The Problem With... Lady Gaga's "Telephone"


So. We've had two weeks now to let the video for

Lady Gaga

's "Telephone" sink in. If nothing else, this provides a good opportunity for me to get at someone I've been meaning to talk about for a while now...

First off, what do I like about Gaga? A lot: She managed to single-handedly resurrect the European electro-industrial sound that was thought to have died years ago--and she gave it a huge audience. It delights me when I can drop knowledge to people about Lady GaGa's potential precursors and influences. "What's Liquid Sky you ask? IMDB it.

Now: What I don't like. The bad songwriting. Gaga markets herself as creative, dissident and, well, gaga--and it's astoundingly effective. So how can a mind like that get away with lazy songwriting such as "and I cannot text you with a drink in my hand," and the prolonged stutter after the chorus? I'll take corny phrases like "disco stick" if it means she doesn't have to write in interjections as filler for her songs, eh.

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In this video, Beyonce appears for a second time in less then a year in a song about phones with Lady Gaga. Seriously, Beyonce? You need to diversify your gadget purse. A radio would do you well. Oh, and will people stop saying "blowing up" in reference to a ringing phone?

Anyway, this lengthy video for "Telephone" was made by noteworthy director Jonas Åkerlund. But, in this case, his talents are brought down by fulfilling a bunch of music video tropes that make the video an overblown mash up.

Film references? Check. We all know who Quentin Tarantino is, thank you.

Stunt nudity that will guarantee the uncut version a spot on MTV at 1 a.m.? Check.

Gratuitous product placement? Check.

To the video's credit, the sequence of events in the diner scene insinuate that white bread and mayo are poisonous--and I happen to agree

As for the cigarette shades? I saw that coming.


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