Lady Gaga: The Fame Monster
Lady Gaga: The Fame Monster
Format: CD, Vinyl, Streaming, Digital Download
Release Date: November 18th, 2009
Album Number: 2
Reviewer: KT (Green) and Comie (Pink)
Intro- The Fame Monster was an instrumental album for Gaga and the future for her career. This album was also following the change of pop music and how electropop was becoming the forefront and everyone including Gaga was jumping onto the trend of being more dance inspired. The album also made Gaga a household name and showed that she was growing with her artistry and kept climbing the charts and showing that she was a Monster when she wanted to show her fame and how everyone could be famous in some way shape or form. The Fame Monster is a cultural icon for the late 2000’s and it was going to show how she would reshape the 2010’s and just say Lady Gaga is here to stay.
The Album- This is Gaga’s 2nd album but it comprises of a reissue of her 1st album but the new songs make an EP on their own. The big thing on this album is that she was talking about her fears being in the music industry. Fear of Sex, Fear of Love, Fear of Alcohol and many more. It was an introspective album of what she had gone through in a year and a half of being famous and having a life inside all that fame. She didn’t want to make a whole different record. She sees this album as a continuation and a more of the story is told, she wanted to show that Fame has a bad side to it and she has a lot of fears and she can’t always control them. I remember when I first heard this album, I couldn’t stop listening to it and I became a part of my life and my teenage years and how my music tastes was molded into what I love today. This was a growth and showing that she can make some good music and make an impact for her fans and show that she will be able to liberate them and make them feel free to be who they want to be an just be happy at the end of the day. Plus, the tour supporting this album was one of her biggest tours of her life and made her realize how monumental her career was going to be. I had a fear of monsters but now I know that there is only one monster in my life. And that is Mother Monster.
1. Bad Romance- This song was the 1st single released for the record. The song is about having a love for someone who you know is bad for your health and soul and you just crave their bad romance and just want to be with them and do not care about the repercussions of what might happen for you in your future. I remember when this song came out and it had the rah rah’s throughout the beginning of the song and it was catchy but a bit annoying. But now I love that part. It is so different and showing that you can make almost any sound in the studio and sample it to make a beat. The video was even weirder. The video shows Gaga in a Russian bathhouse in the future and she is being sold to a mob boss and the guy bought her and she is about to share her body before he gets lit on fire and dies and she lies in the bed with his remains and she had this glow bra that was sparking and very Gaga. In a way the video was showing a raw side of herself and showing how men can be so possessive in the relationship and she doesn’t care cause she loves it.
KT- I thought this song was so amazing and it got me through a few rough patches in my teenage years and it was an anthem to sing and just makes you want to dance and have fun and not think about anything except singing a Lady Gaga song. Very dance driven and the video makes you wonder what is going through Gaga’s mind and just makes you floored away with her visuals.
Comie- This song was the very first Lady Gaga song I had ever heard, and it got me on board the Gaga train right off. It’s a fun song and quickly gets stuck in your head. Even a decade later I still catch myself humming the tune in my head. The music video is intriguing as she and her dancers go through a plethora of different costumes that are all so varied you have to watch it multiple times to catch all of the details. I like the uniqueness of the visuals and the sound of the song itself. It was definitely a fabulous way to be introduced to the Lady herself.
2. Alejandro- This was the 3rd single from this EP. This song has a very different vibe for me, I have a hard time really putting my finger on it. That’s not a bad thing at all. It makes me think of earlier generations, like the 20s or 40s with the horns and imagery in the video, which includes flapper hairstyles and sets that remind me of Gatsby crossed with steampunk. I get the feeling this song is about breaking up the way she insists her name not be called, that she isn’t his babe. She mentions being young so I assume it may be about love that. Happened too soon and she needs time to grow in her life before she settles down just yet. The song is mellow while still having some more up-tempo moments in the chorus, and the video is sexy and risqué as is standard flair for Gaga.
3. Monster- This song is about Gaga dealing with the fear of a guy with a big penis and how she always falls in love with a monster. Not a literal monster but a bad boy. She realizes she needs a more stable relationship and she needs to have someone that is safe and secure. This song is very dance driven and it definitely gets you thinking about being in the club and just dancing your worries away and just having fun and not thinking about the guy that treats you like crap and knowing that he does and just do not care. I love this song so much and I love singing it and just belting it and doing he adlibs and I remember when Gaga first performed it live on the Oprah Winfrey show, I loved it so much and I couldn’t wait to hear the studio version. One of my favorites on the album.
4. Speechless- This song was never released as a single but Gaga wanted it to be released as one. The song is about her dad not going to get a surgery to save his life cause he is stubborn and Gaga said that she would never talk again or sing again cause he left her speechless and she just wants him to go and get the help he needs. The song is very piano and rock based and it is very slow. It doesn’t really have much if a beat to it but it is the slowest song on the record and it is supposed to be that way. The song isn’t my favorite but it shows off Gaga’s voice and how it is a vulnerable moment for her and that she just needed to channel those emotions into the song and get the message to her dad and he finally listened. So I am glad her music can change people’s lives and make them remember they are all people at the end of the day.
5. Dance In The Dark- This song was the 4th single from the EP. She didn’t make it a video but it did become a single and a fan favorite. The song is about a girl who likes to have sex with the lights off because she is embarrassed with her body and she doesn’t want to show the guy how raw and vulnerable she can be. The song is a very up-tempo dance track. This song shows off a lot of synths and auto-tune and I love those parts of the song the most. Auto-tune doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. There are ways to make your voice sound so cool and make you sound completely different and make you sound like form another planet or universe. This song should have gotten a video but I love it so much. It does give shoutouts to many celebrities and their lives tragically ending like Marylin Monroe, Judy Garland, Sylvia Plath and many more. Very fun song.
6. Telephone- This song was the 2nd single from the album. The song was originally made for Britney Spears and she was supposed to use it for her comeback, but it didn’t make the final cut. So Gaga took the song back and made it a duet with Beyonce and it became another pop culture event especially the music video. The song is about working too much and wishing she could go out and have a good time. The song is also very dance pop and it definitely a club song and gets you moving out of your seat. The video was a continuation from the Paparazzi video. She gets out of jail and goes with Beyonce and kills her boyfriend and an entire diner and then they drive away in the Pussy Wagon from Kill Bill and it ends with To Be Continued. The video had a director’s cut where they joke about Lady Gaga having a penis which was a big controversy when she was becoming famous. The video is visually stunning, and it is very pop and just fun and makes you want to dance.
KT- The song has such a meaningful place in my heart, and I will forever love this song. Around this time, I was figuring out who I was wanting to listen to for the rest for my life and this song and video made me a Gaga fan and I will always love this song. This song also showed me that dance music is one of my favorite genres of music plus the video changed my view of Gaga and how she makes movies instead of music videos.
Comie- The first time I heard this song was a cover on Glee, and I immediately wanted to hear the real deal. Gaga and Beyonce killed it, trading verses back and forth. It’s high energy and belongs in every club. The music video is an epic tale all its own. It was the first one of hers that I had seen that was so long and told a coherent story, and I loved it. It was different and fun and unique, which are words I often attribute to Gaga because nothing else describes her better. I’m a little disappointed we never got to see a conclusion to the tale but it is definitely one of her most memorable videos. The song itself is easily in my top five Gaga songs.
7. So Happy I Could Die- This song is about Gaga’s fear of addiction and alcohol and not being able to cope with reality and just wanting to drink and get high to get through the day. Being those things for her was a happy place in a way. She enjoyed being that way and never wanted to stop. The song is very synth driven and it has a soft beat that can be heard in the chorus and it is very catchy. I love the song so much. I remember when I first heard the song, I wasn’t a fan because I thought all I wanted to hear was dance pop music, but my music tastes have grown and I gave it another shot and I love the song now. When she would perform it live, she would wear a dress called The Living Dress. It would move as she would move. So it had moving parts and it was beautiful. The song is very well sung and I like how she is able to bare her soul and show that she is not perfect but she is working through those struggles.
8. Teeth- I’m not sure where to start with this song, it has such a different sound to it. Again it brings me back to a early decades range with the background music, but she exudes a confidence in her singing here that is aggressive and cheeky. I get from it that it is about wanting to see someone’s bite, as in their sassiness. Baring one’s teeth is seen as forceful and domineering in many cultures both human and animal, and of course we have the saying about someone’s bark being worse than their bite. I think here Gaga is saying she wants to see that bite, that sassiness and the walk that you talk. I wouldn’t consider this song something to dance to, nor one of her strongest pieces but the different sound to the music makes it worth a listen.
9. Bad Romance (Starsmith Remix)- This version of the song is more club than the original and it distorts her voice and makes her sound like a robot in a way. The song doesn’t change much except the music. The core of the lyrics and the message stays the same. I like the remix but I think this one is more of a filler track for the EP and just to make it an EP and not a full length album.
Cover Art- The cover art for the standard edition of the EP is Gaga in dark brown or black hair with her eyes also black and she is crying black tears and it is showing that she I very upset. She looks naked also, but her hair is covering everything. The deluxe is her in a black coat with a blonde wig with bangs and she is covering her mouth with the coat. I like the standard version better, but it is a more structured shoot and it is very sensual but very Gaga and I love it so much.
Overall Rating- I would give this album a 5 out of 5 because I like basically all the tracks in some way shape or form. I think it was a good way to wrap up The Fame era. I thought it was a good way to show the dance element in most of the songs and how she wanted to make her album more personal and show her fears and show that she will get through those trials but she is a very versatile artist and she usually doesn’t do the same thing twice. But this record was so monumental for the end of 2009 and to start a new decade. The Fame Monster is here to stay for good as is for Gaga.
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