Lady GaGa was exactly right to convince her label Interscope to focus on the eight new songs of The Fame Monster and not just toss them off as add-ons for a re-issue of her debut album The Fame. The new songs make a cohesive work of pop art on their own. The Lady Gaga aesthetic here combines the catchiness of the best in pop songs with pure, exposed emotion of some of the most enduring dance music classics. It's a no holds barred musical journey into the demons and monsters that haunt Lady Gaga's psyche.
Resonant Concept Played Out Through Incredibly Catchy Pop and Dance Songs
On The Fame Monster Lady Gaga moves past songs about getting drunk in the club or simply celebrating rough sex. Here she takes on her own personal monsters whether it's the artifice of appearance on "Dance In the Dark" or the incessant desire for "Bad Romance." Most listeners are likely to find a number of their own emotional issues and concerns somewhere in this suite of eight songs. However, nowhere does Lady Gaga forget the importance of pop songs being catchy and memorable. It's possible to simply revel in the beautiful wistful musical atmosphere of "So Happy I Could Die" and ignore the thoughtful meditation on caring for oneself physically and mentally when things are going awry.
More Hit Singles On the Way
There seems no doubt the hit singles will continue to flow for Lady Gaga beyond "Bad Romance." At least half the songs here would sound great on pop radio. "Alejandro" is a bit like Madonna's classic "La Isla Bonita" with a contemporary edge. "Monster" with the "He ate my heart" catch line is pure electronic dance pop heaven in sound. The Beyonce assisted "Telephone" is a club stomper that will draw in R&B and Hip Hop fans as well on the radio. 2009 may have been the year of Lady Gaga with five top 10 pop hits, four of them radio #1's, but 2010 should continue that momentum.
Top Tracks on 'The Fame Monster'
- "Bad Romance"
- "So Happy I Could Die"
Lady Gaga Proves Herself a Compelling, Evolving Artist
There is nothing about The Fame Monster that sounds like Lady Gaga is interested in making The Fame part 2. Less than a year after "Just Dance" first topped the charts, she has dropped a set of songs that are a major stride forward in maturity. The conceptual approach here often seems reserved for rock and alternative albums. The Fame Monster is the most compelling pop concept piece in recent memory. There are clear signs of influence from some of the top pop women of the past including Madonna, Annie Lennox and Debbie Harry, but Lady Gaga makes it emphatically her own. If this is the direction of contemporary pop, we are in good hands indeed.
Released November 2009 by Interscope