The Bottom Line
The record label didn't want "Alejandro" as the third single from The Fame Monster fearing pop radio wouldn't like it. However, Lady Gaga won the battle and so far this is her seventh top 20 pop hit. From the cheesy, soap opera dialogue opening to obvious references back to classic Ace of Base in the sound, Lady Gaga takes on her "Fear of Sex Monster" and the complications of falling in love with a best friend by tossing it off as something to laugh and dance to.
- Ace of Base influenced melody and beats
- Humorous dialogue snippets and Latin accent
- Contemporary dance-pop feel
- Not as arresting as other top Gaga hits
- Written by Stefani Germanotta and Nadir Khayat
- Produced by RedOne
- Released April 2010 by Interscope
Guide Review - Lady Gaga - "Alejandro"
On one level "Alejandro" can be heard as just another in Lady Gaga's increasing repertoire of insanely catchy dance-pop songs that invite singing along on the radio. However, digging a little deeper into the aesthetic structure of the song may lead to more appreciation for the maturity expressed here and throughout the masterful mini-album The Fame Monster. There is perhaps more here than first meets the ear.
Lady Gaga has stated in interviews that "Alejandro" is about her "Fear of Sex Monster." Also, the specific situation being described in the song is falling in love with one's best friend. How to respond musically to such a situation? We could have a lament or rant in song. Instead, Lady Gaga paints the situation in retro pop sounds, snippets of cheesy soap opera style dialogue, and a faux Latin accent to poke fun. It is a refreshing angle on the emotional complications of love.
Musically "Alejandro" is influenced by ABBA, one of the most revered pop groups of all time and even includes the name "Fernando" as Lady Gaga's nod to one of the group's classics. In structure and melody Ace of Base's "Don't Turn Around" is another obvious reference point. RedOne takes all of the retro elements and applies a contemporary dance-pop sheen to bring the music into the present. While "Alejandro" would be unlikely to be identified as Lady Gaga's best, it is one more solid jewel in her crown of seven consecutive major pop hit singles.