Lady GaGa performs mini-concert on ‘The Today Show’, could ‘Teeth’ be her next single?

Pop phenomenon Lady GaGa returned to her home city of New York yesterday morning, to host an early morning mini-concert on The Today Show. Tons of her “Little Monsters” gathered outside the night before for a spot of camping so that they wouldn’t miss the Lady next day. Of course, as we’re all aware, GaGa cares about her fans and went to the effort of buying pizza and water for them so they wouldn’t go hungry. All together now: AWWWW!

Despite, to quote the presenters, the “angels crying” (read: heavy rain) GaGa gave four knockout performances. And I just have to say that she looked great! Okay, the 1980s Madonna look might be questionable but she actually looked healthier than I’ve seen her in a long time. The gaunt and painfully thin frame she displayed in the Alejandro video is gone and replaced by a more curvier, smiling GaGa. She’s also ditched that forced ice-princess act, smiling regularly and chatting cordially with the presenters. There was also a huge lack of her usual gimmicks and over-the-top costumes which really let the 24-year-old’s talent shine through.

Clearly GaGa is in a very rock ‘n’ roll mood because aside from mega-hit Bad Romance and current single Alejandro, the rest of the set-list was all very jazzy, bluesy and rocky.

Kicking things off, GaGa performed the Broadway classic Someone To Watch Over Me before quickly transitioning into a shortened down version of Bad Romance. We were then introduced to the first super HQ live performance of You And I. The song will appear on GaGa’s third studio album, due out early next year and contains jazzy elements. Lyrically, it seems to allude to either her first time or her first love. GaGa then lifted her leg up on the piano keys, pounding away as she did so, this being a trademark of the Lady.

After You And I, GaGa performed Alejandro. Ditching the nun habit, it was a decent performance but she does not do a good Spanish accent. Plus GaGa’s live vocals are far more huskier and deeper than they appear on her studio music so I’m hoping she’ll explore more of these genre elements on Album #3.

To finish things off, GaGa performed what could potentially be her next single. According to the announcer, he said it was GaGa’s “single Teeth” but he might have just slipped up there. I personally love the gritty blues of Teeth but many people (including her fans) dislike this track, as its quite a departure from her usual sound. Still, to the casual GaGa fan, they’ve heard nothing but electropop and the odd piano acoustic track from her so it might be a chance to show off her versatility.

Teeth was my favourite performance of the set although I haven’t heard You And I enough yet so I’m liable to change my mind. What did you think of the mini-concert?

Usher pulls a ‘Fame Monster’ with new album ‘Versus’, Lady GaGa makes big impact on music industry

It looks like Lady GaGa really is making an impact on the music industry. Earlier this week she caused the higher powers behind the Grammys to change the rules when they failed to nominate her for ‘Best New Artist’ at the 2010 awards. Because she had already been nominated for the 2009 awards with ‘Best Dance Recording’ for her debut single Just Dance, Grammy rules stated that someone previously nominated could not be up for a ‘Best New Artist’ gong. Well after much outcry from the media and GaGa’s little monsters, the Grammys are officially changing the rules so this incident never happens again! 😛

Anyhow, the reason why I’m harping on about GaGa in an Usher post is because the eccentric singer appears to have inspired him into releasing albums in a similar way to her. Usher might have just released his sixth studio album Raymond V. Raymond at the end of March but he’s already promising a follow-up set for release on 24th August. Well, kind of. Versus, his seventh studio album, will be eight tracks long and act as a “sequel” and “final chapter” to Raymond V. Raymond. The album will be available as a standalone collection in some territories (read: US) and packaged alongside Raymond V. Raymond as a deluxe edition of the album in other territories (read: outside the US). Basically Usher has copied the whole The Fame Monster campaign.

The good thing is you get to hear the lead single from the new album, titled DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love. As you’d expect this is disposable dance-pop with cheesy lyrics but its much more listenable than Usher’s last lead single, the completely shit OMG. This is thanks to the Master of Pop Hooks, Max Martin, who makes this likeable despite a hideous Pitbull (not him again!) cameo.

Usher is continuing the release of multiple singles in the US, a tool he used for Raymond V. Raymond also. The Polow Da Don produced single Hottie Tottie (vomit) will be released to US radio on August 9th after DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love is released on July 20th. US single There Goes My Baby will also be remixed with a rent-a-rapper tacked on. Oh, when will people learn that nobody cares about guest raps anymore? DJ will probably act as the lead international single and follow-up to OMG but what happens to the release of Lil’ Freak which is just starting to get airplay on UK music channels?

Have a listen to DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love below and tell me what you think.

Single Reviews Diary 21 – 25th June 2010

After celebrating its 20 week anniversary last week, things are looking interesting for this week’s Single Reviews Diary. Not only is it the diary with the least singles reviewed to date (not necessarily a bad thing – for me!) at a mere 14 but it’s also. But quality over quantity and three quality dance divas are going head to head this week to see who has the best single – Kelly Rowland, Kylie Minogue or Lady GaGa. Perhaps most intriguing of all though is this piece of news… I am shocked to report this week that Justin Bieber is releasing a very good pop song. Read below to find out what’s happening the week of the 28th and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Single Reviews Diary 21 – 25th June 2010:

01. Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful

Bon Jovi - When We Were Beautiful (Radio Edit)
This track started off really promising but sort of fizzled out before momentum got going. Opening with some fanciful guitar work, pounding drums and brooding vocals from Jon Bon Jovi, I thought this would be another track to go alongside some of Bon Jovi’s classic power ballads but alas no! The chorus on this track is too weak, the “sha-la-la” shout along is corny and the lyrics are clichéd and written in several different forms by Bon Jovi already. This is a grower but will only be loved by the hardcore Bon Jovi fans.
3 STARS

02. Coronas: Someone Else’s Hands

The Coronas - Someone Else's Hands
The talented Irish band had a massive hit last year in their homeland with the up-tempo pop rock track
Listen Dear so can they manage it with the third single from their second album Tony Was An Ex-Con. This is the token power ballad from the album and to be honest, it’s a nice song, not top-notch and would probably be crap in the hands of a less talented band but is saved by the distinguishing and emotionally pierced voice of lead singer Danny O’Reily and the well written lyrics. I’d go back and listen to Listen Dear again (check it out, non-Irish readers). 3 STARS

03. Enrique Iglesias featuring Juan Luis Guerra: Cuando Me Enamoro

File:Cuando me enamoro single cover.jpg
This won’t get much attention next to the mainly English spoken (and terrible) single
I Like It but Enrique is actually releasing dual singles from his bilingual album Euphoria – one in Spanish and the other English. It’s actually a crying shame that this will be overlooked because I think it manages to capture the sound of Summer much better than the robotic I Like It. Okay so the song is completely in Spanish which is something of a language barrier but there’s plenty to keep you interested in this old fashioned mid-tempo duet. Iglesias and Guerra both have fine voices, the former’s making every girl’s heart melt with its swoon-worthiness while the latter adds a little more richness and maturity. Plus there’s the understated Spanish instruments such as maracas which give a lovely Summer evening vibe. Plus you’ve got to love the sensual “ooooh-oooh” hook. Who cares if you don’t understand the language? That certainly hasn’t stopped me from listening to many great Spanish records! 3.5 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
04. Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull and Lionel Richie: I Like It

File:Enrique-iglesias-i-like-it.jpg
This is probably one of the worst songs of the year. I will admit that Enrique’s music is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine and he sure knows how to vocally provide the catchy tunes, probably mostly due to his angsty voice (P!nk also does this) but a mildly repetitive chorus of “I Like It” followed by some Auto-Tuned muttering and a lot of Spanish gibberish is not going to cut it this time. Enrique enlists RedOne once again for his new track but RedOne’s sound is starting to sound old here – all his usual tricks are used – horns, bombastic synths, loud choruses and name-checking. But worse still because Enrique is Spanish, i.e. European, he has taken things further down a notch by giving it a really cheesy Eurodance Cascada-esque sound. Enrique’s voice is completely drowned out by ‘80s robotic Auto-Tuned effects as is the re-recorded Lionel Richie snippet from
All Night Long. Pitbull’s fast paced hyperactive rap is actually a lot of fun but amounts to nothing as it has nothing to do with the song at all. A terrible song like JLS’ The Club Is Alive which we’ll be snapped up by the public because Enrique is “soooooo totally hot” and “OMG! RedOne’s the producer and Nicole Richie’s dad is on part of it wiv that seriously cool rappa Pitbull!” 1 STAR

05. Futureheads: I Can Do That

I Can Do That
The follow-up to the Futureheads
Heartbeat Song definitely takes some major influences from 1970s punk. The repetitive chorus is very weakthough and the track definitely recalls the Sex Pistols, although a bit watered down and dull. It’s not exactly bad just nothing special. 2.5 STARS

06. Imelda May: Psycho

Imelda May - Psycho
The super talented and super sexy rockabilly singer Imelda May is back with a new single from her third album
Mayhem, released this September. The track has a global appeal and all Imelda needs is some good old promotion and attention to make it. The song has a great dirty feel to it with May providing her lusty, strong vocals as usual. It also features some top quality howling, the best use of howling in a song since Shakira’s She Wolf. It mightn’t be as instantly catchy as Johnny Got A Boom Boom but a terrific lead single none the less with a great video to match. 4 STARS

07. Justin Bieber featuring Usher: Somebody To Love (Remix)

File:Justin-Bieber Someb40D5FE8rev.jpg
For many people who have read my posts, it’s no secret that I’m no fan of Justin Bieber, the young guy having won two Stinker Awards for his smelly contributions in music, which includes the infantile
Eenie Meenie and the bland ballad (blandad?) Never Let You Go. But I am not a biased person and I will artists credit where credit is due and tell you all that Justin Bieber’s new single Somebody To Love is actually rather good. No, thankfully he didn’t cover Queen and STL is an original song that ropes in his mentor Usher. The song has some well crafted verses, a quiet grower of a chorus and some shiny, shiny production by production crew The Stereotypes. There’s a noticeable strain on Bieber’s puberty stricken voice on this track but he holds it up well and Usher more than makes up for it in the vocal department with his seductive crooning. The only part I don’t like is at the end when Usher says something and Bieber replies “Yeah man!” all smug. What we’ve got though is a decent dance pop smash that might just show Bieber has potential as a star. *avoids rotten fruit thrown at me by Bieber haters* 4 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
08. Kelly Rowland: Commander

Kelly Rowland / David Guetta - Commander
Can Kelly Rowland finally find true success as a popstar after going from yet another R&B vocalist to a fierce and fabulous dance diva? I think so and to do that, Kelly has teamed up with old pal and collaborator David Guetta, who she most noticeably worked with on last year’s dance smash
When Love Takes Over. I have a bit of a hit and miss relationship with Guetta but he certainly delivers on this track, providing a pounding baseline, wonky synths, huge rave-tastic beats and a futuristic sound. We can’t forget the star of the show Kelly, who provides a stunning vocal performance which even manages to outsing the sheer amount of Auto-Tune layered thick on her voice. The chorus is massive and soaring with Kelly conveying oodles of confidence. Lyrics like“The DJ is my bodyguard” and “There’s no-one here who does it like I does it” are a little cheesy not to mention grammatical murder but there all part of the song’s charm and I wouldn’t have them any other way. This is probably the best dance-pop track of the year exceeding all expectations in the vocal, production, catchiness and lyrical department. 5 STARS

09. Kid British: Winner

Kid British - Winner
Is retro back again? The band return with this soulful ska pop track that sounds like it came straight out of the 1960s. The song was included on the latest World Cup video game and it’s not surprising seeing as it’s got that upbeat marching feel to it and inspirational lyrics. A definite crowd pleaser for the returning band.
4.5 STARS

10. Kylie Minogue: All The Lovers

Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers
The sweet and sexy Kylie Minogue makes her comeback with this near-perfect little number. Normally, I’m not a Kylie Minogue fan at all but this track is just gorgeous. Featuring Kylie’s sweet, seductive, whispery vocals over a breezy bassline and gentle synths, this song is absolutely heavenly. Even though Kylie is pretty much saying that she’s been around the block before she met this incomparable guy, she manages to make her former promiscuity sound strangely romantic just like the accompanying video which sees a large orgy on the street. I have to dock half a point for the loud and squeaky synth breakdown towards the end but Kylie, we welcome you back to the throne as Queen of Pop!
4.5 STARS

11. Lady GaGa: Alejandro

File:Alejandro LG.png
RedOne is on production duties for the fifth single of eight in GaGa’s career but rather than recycle the same old beats like he’s being doing recently, the Moroccan DJ actually thinks outside the box and pays homage to Ace Of Base and Madonna during the
True Blue era with Ibiza friendly bouncy beats perfect for Summer. Pop megastar Lady GaGa continues this Latin theme by doing a bad Spanish accent, the occasional use of a Spanish word here and there and shooing off the attentions of Hispanic men Alejandro, Fernando and Roberto. The chorus is catchy, GaGa trades in her usual sexual innuendos for something tamer and the first minute of this track is pure pop magic. Sadly after that one minute, the remaining three minutes (seven in the bleak music video) just sort of plod along in repetition with the listener left thinking “How many times has she said Alejandro now?” While this is still a catchy pop song with a fun, sunny vibe (in contrast to the video), the track says everything it wants to say after one minute and doesn’t have the plentiful hooks that have become a staple of GaGa’s singles so far. The ‘90s Latin beats might be infectious, endearing and provide a bout of nostalgia but this lacks the pop power that every GaGa single before had (excluding Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) and LoveGame). 3.5 STARS

12. The National: Anyone’s Ghost

Anyone's Ghost
An atmospheric and brooding track from the shoe-gazing band. It starts off sounding like any old miserable rock track with poetic lyrics but once the guitar chords build up and the strings are added, the song takes on a subtle beauty which only increases as the song goes on. It won’t appeal to the mainstream but should keep National fans happy.
3.5 STARS

13. Skepta featuring Greg: Rescue Me

Rescue Me
Roll Deep member Skepta returns with a gritty dub-step track following the ravey Bad Boy. This song wouldn’t be anything without the chorus though – which is provided by Greg. The chorus is really strong despite its robotic sound – but that robotic sound reminds me of some singer (and not one of the many who are using Auto-Tune at the moment). It’s suitably angsty too and makes you listen to the lyrics which I guess is a subliminal way of getting you to love all the song. Not original but definitely better than former #1
Good Times. 3 STARS

14. The Unconventionals: Push The Button


I feared that these
X-Factor losers would do a cover of Sugababes 2.0’s song of the same name and I was right. However, my fears were unnecessary because this is surprisingly charming and catchy. The Unconventionals have given it a real ‘60s doo-wop makeover and it’s sung extremely well with some toe-tapping backing vocals. While its uncomfortable to hear a bunch of middle aged people use the slang of the old edgy Babes, it’s certainly not half as comfortable as listening to any of Sugababes 4.0’s material. 4 STARS

Could this be the anthem of our generation?

Lady GaGa might still be promoting her second album The Fame Monster, having recently released the Spanish tinged single Alejandro but it’s no secret that the bonkers popstar is working on her highly anticipated third album. Around a month ago, GaGa bragged that she had written ‘the anthem of our generation’. You can never accuse GaGa of having low self esteem.

Anyhow, it looks like this self proclaimed ‘anthem of our generation’ has surfaced online in the form of the song Then You’d Love Me. Clearly the track is still in demo form but interestingly enough, the song has a definite euphoric and anthemnic sense to it. Its a bit lacking in the bombastic hooks department, a trademark of GaGa’s, but I can definitely see this being huge once it’s produced to its full extent. It’s also great to see a little vulnerability in the Lady’s work. Doesn’t she seem awfully forlorn on this track which is only a good thing as I’m getting tired of her icy roboticness. What do you guys think? Do you hope it makes GaGa’s third album, set for release in 2011? It’s early days yet but I’m hoping it makes the cut!

Lady GaGa goes dark in the stunning ‘Alejandro’ video

It’s finally here! It seems that with every Lady GaGa video from now on, there’s going to be huge anticipation to see what the crazy yet talented singer will pull out with her next clip, Alejandro being released a few hours ago (incidentally the same date as Christina Aguilera’s Bionic – that should start a nice cyber war now 🙂 )!

Alejandro might sound like a Summery yet light hearted ode to unrequited love but of course GaGa twists it all on it’s head and does the complete opposite. Alejandro is probably her most foreboding, ice cold video yet – at 8.45 minutes, it sees GaGa use the video as a way of showing the Catholic Church’s  intolerance towards gay people as well as the army’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy” in relation to homosexuals in military. This video concept fits in lyrically with the song as Lady GaGa expresses her love for gay men but “can’t be with (them) anymore” because of their sexuality which they try and cover up by having orgies with GaGa. Screw my description! Read BBC Chart Blog’s (see Comment 630) regular commenter OddOne’s detailed analysis of what the Alejandro video is all about, for those scratching your heads.

Righto, I’m going to explain this video to everyone that’s either disgusted by this, indifferent, or simply fails to understand it.

BEWARE: LONG POST.

The soldiers in this video are meant to represent the gay, trans-gendered and bisexual men in this society that are ‘expected’ to be aggressive and fully masculine men. Them marching around in synchronized form represents the role that they’re expected to play in society – Always marching in a tight pattern, never meant to branch off from that gender role. However, as the video progresses, you see GaGa in and out of scenes, wearing these religious outfits. Those outfits are symbols for the intense religious Christian-Catholic backlash that the LGBT community experiences from religious zealots and how they say that “gays are going to hell”; “you need Jesus”; “being gay is a sin”, etc.

GaGa is not meant to be the focus of this video. GaGa is simply a symbol for how conflicting religion becomes when a gay man has to emotionally deal with accepting that he’s gay when his religion tells him that it’s a sin. GaGa is a modern symbol of the virgin Mary – a cold, religiously bound woman who cares about serving and satisfying Christ. That’s very blatant and evident in what she wears, the crosses in the background, her swallowing rosemary beads, and so on. As the video carries on, you GaGa being molested by many a man in a scene with various beds. These men are gay and this is why when the video ends, GaGa is praying, looking up to Heaven, and holding the rosary – she knows she’s going to hell because the bible condemns homosexuality and unfaithfulness – both of which she exercised in the course of the video, then we see her rot at the end of the video (presumably Satan coming to claim her).

Those beds are metaphors for what gay men experience when they’re trying to fight their homosexual thoughts from their fantasies when trying to sleep at night. During the day, society pressures them to act a certain way, to truly be the biased aggressive man. But as soon as they’re alone, even if they still ‘look’ manly and assertive, their feminine aspect of their sexuality comes to the forefront and they express their fantasies in the dead of night. Also stands for the millions of gays, transgendered and cross dressers that can only show their *true* selves at night when greater society isn’t watching. These few scenes are increasingly sexual in order to show the massive, heated underlying sexual conflict that gay men experience within themselves. It’s restless, monsterous and almost unbearable because society tells them that they shouldn’t express their feelings towards other men.

“Alejandro” is a metaphor for society’s gender role of the aggressive man that society yearns for.
The Nazi costumes are symbols that we are so bound to fulfill gender roles assigned by society to the point where we are psychologically placed into internment camps. Meaning that we’re forced to act a certain way in fear of being shunned, abandoned, alienated or ridiculed for our sexuality, especially because the Bible condemns it. When gay men get mixed up into that, they portray the Nazis in this video or simply ‘strong military men’ to once again show the roles that they’re expected to play by culture’s eyes to avoid discrimintation.

GaGa is a symbol of how mainstream Christianity and Catholicism religions see the LGBT community. The funeral scene represents the Catholics ‘killing’ men who go against what the Catholic religion teaches, which is why GaGa, as a bisexual woman herself, leads to procession in mourning. She is carrying presumably the nailed heart of (presumably) the man in the coffin to represent the treatment of gays: the Catholics would burn their lovers with in turn would be like nailing the remaining lovers’ heart, GaGa depicts here.

The continuous emphasis on showing one man as ‘Alejandro’ with a scene of a riot playing behind him represents how, despite his throbbing sexuality – he must fulfill his role as a ‘man’ by staying silent as he listens to riots break because if he were to speak out, a huge number of people would discriminate him.

There’s a lot to be learnt from this video, like how many flaws the Catholiuc religion actually has (it’s not okay to be gay [Leviticus] yet when it says you can’t eat meat on the Sabbath [Genesis], it’s okay to ignore that rule), and indeed how hard it must be for gay men to be confident about their sexuality, especially in a society like ours.

But yes one point I can see coming up is “but it has nothing to do with the song…” Well, yes, you’re right but also wrong – the song is about Lady GaGa’s “Fear of Sex Monster”, and so in the song she is proclaiming she wants to love this man but knows she can’t – “Don’t call my name… I’m not your babe”, because he is gay and it’s against her religion (as the Virgin Mary).

EDIT: OddOne has more to say about the multi-layered video.

BEWARE AGAIN: LONGER THAN LAST INTERPRETATION (the first part is just explaining the symbols used. Then it develops into explaning the video again… Sorry… Couldn’t help myself).

The soldier holding the gold gun to his groin, tied up with string:

This is to symbolise that despite being a soldier (probably the most masculine occupation in the world) the man who was borne of Adam’s loins is still the image of God, as Adam was 2000 years ago. But even so, he is yielding this gun: he has the power to ‘be God’ by having the ability to take life with the gun, but he is tied up with string. A large nod toward the fact that Catholics can sometimes just end up as God’s ‘puppet’s.

Lady GaGa swallowing the rosary beads:

Steven Klein has defended this by saying it’s her “desire to take in the Holy”. GaGa probably does this because she is trying to cleanse herself after being unfaithful and homosexual, which is condemned by the Bible so ultimately, she is seeking forgiveness.

The bowl haircuts:

These haircuts were chosen because of their unisexuality. Both men and women ‘work’ this style which is why wee see GaGa with very-short bob and the men with bowl/mullet cut – so the gender roles swapping throughout the video are supported with the unisexuality.

The inverted crucifix around GaGa’s crotch on her cream habit:

An inverted crucifix is a sign of an atheist, or someone who believes they are not worthy of the Lord’s respect (hence why St. John I think, asked to be crucified upside down). By placing it on her crotch, GaGa is implying she is caught between her religious boundaries and her sexual desires. Whilst you could also argue it’s to do with her chastity as a nun.

BIG JUICY BIT: The gradual switching of male and female roles within the video:

At the start, we see a soldier in a Cabaret bar in fish-nets and stilettos. This is an indication of what is to come, would you not agree?

But when the ‘real’ video starts, the men are marching, imitating the marching style of the Nazi Party, – probably a big one-fingered salute to the fact the Nazis condemned homosexuality as well – this shows the men at their most masculine (as I mentioned before, they are soldiers; it is seen as a very masculine occupation which also discriminates homosexuality) and we then see GaGa playing the role of a forlorn woman leading a funeral procession. Female playing female, male playing male.

Later on, we see the roles switch slightly – God would see the men as patrons of himself and woman as a lesser being which is why it is peculiar to see a sexually dominant woman in the scene with the three beds. GaGa is dominating the sex that is depicted by the Bible as the greater sex (which is why at the time of the Lord only men became educated; became priests, scholars, astronomers etc.) this is a seriously mis-understood scene – people just see it as GaGa being a bit promiscuous with three gay men, but as you can see now, it’s much more than that, and a hint that nowadays we live in a society where women can be dominant over males: which goes against the Bible’s teachings; the Bible also discriminates homosexuality, so why do people in today’s society believe a woman can be dominant over a man yet same-sex couples are “going to Hell”?

Continuing with this theme: throughout the video gender becomes erroneous and subsidiary, and sports the theory that we are defined by our soul, not by our body.

Once the video becomes black and white, a sequence where GaGa sports a suit, the men come marching out with dignity in every stride like the beginning, but this time with a feminine flair, as if they were on a cat-walk. Know the scene? Well this is where the gender roles really get mixed up, because GaGa is wearing the suit, and the men are modelling the designer clothes – this is mirroring the swapped gender roles in today’s society and how men are no longer bound to do ‘manly’ things and vice versa. And in that light, it comically exploits the fact that military groups discrimination homosexuals, and were even targeted and killed by Nazis. It’s this play on gender and sexuality that makes ‘Alejandro’ a social message to the masses.

After that scene, a dance sequence follows with the now very feminine ‘soldiers’ with GaGa centre-stage. Many a GaGa hater will see the gun-bra as a healthy nod towards Madonna’s con bra from the 80’s. But it’s now clear that she is not just dominating these men sexually and religiously, she is now dominating them militarily by closing off her woman-hood with air-rifle shafts.

And now, for something a little different… it seems that all this is good and proper and gets the message across after HOURS and HOURS of observing the symbols but GaGa, being GaGa, has to put her own spin on it, which she does. Very, VERY cleverly.

After watching the video a good 50 times, you can see GaGa and Klein set up multiple characters in the video, each one with an important purpose: the Tyrant, the Widow, the Nun, the Rebel, and finally, and most importantly: the Human Being.

The Tyrant represents government, politics, and modern society. The widow is a tragic, mourning woman, perhaps a simple glance to the realities of war. However, it’s through the other four characters does her story and the real meaning of the video come to the foreground.

The Nun is a quintessential figure of maternity, she sacrifices her womb and God-given ability to give birth for a devout religious following of the Lord. She is shown praying and then symbolically swallowing a rosary. While this can be interpreted many ways, I think we can all agree that it’s really quite simple: she is swallowing religion; her beliefs, and what she was raised to be in order to liberate herself from the depths of Satan and the temptations he presents to her in the form of lust. By swallowing the rosary it is not blasphemous in any way, she is just accepting her religion back into her body; cleansing it or purifying it if you like.

There is a sequence within the video that I first thought was completely pointless and would probably end up being edited out for TV viewing. You can definitely quote me now that although the musicality leaves a lot to be desires, the clip is actually integral to the video’s plot.

She repeats the chorus “Alejandro, Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro” over and over again in a near hypnotic way and is seen wearing a leather jacket. As you can imagine, this is the Rebel. This repetitive chant of “Alejandro” is quite simply, a call to arms. Showing clips of revolt and terror in the background enforces her message that as a society we must fight for change; we must all fight for equality of cultures, orientation, etc. because even though it may seem as if homosexuals are more accpeted than they were in the days of Jesus, there’s still a large majority within the world with relatively archaic points of view.

Which leaves us finally with GaGa as a Human Being. In this look, she is androgynous. She is neither male nor female. Her message of equality has changed and developed into simply existing harmoniously and indifferently, as a message that we should all do the same.

Deep stuff.

I think OddOne should have his own blog! 😀

So it the video any good? You bet it is! In fact, I think it’s the best video of her career so far, even surpassing the near flawless Bad Romance video. Alejandro is my second least favourite track on The Fame Monster (my worst being So Happy I Could Die) so the video has really heightened my enjoyment of the song.  Even though, the clip is yet another  mini movie, the song’s flow isn’t interrupted by head scratching dialogue like the Telephone video. Instead we get an ominous yet stylistic intro and the extension of the middle-eight. The cinematography, at the hands of renowned fashion photographer and music video director Steven Klein, is absolutely stunning, dark, icy and cinematic. GaGa’s choreography is also really up to scratch and it’s amazing to see how far the Lady has come since her Just Dance days when she was just like every other popstar on the block.

However, the Alejandro video is not without its flaws. Perhaps Lady GaGa is raising the bar to high, with every video she releases, it becomes more and more of a talking point, more and more of an event. I wouldn’t mind her doing an average enough pop video. She’s touring ’til April 2011, surely there’ll be a time where she just won’t have the energy to a huge video as she continues to promote her music career. That’s a very small criticism though as I appreciate her hard work and will to keep her fans happy.

More major is GaGa’s looks, while she dons a Madonna-esque look (and their elements of Like A Prayer and Vogue), GaGa is just far too skinny. I initially did fancy her when she toned down the costumes a bit but she actually looks rather hideous to me at this present time. Get some burgers in you, Germanotta.

Also – controversy. Naturally she loves it – but do you really have to bring sex into every video while also basically shunning your Catholic upbring. I appreciate the message she’s trying to convey and by no means am I defending some of the hypocritical or intolerant behaviour of the Church (and other organised religions) – but it’ all a bit Madonna isn’t it? A bit too much like her.

Anyways despite its flaws, GaGa is a breath of fresh air in the music industry today and will probably rival Michael Jackson and Madonna in 30 years time! If she lives that long? Anyone else think the Lady’s gone a bit twisted and wants to become iconic like the classic stars of yesteryear she worships, such as Marylin Monroe, and die tragically early? Sorry random musing.

Check out the Alejandro clip below. The single is available for download Worldwide now. What do you think? I think opinion’s going to be very hit-and-miss!

T.I. makes comeback with new Keri Hilson assisted single ‘Got Your Back’

Recently released from prison, T.I. is wasting no time with his eagerly anticipated comeback to the music industry. After releasing the rather brilliant ‘buzz single’ I’m Back a few months ago, the Georgian MC is here with the lead single from new album King Uncaged.

Produced by DJ Toomp and featuring Keri Hilson, the track Got Your Back is a decent but hardly groundbreaking urban pop rap tune that should do reasonably well. I have a feeling it will be a real grower in fact.

T.I.P. has also collaborated with woman of the moment, Lady GaGa for the RedOne produced song Lick It. The album will be released on 17th August and will feature other collaborations with Eminem, The-Dream and Trey Songz.

You can listen to Got Your Back below:

Singles Reviews Diary 6 – 12th March 2010

It’s getting even earlier and earlier…but I have my reviews for singles being released on Monday this week. Cos I’ll most likely be busy. It’s a whopping 37 singles I’ll be covering this week (all though not all of them will be major releases).

As per usual, here are my thoughts on all major singles being released next week on:

Singles Reviews Diary 6 – 12th March 2010:

01. All Time Low: Lost In Stereo
Nothing remotely original about this at all, but if you’re like me and into you’re uptempo emo cuts, you’ll love this.
2.5 STARS

02. Ash: Dionysian Urge
I only continue to review/mention singles from Ash’s
A-Z Series because I’m pedantic and can’t bare to leave them out. This is Single Letter L so there’s still a bit to go until Ash finish this project and hopefully release something a little more hyped up. If you like Ash, then you won’t mind spending 99p/99c on this single. 3 STARS

03. Band Of Skulls: I Know What I Am
A big stomping garage rock tune from the up and coming British rock band. It has a great chorus and if radio picks it up, it could be a big hit for the group.
4 STARS

04. Black Eyed Peas: Imma Be
Seeing as the futurtastic
Imma Be Rockin’ That Body mash-up video seems to be getting a nice amount of airplay on the music channels, there is a small chance this song might chart in its own right. Really, its probably a good thing that this song is only being officially released over in North America, because this wouldn’t be an ideal single on this side of the Atlantic. This song is very hit and miss. Like previous hit My Humps, you’ll either find this very catchy, very irritating or both. The BEP repeat the words Imma Be about 100 times throughout this song, they show off some urban swagga, send out messages of positivity (yet again!) and the whole thing has that schizophrenic quality that a lot of tracks on The E.N.D. have, changing tempo about 3 times throughout. If you like what you hear, then get downloading. If not then, don’t.2.5 STARS

05. Black Eyed Peas: Rock That Body
The Black Eyed Peas go all Daft Punk on this David Guetta produced track. While not instantly accessible or poppish as
I Gotta Feeling and Meet Me Halfway, this pulsating electro tune is rather brilliant. Definitely one of the better songs to dance to in a club, this single fits best with The E.N.D.’s futuristic theme. My only concern is a lack of normal voiced Fergie (she been swallowing far too much helium on this song) but the Black Eyed Peas seem to be unstoppable this year with everything they touch turning to chart gold. 4 STARS

06. Cheryl Cole: Parachute
Like
Fight For This Love, this sounds terrible at first. However, after a few listens, this quickly infiltrates your brain until you don’t mind hearing it anymore. I wouldn’t give it 5 stars but this is a pleasant enough listen. Good stuff although ironic at this for Mrs. Cole/Ms. Tweedy. 4 STARS

07. Chris Brown: Crawl
Poor old Chris. Is his career on the downfall because of what he did to Rihanna or is it because his latest LP
Graffiti a substandard bland affair. Good points out of the way first, this has a lovely sparse intro and the strings are suitably dramatic. The video is also rather good too. But this is a ballad that is so generic, so bland, so lacking in any identity with its lyrics and vocals that any R&B singer could have pulled it off. I know I’d much rather listen to Jason Derulo sing this song. 4 STARS

08. Chris Brown featuring L.A. The Darkman: In My Shoes
As well as promoting
Graffiti, Brown has also released the mixtape In My Zone. As you’d expect, this just sounds like an underground version of I Can Transform Ya. Chris sings about a girl with a nice ass and a skinny little waist. Wow, Chris you’ve convinced us all, you’re so ghetto. L.A. The Darkman shows up for the customary rap.1 STAR

09.Craig David: One More Lie (Standing In The Shadows)
For his new album
Signed Sealed Delivered, Craig David will sample old Motown classics and give them a modern twist. On this new single from the album, he delivers by sampling The Funk Brothers Standing In The Shadows over some ravey production. To be honest, I’m done with Craig David. I don’t like his voice and I don’t like any of his new material. This is okay, I can’t see it being a huge hit. 2.5 STARS

10. Delphic: Halycon
The Teens Decade’s (2010-2019) answer to New Order return with this brilliant new single. Like their criminally underselling previous single
Doubt, this takes a few listens to reach its full catchy potential. Hopefully this charts better than Doubt. 4 STARS

11. Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy: I’m Goin’ In
I really like Drake. I really don’t like crude slimy Lil Wayne and horse voiced Young Jeezy. They make an otherwise underground solid hip-hop track less enjoyable.
3 STARS

12. Drake: Over
After months of releasing mixtapes and appearing on other peoples’ records, Drake releases his first proper single from his first proper album. Things look promising with this track, a moody and brooding “fuck you” to all his detractors. Despite cracking the Top 30 in the US, this is more alternative but the wonderful production should see it get some mainstream attention.
4 STARS

13. Elaine Doonan and Pete Fagan: Haiti Child
Another week, another Haiti single. This is a nice yet unextraordinary live acoustic cover by little known Irish singers.
2 STARS

14. Erykah Badu: Window Seat
Wow just discovered this girl and wow she is good! With lovely silky vocals and a smooth R&B production, she sounds like a modern day Macy Gray.
4.5 STARS

15. Glee Cast: Don’t Make Me Over
Jennifer Hudson Junior is perfect for this retro styled cover of the soulful Dionne Warwick track. A great way to start of this week’s episode Hairography.
3.5 STARS

16. Glee Cast: Papa, Don’t Preach
Again, another epic cover by the Glee Cast. Pregnant Cheerleader is perfect for this acoustic cover of Madonna’s 1986 smash. Her voice works so well with this song.
3.5 STARS

17. Glee Cast: Imagine
The Glee Cast are on a roll this week, this is an actually amazing heartwarming cover of the John Lennon classic.
5 STARS

18. Glee Cast: Bootylicious
Glee goes Destiny’s Child with this karaoke rendition. Probably the weakest cover in this week’s episode.
2.5 STARS

19. Glee Cast: True Colors
The Quirky Girl With The Fake Stutter gets her chance to shine with her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s
True Colors. Its perfectly fine but Quirky Girl hasn’t a very distinguishable voice. I would have much preferred if she cover “Puh-puh-puh-poker face, puh-puh-puh-poker face”. 3 STARS

20. Glee Cast: Hair/Crazy In Love
This is another amazing mash-up by
Glee and it features my two favourite characters – The Wheelchair Guy and Jennifer Hudson Junior. It’s brilliant and is the most likely tune to break the chart next week. Hairography is an episode you do not want to miss. 4.5 STARS

21. Groove Armada featuring Will Young: History
Very ’80s and very good. I must go out and buy Groove’s new album
Black Lightsoon…and I recommend you do too. 4.5 STARS

22. Jamie T: Emily’s Heart
Jamie T is a wonderful songwriter and this single from sophomore album
Kings And Queens showcases that perfectly. Sounds a bit like The Streets. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
23. Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston: Eenie Meenie
I was going to award Stinker of the Week to Justin Bieber’s other song but I decided that this promo single is even more dire. This is a joint collaboration from the tween…sorry teen…heartthrob and the irrelevant Jamacian singer/rapper. Built around the juvenile “Eenie Menie Minie Mo” rhyme, Sean and Justin sing about an “eenie meenie mo lover” (sounds explicit for someone whose not legal yet) and refer to her as “shawty” throughout the song. Yeah guys, cos ye are so tall. This song is terrible. Terrible. Boring R&B. Has a Summery vibe but still crap. Has to be heard (for free) to realise how terrible it is.
1.5 STARS

24. Justin Bieber: Baby
I have nothing personal against the Biebmeister but if he continues to release such generic R&B junk, I’m gonna keep up my criticisms. This, for me, is worse than
One Time. The chorus is just a lazy man’s way of being catchy, repeating “Baby” over and over again. Justin’s voice also sounds weak on the chorus. Ludacris turns up to spit out some uninspired verse about his tweenhood. Can I ask why cool rappers like Ludacris and Drake (who appears in the video) want to hang around with a bunch of 15-year-olds? Like come on! 2 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
25. Lady GaGa featuring Beyoncé: Telephone
GaGa might be pretentious and fond of using gimmicks but you can’t deny her talent, creativity and her knack for writing some amazing pop songs. This will hopefully be GaGa’s fourth Number 1 in the UK. Originally written for Britney Spears, it’s a good thing GaGa held on to this for herself because only she could pull off the restrained harp backed intro and outro, the speedy club friendly production and sirens, the countless number of hooks and the fast paced verses. Beyoncé almost steals the show with her raspy verse, but after her being the lead artist on their last collaboration
Video Phone(which was a real stinker), it’s only right that Lady GaGa shines on this much better offering from the pair. 5 STARS

26. LIGHTS: Ice
Yes! A brand new find! A much cooler, female version of Owl City. LIGHTS is a one woman band who writes and plays her own New Wavey electropop tunes. Sounds like a bit like
Blackout Britney. 4 STARS

27. Major Lazer featuring Vybz Kartel: Pon De Floor
This combines rave and dancehall quite effectively. Great production but we’ve heard it all before.
3 STARS

28. Michael Bublé: Cry Me A River
Housewife favourite Michael Bublé returns with the second single from his crazy selling album
Crazy Love. The intro to the Canadian crooner’s new song is epically dramatic and his voice is very powerful but this ballad doesn’t really go anywhere. Could be a nice James Bond theme. 2.5 STARS

29. Paloma Faith: Upside Down
Paloma changes pace with the third single from her brilliant debut album,
Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? After teary eyed ballads like Cold Stone Sober and New York, this is a much more lively track from the multi-talented soul artist. 4 STARS

30. Rod Stewart: (You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
Rod Stewart releases this solid but really unnecessary cover of the Jackie Wilson classic. Rod Stewart fans will lap it up but for everyone else, this will hardly be a blip on your radar.
1.5 STARS

31. Rowetta Howett: Beautiful Lies
Anyone remember Rowetta? Nope neither did I! She got to the Final 9 (yup, it was the Final 9 as opposed to the Final 12 back in those dark days) of the first ever series of
The X-Factor. She was also the first to be knocked out of those live finals. Her debut single is actually rather nice, nothing out of this World. Showcases that she has talent though. 3 STARS

32. Rox: My Baby Left Me
Much like Noisettes
Don’t Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go!), this could be a massive crossover hit if it gets enough airplay. A super catchy soulful indie track! 4.5 STARS

33. Skepta: Bad Boy
A slicky produced grime track. Much like Rox, this could be a massive crossover hit. Much better than Tinie Tempah, in my opinion.
3 STARS

34. Snoop Dogg: Rida Man
Snoopie samples the
Spiderman theme in this novelty promo single. I like it but its nothing amazing. 3 STARS

35. Snoop Dogg: I Wanna Rock
A solid old skool hip-hop track that samples Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s 1988 song
It Takes Two. It Takes Two is popular this week has the Black Eyed Peas have also sampled the song for Rock That Body. But while Black Eyed Peas shoot to the future, Snoop sticks to keeping the song in the past. 3 STARS

36. Three 6 Mafia vs. Tiësto featuring Flo Rida and Sean Kingston: Feel It
Wow, I’m pleasantly surprised that a song featuring my “two favourite artists” Sean Kingston and Flo Rida could be so good. Thanks to Tiesto’s fast paced production, this is a great club banger and driving song combined. Love it!
4 STARS

37. T.I.: I’m Back
T.I.’s comeback from prison song. I like T.I.’s so I won’t knock this too much but we’ve heard this kind of track from him (and many other rappers) many times before.
3.5 STARS

38. Timbaland featuring Bran’Nu: Meet In Tha Middle
Timbaland continues to release promo singles from his poor selling
Timbaland Presents Shock Value II album. This is a really great rap track and has that old skool feel of some of his earlier tunes. Brandy (of Moesha fame) also shocks by unleashing her rapping alter ego Bran’Nu and she’s just fantastic at it. One of the few artists who can rap as well as they sing. 3.5 STARS