The Bottom Line
It did seem like Lady Gaga's sixth single "Telephone" was floundering a bit on the pop charts. Along came an epic video, directed by Jonas Akerlund, to the rescue, and "Telephone" is now a sixth top 10 pop hit. However, the song itself was most likely deserving of top 10 success on its own. Lady Gaga pulls in Beyonce, possibly the one woman who is just as dominant if not more in today's pop music, as a featured guest here. Lyrically, "Telephone" is simply a piece of fluff, but the video elevates it to the status of pop culture landmark.
- Killer dance hook
- That epic video
- Aggressive Beyonce vocal appearance
- Silly lyrics
- Written by Lady Gaga, Rodney Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Lazonate Franklin, and Beyoncé
- Produced by Rodney Jerkins
- Released January 2010 by Interscope
Guide Review - Lady Gaga - "Telephone" featuring Beyonce
It's difficult to define now whether Lady Gaga has an uncanny ability to hit the mark with the pop mainstream or if she is the definition of the pop mainstream now. The uptempo dance music of "Telephone" sounds great whether over an iPod, coming out of your car radio or in the club. Rodney Jerkins provides Lady Gaga with a seamless segue from her series of RedOne produced hits to something a bit more R&B focused than the past. "Telephone" was originally intended for Britney Spears, but it fits Lady Gaga's stretching into new musical territories on The Fame Monster just fine.
Lyrically, "Telephone" comes off just a bit silly. Lady Gaga has said in interviews it is about fear of suffocation by someone who continually calls to encourage her to work harder. However, the words themselves seem to amount to, essentially, "Geez, my cell phone is annoying, I would rather just dance." The line, "I left my head and my heart on the dance floor" does remind us that Lady Gaga has helped pull the entire pop music enterprise onto the dance floor in a way we have possibly not seen since the heyday of disco.
The song "Telephone" really can not be adequately discussed without mention of the recently released epic 10 minute video directed by Jonas Akerlund. It was conceived as a follow up to his stunning clip for "Paparazzi." The "Telephone" video begins with Lady Gaga being brought into prison for having killed her boyfriend. With homage to pop culture icons ranging from Madonna to Quentin Tarantino, Gaga and Honey B, Beyonce, emerge as pop music's Thelma and Louise. Along the way the ultra-colorful David LaChapelle photos come to life visual style, dance numbers, and witty repartee between Lady Gaga and Beyonce all amount to a music video experience that should not be missed. Astoundingly, Lady Gaga has not yet let us down through a series of six singles and their accompanying visual interpretations. "Telephone" is simply her latest success.