Lingua Mea Vita

Lyrical Analysis — Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga really built up Valentine’s weekend to be about her. She hyped her new single for release Friday, is being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes (which I have been frankly looking forward to more than her single) on Sunday and will be performing at the Grammy awards (which will be broadcast right after it).

This is clearly the work of a powerful, single woman: if you can’t have someone to share Valentine’s Day with, you might as well make it  all about you. (And yes, I plan on going on and on about Valentine’s Day until it’s over).

However, I’m not to keen on Born This Way. Musically, there’s the whole “mega-Madonna-mashup” controversy, and while the song has a good message lyrically, it isn’t very interesting. No clever metaphors, no especially poetic phrases. There is some wordplay, but it’s nothing that Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy couldn’t think up.

However, I’ve got to hand it to her for trying to attempt to infuse mainstream pop and a meaningful message. Especially after her previous singles have a history of being a little…scary:

  1. Just Dance —  Allegedly about a girl who gets so incredibly drunk at a club that by the end of the night, she is willing to go home with a random creep (sang by Colby O’Donis) and she has sex with him. (Just in case you’re wondering, the alleged drunken rape part starts at the music turn and the “half psychotic, sick hypnotic.”
  2. Poker Face — I’ll admit that I still have no idea what the crap Poker Face is about aside from gambling references that double as sexual innuendos. I read somewhere once that Gaga said this song was about bisexuality: and while I can kind of see that in the chorus, nowhere in the lyrics.
  3. Paparazzi — This song in there with The Police’s “I’ll Be Watching You” and Death Cab’s “I Will Possess Your Heart” on a playlist to listen to while stalking someone who clearly has no interest in you.
  4. LoveGame — I think it may be just me, but I’ve always taken this song to be about some underage girl trying to get someone way too older for her. I think the whole “getting your ass squeezed by sexy Cupid” put the image of babies in my head, and you follow that up with “I’m educated in sex.” If you have to tell someone your educated in sex, you’re probably too young to be having it.
  5. Bad Romance — This song is so ridiculously catchy and so ridiculously about domestic abuse. Or wanting someone who is really bad for you. Either way, not the greatest message.
  6. Telephone — Pretty benign. Though Beyonce really needs to explain to me how do you feel like you live in Grand Central Station. You are surely not homeless, Bee.
  7. Alejandro — Reinforcing the (tacky, cheesy, annoying) “Latin Lover” stereotype.

All of these songs were major singles for Gaga, so maybe she feels like she owes it to the world to write a song that doesn’t involve some catchy negativity. That I respect — but…why did the music have to be so awful?


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