is something not really explored in music videos, and it feels strange to see such an image, but it is also very interesting that Gaga has embraced her femininity and also takes the strength that being a woman has enormous control and power.

There is also a starry outline of a uterus, again giving power to being a woman. Lady Gaga shows a production line of Gaga heads, explaining that she has giving birth to a race of peace. Although, with peace there is evil, and Lady Gaga explores the duality, and also is wondering with such perfection (such as the human race) how could there NOT be evil? How could there NOT be duality in life?

In the lyrics, Gaga explains that every human being is born perfect the way they are. The music video and song both complement each other giving the message that human beings are perfect the way they are, and that we should love ourselves and others because of this perfection. It’s a good message, it’s a deep message and apparently a message that is resonating, being a top selling hit on the charts. The song has, in a way, turned into a gay anthem. With the lyrics, “don’t be a drag, just be a queen” a heavy reference to gay people. Also, the lyrics, “born this way” is it also referring to being gay isn’t a choice, it is something that you are born with. I like the images in the video, the skull painted faces, the monster looking figures, etc.

There has been criticisms that Lady Gaga was copying Madonna’s “Express Yourself”. Being a HUGE Madonna fan myself, I was mystified what comparisons others were claiming. I really didn’t hear anything similar. The only similarities I could gather is the drum beat is similar, which isn’t copying, and that Lady Gaga “talks” in the beginning of the song similar to “Express Yourself” when Madonna talks in the beginning of the song. There is also talking in the middle of the song, which there really isn’t in “Born This Way”. “Vogue” had talking and a sort of rap in the middle of the song, but again, this is just song structure, it’s not copying the song. Lady Gaga already has done talking in songs, such as in “Dance in the Dark”. Regardless, I don’t see the similarities and if someone wants to point it out more clearly to me, please do.

What did you think of this music video? What do you think of the song? Personally, I wasn’t blown away by the song when I first heard it, it’s starting to slowly grow on me.

Also check out my blog’s on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”: https://elenamusic.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/the-art-of-gaga-lady-gagas-bad-romance-music-video-explained/

Lady Gaga’s  “Telephone”: https://elenamusic.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/art-of-lady-gaga-telephone-music-video/

And refresh yourself with Madonna’s “Express Yourself”: https://elenamusic.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/blast-from-the-past-fridays-madonna-express-yourself/

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under lady gaga, Music Video Review, New Music

Art of Lady Gaga: Telephone Music Video

Finally following up on my Lady Gaga music video critiques. I am sure I will also talk about the “Born This Way” music video when it is released.

For me, the Bad Romance and Telephone music videos had an impact on popular culture, displayed Lady Gaga more as an artist and had strong messages about feminism. Check out my previous blog about Bad Romance here: https://elenamusic.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/the-art-of-gaga-lady-gagas-bad-romance-music-video-explained/

Lady Gaga’s Telephone music video starts off in a prison. Well, let’s rewind a little bit more, the song itself is about Gaga in a club, getting annoyed with getting several phone calls. She’s busy dancing on the dance floor and doesn’t want to answer the phone. Simple and vain at the same time. The music video isn’t really much about telephones at all.

Now, back to the prison, Gaga is admitted into her cell and she is stripped of her clothes. Two meanings there, we are reminded again of her being stripped in the Bad Romance music video, is she being stripped because the public wants more of her? She is more raw in this video, and she retaliates by jumping on the bars naked, thus, showing that is is a woman, and not a man or various incarnations the public has mapped her out to be. She’s saying, “this is me!”

Next we are introduced to the Exercise Yard, where we see a lot of butch women working out, trashy women, etc. You can overhear someone saying, “you ain’t gonna make it, baby”. I’m sure that’s a reference to people in Lady Gaga’s past who have told her she would never make it as a singer. She’s trapped in this prison, and she’s going to make it out, or “make it”. She is also “chained” to show how trapped she is. She kisses another masculine woman, showing her bisexuality and displaying a gay kiss that isn’t really seen in media often. Usually, lesbian kissing is with two hot girls, for the pleasure of straight men. This was a butch woman with a feminine women, for the pleasure of other lesbians, not men.

Gaga gets a phone call, and she has coke cans in her hair, previously in the Exercise yard she has cigarettes for sunglasses. Perhaps vices that Lady Gaga avoids or is hard to avoid? During the fight scene, right before Gaga answers the phone, there is a girl with sunglasses and long dark hair, and she looks like Lady Gaga in some way. A relative, perhaps? I just find that scene a little odd.

Lady Gaga is later busted out by Beyonce AKA “Honey B”. She is dancing her way out of her cell, and Beyonce greets her in the “P**** Wagon” which is the truck from the movie “Kill Bill”. That movie displays a woman taking revenge on those who tried to kill her. This music video follows the same formula, Gaga and Honey B will take revenge.

Honey B tells Gaga right away she’s been a “very bad girl”. I think that’s a tongue-in-cheek way of referencing her musician career as an outspoken artist. They also talk about two jokes. “Once you kill a cow, you gotta to make a burger” and “Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broke, but you can still see the crack in the mother-f**s reflection”. Both references to Quentin Tarantino’s method of writing screenplays. Also, it means, to commit to something and trust, once broken, will always show in a person.

They both end up in a cafe, where they both put poison in honey and in the food at the restaurant, thus killing the boyfriend and everyone in the restaurant. The boyfriend shows his sexist behavior, by getting up, slapping girls on the butt, arguing with people and taking all of Honey B’s honey. Which I think represents money. The revenge in Gaga’s Bad Romance music video, is continued in this music video, further blending femininity and masculinity by making women the killers, taking revenge and being violent, which is usually known as a masculine trait.

Beyonce also furthers the blurring of the lines when you see her dressed as a soldier in her bedroom. After everyone is thoroughly dead, Gaga and Honey B are dressed in American grab and begin a big dance number. This scene is showing the freedom of Americans, that things can change, and also mocks the absurdity of the situation.

One of the reporters, is one of the guys from the previously popular TV show “Queer Eye for the Straight Eye”, another nod to the gay community.

In the end, Gaga and Honey B drive away, looking like widows, in a Thelma & Louise style, further asserting their femininity, and the last thing you see is the female symbol ending the scene.

A lot of messages in this music video, some very blatant and some you need to read into a little bit, but definitely very interesting and something different from music videos in the past.

3 Comments

Filed under lady gaga, Music Video Review

The Art of Gaga- Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance Music Video Explained

Lady Gaga is an artist.

What is an artist? Musicians have blurred the lines between artist and being godly, being a role model and having something to say, or someone who is just famous for the sake of being famous. But, what is an artist?

An artist is someone whom their creations conveys a message. As the observer, we are the ones to decipher the creation and come to our own conclusions of what the message is. The message and the medium, however creative they are, contribute to how interesting the artist is.

Lady Gaga is an artist because she has a lot to say, and a very colorful way of saying it as well. I would overhear people saying, “she can’t sing” and I think that’s ridiculous. Of course she can sing, she has an amazing voice. I respect Lady Gaga as an artist because in my own interpretation of her music and music videos, I get a message that wants to change things. She sends messages to express female frustration, and is changing art to shake things up in the world.

Even though these music videos have been out for a while, I wanted to write my own interpretation of these music videos. I would talk to my friends about the importance of “Bad Romance” and “Telephone” and my friends would say it was garbage. How could I have such a different opinion about these videos than my friends? Didn’t we see the same music video? These music videos make the observer think, you have to think critically of what the message is. Here’s my interpretation:

Lady Gaga- Bad Romance

In Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video, we are subjected to different scenarios. We have the the coffin scene, where Gaga is coming out of the “closet”, so to speak, as a monster. I think this music video was kind of the birth of Gaga’s journey as a true artist. She was coming to make a statement. Also as a self-proclaimed “monster”, she is also telling the viewer that it’s ok to be different.

We also have the scene where Gaga is in a sheer, skin colored outfit. She has pink hair and she is being tied down and being forced to remove her clothes. In this scene, the big eyes represent innocence to me, and the people that are taking off her clothes are taking away her innocence, forcing someone against their will. Also, the fact that they are taking her clothes away, they are stripping her into a sexual figure.

One of the biggest scenes to me is when she is in the diamond outfit, dancing in front of all the suitors while they are bidding on her. She is a courtesan, a prostitute, being forced against her will to be sexual for these men. She is reduced to a financial figure for her sex. She obviously resents the fact at the end of the video. Where you see Gaga strutting to the bed to the suitor who was the top bidder. She kills him. An act of revenge against everything that happened to her. Her being stripped away of her innocence, being reduced for a sexual figure to be bid on by men.

It’s a very feminist video. There are also images of her as a “monster” and it’s very obvious that her shape has been altered in the video. Her spine is protruding out of her skin, and her curves are accentuated. Has she turned into a sex monster? This video is retaliating against men. It is showing how women are shown in the media, and in real life as sexual objects, only there to tantalize and satisfy men. It has made women into sexual monsters, both wanting to be sexual, but fighting against the stereotypes men put upon them. And in the end, Gaga is taking a stand, that she is not going to be ruled by a man, that she is her own woman.

What about the violence? Is that called for?

There is a lot of violence in movies, men make the violence and now it’s tolerated as a male thing. It’s also tying into the gender stereotype that only men can get angry. When men get angry, they get violent. Women are not supposed to get angry, and hence, not be violent. The violence is a masculine trait. Gaga takes on this masculine trait to express her revenge, and assert her independence from men. The lyrics “I want your loving and I want your revenge” fits in perfectly with the images portrayed. There is definitely confusion in today’s age of what is a strong woman. Is she sexual and successful? Is she desired by all men and at the same time making a lot of money?

Why do people question Lady Gaga’s sex? Is she a man or a woman? She is taking feminism head on, using masculine traits to assert her womanhood. She really has picked up where Madonna has left off. Madonna started a lot of controversies with her sexual videos, questioning women’s roles in society. She wanted to show women could be successful and  sexual at the same time. Gaga is sending her own message, and using violence and intense visuals to assert her femininity, and masculinity at the same time.

I think it’s brilliant what Lady Gaga is doing to bring the music video back. There is so much open to interpretation and people can conclude their own vision of Gaga’s music videos. What does she say to you? The fact is that she’s shaping a new era of how women are looked at. Am I just reading in between the lines too much? I know I’m not because that’s the point of art, to take away from it your own interpretation of the art. To question, think and make the art mean something to you.

I will also review the music video “Telephone” because we open up even more cans of worms.

What does Bad Romance mean to you?

11 Comments

Filed under lady gaga, Music Video Review