The Bottom Line
"Paparazzi" is the fourth single from Lady GaGa's debut album The Fame. Despite the pheonomenal comercial success of her three earlier singles, this is easily the top artistic achievement yet. Bathed in warm chords that communicate a swirl of emotion, the song is a tribute of sorts to the symbiotic but ultimately fake and "plastic" relationship between stars and their trailing paparazzi. The accompanying music video takes the song to another level entirely.
- Knowing acknowledgment of the symbiotic star and paparazzi relationship
- Swirling emotion present in words and music
- Light but insistent vocals from Lady GaGa
- No significant negatives here
- Written by Lady GaGa and Rob Fusari
- Produced by Rob Fusari and Lady GaGa
- Released September 2009 by Interscope
Guide Review - Lady GaGa - "Paparazzi"
Lady GaGa has ridden to the top reaches of the pop singles charts with three successive singles produced by RedOne. All three are extremely catchy, danceable, and deserving of success. However, there is a certain feeling of emptiness in "Just Dance,""Poker Face," and "LoveGame." Now we turn our attention to one of the songs created with veteran producer and songwriter Rob Fusari who can be given much of the credit for "discovering" Lady GaGa. He was a key player in coming up with the stage name Lady GaGa. "Paparazzi" is easily the most affecting and moving single release yet.
The paparazzi who trail stars looking for a lucrative photo opportunity are easy targets for scorn as seen in Britney Spears' scathing "Piece of Me." However, here Lady GaGa points out there is a sort of symbiotic relationship between a star and those who, for better or worse, are there to document and, in a sense, create the stardom. Musically, "Paparazzi" relies on slightly langourous synth textures and dense percussion to convey the swirl of emotions that accompany the interaction between celebrity and photographer. Sexual desire, dread, resigned acknowledgment, and an insistence that fun is still possible all swirl together in an effective stew of emotion. Lady GaGa's voice floats over the top enticing the listener into the complex world of stardom.
Special mention should be made of the accompanying music video for "Paparazzi." Jonas Akerlund, long time video collaborator with Madonna, put together the clip that amounts to a mini-movie. In the words of Lady GaGa, "The video explores ideas about sort of hyperbolic situations that people will go to in order to be famous. Most specifically, pornography and murder." The imagery is both disturbing and stunningly beautiful. It is a perfect accompaniment to the mixture of sometimes conflicting emotions in the song.