October 5, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 50°F


State of the Union: Gaga Edition

I will readily admit that I was a frequent passenger on the Lady Gaga train back in the days of “The Fame.” Actually, you would probably find me shoveling coal in the burner instead of idly sitting and enjoying the ride. However, my attitude towards her music has changed since that first day I heard a Gaga track.

I used to work at a For Your Entertainment (FYE) in Danielson, Connecticut where I basically spent my paycheck right there in the store on the latest albums. One Thursday in October 2008, I was unpacking shipment boxes, alphabetizing CDs and sorting them into the display racks. I came across this artist I had never heard of: Lady Gaga. I asked my coworkers if any of them had heard of her (they hadn’t). I thought she looked crazy so I threw the CD into the store’s audio so we could take a listen.

I was incredibly impressed with what I heard. The beats were infectious. There was no way anyone was going to resist dancing to this music. This was really interesting because I’m a big alt-rock/rock guy and I don’t gravitate to modern day pop that easily, but this was different. Customers began coming up and asking me who was playing and by the end of the day we were sold out.

The next day, I went into school and proceeded to talk to my friends about the discovery I had made the day prior. “There’s this girl Lady Gaga that I heard yesterday at the store. She’s nuts and I think she’s going to be big.”

Fast forward to May and everyone is dancing at prom to the Holy Gaga Trinity: “Just Dance,” “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi.” It was great. Gaga mania continued into the summer, but fall of 2009 is when it started to get a little sour for me.

After I saw the album artwork for “The Fame Monster,” I knew we weren’t dealing with the same artist. Her fans were now being called “little monsters.” I like darker music, but this just didn’t sit right with me for whatever reason.

What really sent me over the edge was the “Telephone” video. I tuned in to see the world premiere and I was extremely disappointed. I couldn’t get over how much product placement saturated the video. It was disgusting. This isn’t what music about. From then on, I just haven’t connected with her on the level that I used to.

So where I am today: I still enjoy Lady Gaga’s music, just not as much. For me, it’s deviated too much from what she originally seemed to be. The gimmick and outlandishness is just overbearing. With the debut of her new single only two weeks away, I think I’ll take a seat in coach and see just where this train is heading.