7 Things Lady Gaga Fans Can't Stand Hearing, Because We're Loyal Little Monsters To The End
As a card-carrying member of the Lady Gaga fanbase, I admit that loving Gaga can be as empowering as it is difficult. On the one hand, I love being a Lady Gaga fan. She represents everything I want in a pop star: grotesque disregard for authority, adult expression of sexuality, and lyrics that add complicated depth to the entire affair. Yet, having reached such unbelievable heights of mass appeal so immediately in her career, the pendulum has swiftly swung the other way, and now people are falling over themselves to criticize her every move and chronicle her every failure.
Being a Lady Gaga fanboy/girl (fanperson?) can be extremely hard on the nerves. Sometimes, it seems like the whole world has turned its back on Gaga (and us with it). Although it can feel very lonely — and the smart thing to do would be to join the masses in the betrayal — our love and admiration remain because we know that we see something beautiful and special in Gaga that no one else can see. And even though that way of thinking is the textbook foundation for a complete mental breakdown, WE JUST CAN'T HELP IT! WE WERE BORN THIS WAY!
So, please, hear me out: these are the top seven things that you should just stop saying to Gaga fans. We're feeling very delicate, and if you continue to say these things to us we are just going to fall apart!
Sigh... Let's go ahead and shoot this one down right off the bat. Did Artpop do particularly well? Hard no. Compared to the previous runaway success of her first two albums, is it a significant and slightly embarrassing drop in market appeal? Yeah, kinda... But acting like Gaga's career has died because of one album is nonsense, largely because of her relationship with Arthur Fogel and international concert promoter Live Nation.
Gaga's live show is the real draw of her career, and it's here to stay. Like Madonna, whose contract with Live Nation guarantees her two more international tours, Gaga's is guaranteed to be an international icon for several years to come.
The album sold over 750,000 copies. What did you do today, exactly?
I'm sorry... I'm getting defensive... IT'S JUST THAT SHE WORKS SO HARD!
"Artpop didn't have any good songs."
I'll take "Duets With RuPaul" for 800, Alex.
"She can't sing."
What are you even talking about right now? Are you looking at what's actually happening in front of you and responding rationally or are you just making words for the hell of it?
"She's all flash, no heart."
"Bad Romance" is a brutally honest thesis on self-destructive codependence, AND IT MAKES MY SOUL ACHE!
"Lady Gaga is just a Madonna rip off."
There have been moments of homage, yes, but, overall, the comparison has always driven me insane. Madonna and Gaga are both pop stars who have taken great delight in using their music, body, and live acts to push boundaries. The similarities pretty much end there, however. Madonna, though an extremely talented dancer and performer in her own right, is selling a much different product. Madonna didn't write most of her earliest hits, her singing voice has never been the focus of her songs, and she's hasn't strayed from electronic dance tunes in fifteen years.
Gaga, on the other hand, plays like 48 instruments, has the voice of a cabaret singer, and frequently explores other genres and vocal stylings (especially lately). She even writes all of her own songs! Well, mostly. Which brings me to...
"She steals songs."
Okay, so this one can be sort of true... Mostly I'm referring to Madonna's accusations that Gaga explicitly copied her composition for "Express Yourself" in writing "Born This Way." Madonna has a point; in the above video from her MDNA tour, she splices together the two songs and the similarities are pretty uncanny. As a fan of both women, however, the criticism feels a little tone-deaf, as there have been similar accusations thrown at Madonna throughout her career. As with Gaga, it sometimes feels like there's a truth behind the criticism, but you know what else sounds like "Express Yourself?" "Vogue." Which also sounds a hell of a lot like like this:
So maybe let's all take a breather and cool it on the who-copied-who-and-when game while we get back to dancing.