Thursday, May 20, 2010

Videography - Lady Gaga (Part II - The Fame Monster)

Lady Gaga's second album, The Fame Monster, was a nine track album-ette released in late 2009. Despite its length, the album is full of powerful dance hits that the artist thought could be released as it's own album instead of adding bonus tracks to The Fame.

Order: 7
Title: "Bad Romance"
Album: The Fame Monster (2009)
Song Premise: A woman wants everything, the good and the bad, that comes with being in a relationship.
Video Premise: Lady Gaga emerges from a podlike coffin and dances around. She is force fed vodka and then sold to the highest bidder in the Russian mafia. However, she burns him alive with her flame thrower brassiere.

Comments: "Bad Romance" is one of my favorite Lady Gaga songs. It is melodramatic, as is the video. However, I don't think it fits. I like the concept of the video, but I don't think it belongs with this song. But what's done is done. I like the prostitution elements.

Order: 8
Title: "Telephone" (with Beyonce)
Album: The Fame Monster (2009)
Song Premise: A woman is bothered by her boyfriend's constant calling while she is partying at a club.
Video Premise: Oh we go. In this sequel to the "Paparazzi" video, Lady Gaga is led to a cell in a "Prison for Bitches" by two butch prison guards. She is stripped naked and one of the guards comments, "I told you she didn't have a dick." Then we see Gaga's day to day life in prison where she makes out with another prisoner in the exercise yard. Finally, Gaga answers a phone call from Beyoncé who plans to bail her out of jail. Then there is dancing with other inmates. Eventually Gaga is released and Beyoncé is waiting for her in the "Pussy Wagon" from Kill Bill. The two exchange dialogue and drive to a diner where Beyoncé's asshole boyfriend is waiting for her. She grows tired of it, and poisons him. Meanwhile, Gaga makes a sandwich and then mixes poison into all the dishes at the diner. While everyone is dead, Gaga and Beyoncé dance around the corpses and then escape into the desert. The video ends with "To Be Continued..."

Comments: Well...holy shit. This is certainly an epic video in the sense of size and scope. Does it make sense with the context of the song? Hell. No. Should it? Lady Gaga doesn't think so.  I guess we should never expect the lyrics of her songs to have any final effect on her videos. I think that's a shame. Not that "Telephone" has her deepest lyrics, mind you. I just think that maybe Lady Gaga would come up with her video concepts and then write lyrics to match them instead of getting our hopes up. Overall, you can tell that the singers are into every minute of it. And it's definitely something you would never expect from Beyoncé. There's so much effort put into every single frame, it's hard to dislike the "Telephone" video.

Order: 9
Title: "Alejandro"
Album: The Fame Monster (2010)
Song Premise: A woman is accosted by many Hispanic suitors.
Video Premise: The video begins with many soldiers sleeping in a cabaret and then cuts to different soldiers doing a dance/march. As the song begins, Gaga is leading a funeral procession, carrying a heart on a pillow. When the lyrics begin, she is sitting on a throne watching dancers perform an elaborate routine outside. Soon, Gaga is dancing and simulating sex with three men on twin beds intercuts with scenes of Gaga as a nun in a red latex habit. More dancing, similar to Bob Fosse's Cabaret. Then Gaga is wearing a bra  with AR-15 rifle barrels. In another scene, she struggles with her dancer and is undressed. The video ends with her dressed as the nun, the film burning away from her face outwards.

Comments: I won't lie. When I first watched it, I didn't get it. In fact, I had to look up the meaning (which I hate!!!). Anyway the director said this: "[The video is] about a woman's desire to resurrect a dead love and who can not face the brutality of her present situation. The pain of living without your true love." Okay...right. The whole thing is overlong. The video is almost double the length of the song, even. That's not to say I don't like it. I do, well, parts of it. Overall, it's a fantasy of Gaga's life after her lover has died. It doesn't have to make perfect sense. It's a mish-mash of desires.

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