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What does the future hold for Lady Gaga? #ARTPOP
The Impending Release of a New Album, Artpop
In my last article, I recapped the last year in which Lady Gaga slipped off the mainstream while she continued touring the world, performing in her Born This Way Ball. But with the looming release of Mother Monster’s third-and-a-half studio album, what does this hold in store for her? Can Gaga rekindle the spark with which she ruled over her army of monsters and dominated the charts? Can she hold her own in the music world since she last released a single, more than a year ago? What can we expect from Lady Gaga in 2013, now that she is returning to the spotlight?
With the release of her first studio album, Gaga sold more than 4.4 million albums in the US alone. The album spawned hits such as Just Dance and Pokerface. Initially, the “sleeper” hits were doing mildly good at best, before crawling up the charts and hitting number one, propelling the singer into stardom and showering the world with Gaga.
Subsequent to this, eight tracks were issued on a standalone release (hence the half-an-album previously mentioned). Originally destined to be included on a rereleased of The Fame, Gaga opted to release the album separately, describing The Fame and The Fame Monster as “yin and yang”. From just eight songs, Gaga scored multiple massive-hits such as Bad Romance, Telephone and Alejandro. By this point in time, Gaga had become a house-hold name. I remember my friend telling me to download Just Dance back in 2008 or 2009. At that point in time, the name “Lady Gaga” was relatively unknown. A few years later, Lady Gaga had come to be idolized and practically worshipped by millions of fans throughout the world.
14-minute long, Marry the Night
Born This Way and Express Yourself Controversey
Lady Gaga, poised on the brink of world domination, prepared for the colossal release of her officially second studio album, “Born this Way”. Following intense promotion, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, sweeping with it a million-plus sales figure within one week. There had been some controversy stemming from a heavily-discounted sale by Amazon, where they offered the album for 99 cents, as a way of promoting their cloud drive. Subsequently, Billboard issued a release stating that “Unit sales for albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan. The rule also applies to reissued titles.” Thus it appeared that the sale by Amazon had hurt the diva more than help.
Born This Way, though successful, had not been as successful as little monsters hoped. After only two spending two weeks atop the charts, the album slipped to number two, arguably being hampered by its massive first-week sales figure. The title track, which premiered in a blaze of glory as the 1000th Billboard #1 was dethroned after five weeks on top. Controversy brewed when critics compared the sound of Born this Way to a Madonna track, Express Yourself. Gaga denied ripping off the artist, and accusations were flung about.
Gaga defended herself saying, “If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It's the same one that has been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first f*cking artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means I'm f*cking smart. Sorry.” Eventually Madonna finally broke the silence, remarking “When I heard it on the radio …I said that sounds very familiar.” In my own opinion, I would assume that Gaga had penned the sound, subconsciously drawing heavily on the Express Yourself song. When she presented the song, Gaga was so big in the business that no one wanted to contradict her and tell her that her song had already been sung. Thus the controversy was born. But if there is no controversy, the newspapers will have nothing to print, right?
Four other singles were revealed. Judas, Edge of Glory and You and I, all entering the top 10. In what I imagine to be a last failed attempt at securing another #1 hit, Marry the Night was released as a single, along with an over-the-top fourteen minute music video. Though many factors contributed to its lacklustre performance, Marry the Night was Gaga’s least successful single, peaking at number twenty-five on the charts.
Gaga - A Phoenix From the Ashes
Had the world grown tired of the extravagant Lady Gaga? I was appalled but had to consider the possibility. In my opinion, there had been too much of a good thing and the world had grown saturated of the antics of Queen Gaga. Did she have potential to return at number one again?
My first thought was that Gaga could do anything – she had proven herself as a powerful force in the music and entertainment world, and she was always preaching about overcoming obstacles. And then I realized that though she could do anything, it was up to the world to decide who was still relevant. She needed to take a break and let herself be missed. Slip off the radar, and allow the media homepages to be wiped temporarily clean of Lady Gaga. And then a year, or so later, re-emerge as a phoenix rising from the ashes… and under the guise of touring the world promoting her album, slip off the radar, she did.
Will the year off prove beneficial to Gaga? Can she once again make it to #1? My prediction is that the year off was necessary to allow the removal of some of the saturation that Gaga crowded the headlines with, one day and one stunt after another. So yes, the temporary lapse from the spotlight will help Gaga succeed once again. She will get at least one number one hit from this album, and she will spawn a number of very successful hits. There will be over-the-top performances, music videos and promotional stunts. Will it be worth it? Yes… Gaga is soon to hit the charts again… And hit it hard.
In my next article, I explore the direction Gaga intends to go with Artpop and why it might be too risky.