Tag Archives: Born this Way

Perform this Way – Weird Al’ Latest

Weird Al is still alive and kicking, apparently.

Weird Al released his latest music video parodying Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”.

I enjoyed this crass display, a little hard to watch his face on a woman’s body, but as the music video moves along, it gets more funny, I like the Madonna reference.

I hope Weird Al keeps releasing music videos.

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The Fall of Gaga

I have stated previously in this blog, that I wanted this blog to be about good music, and not to be like Perez Hilton and rip apart artists, condemn musicians and the like. I rather put out positive posts and instead of ripping apart a well-known artist, to use that time to talk about a lesser-known artist.

I don’t want to rip apart Lady Gaga, and I won’t, but I did want to comment on the reactions I’ve seen lately on her music. From personal Facebook fans to anonymous people on Vevo and Youtube, there is a backlash against Gaga that I’m wondering will garner steam and take down the eccentric Queen of the Pop Universe from her throne.

Lady Gaga’s latest songs seem like reincarnations of her previous hits, but not only that, the production doesn’t seem the same as the Fame Monster album. Lady Gaga’s first single, “Born this Way” was a disappointment. The lyrics were great, and amazing for the gay community. The song itself, not up to par as her previous hits. “Judas” came out, and just reminds me of a copy of “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro”. Then, “The Edge of Glory” came out, and it almost seems unrecognizable as the same artist that was so groundbreaking and poppy in the beginning of her career.

The fans have definitely noticed and are lashing out. What surprises me the most, is how quickly they turned on her. They loved her with a fervor, then they turn around and hate her, all over the internet. Denouncing her, saying they won’t be fans anymore. I can’t really say Lady Gaga sold out, she’s the most artistic she’s ever been in her career and her lyrics are more button-pushing than ever before. She is actually talking about issues in these songs, which is commendable, although the delivery isn’t coming across the same. With easier songs to stomach, dance songs can go straight into catchy dance hooks. With these issue-pushing songs, it’s not as catchy, and the songs are darker because the lyrics actually reflect the mood of the song.

I’m not a die-hard fan of Lady Gaga, my Queen of Pop will always be Madonna. Although, I respect Gaga’s artistic integrity and her messages she cultivates with her music videos. She’s the only “artist” as of this moment. Katy Perry and Rihanna are just regurgitating whatever images the major record labels want them to do, and we all know what happens if that goes on for too long (*coughs* Britney Spears). This is what I think, and I’m not sure what is really going on behind the scenes for all these artists, but sometimes it’s just plain noticeable when an artist is really relaying a message, or just playing dress up.

Those are my two cents on this Pop music battle, and as far as Lady Gaga’s future, hopefully she picks up with some original catchy songs, lest I fear the fans will bury her alive…

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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/

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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.

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Blast from the Past Fridays – Madonna “Express Yourself”

Come on girls
Do you believe in love?
‘Cause I got something to say about it
And it goes something like this

Don’t go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels
And maybe then you’ll know your love is real

The year is 1989.

At $5 million dollars, the “Express Yourself” music video was one of the most expensive music videos to date. Set in a Metropolis setting, Madonna took over creative vision over the video and wanted a theme of women ruling the world.

For me, this was one of the most influential and feminist music videos I had ever seen. I loved the idea of women being in charge and men working for them. This music video has been copied and emulated over and over, and most notably in Christina Aguilera’s “I’m Not Myself Tonight”.

Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” drew a lot of online criticism for copying “Express Yourself”. There’s nothing really that sticks out to me. And being a big Madonna fan, I would notice those things instantly, and all I can really hear that is similar is the drum beat. The lyrics are different, and maybe some of the arranging is similar, but it’s not the same.

The lyrics in the song are original and I love how Madonna tells the listener to “don’t go for second best, baby”. Test yourself.

Listen to this song a few times, and maybe you’ll rethink your relationships.

Also, from the Blond Ambition Tour:

T

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