She must qualify as the hardest working woman in showbiz, she's released another ridiculously melodramatic vid and now we’re OBSESSED with watching and re-watching Alejandro (Ale-Ale –jandro) Gaga; where would we be without you?
Directed by fashion photographer, W stalwart and longtime collaborator of Madonna, Steven Klein, it’s as slick, clinical and artificial as you could wish for (although we challenge you to watch the beginning bit where she makes her mini speech, then gasps and the bassline kicks in without a teeny shiver).
Klein has spoken on record about the making of, and the thoughts behind the epic promo "She likes epics. It fits her personality. We combined dance, narrative and attributes of surrealism. The process was to express Lady Gaga's desire to reveal her heart and bear her soul. On a music video there is never enough time. We had planned so much and achieved much of that, but of course some of it we were not able due to time constraints. The politics came out of the story, but was not the official intention."
Yes yes. There’s dance certainly, a narrative up to a point, but we suspect that the ‘surrealism’ part will niftily explain away any doubts from those who were hoping for a follow up to the ‘adventures in Gagaland' series, started by the Paparazzi and Telephone mini films. It’s much more of a conventional structure for a pop video, just with a huge coffin and human offal at the start and a flashback sequence at the end. All the rest is pretty much standard promo fare of choreographed muscle Marys, alternately dressed in knickers with stilettos and military uniforms.
Neither are the Lady’s costumes as barrier-cracking as previous efforts like the Jean Charles de Castelbajac gowns and cigarette goggles of Telephone or the McQueen fest of Bad Romance. In fact, she wears very little fabric in some scenes, and generally less face furniture and less makeup overall. AND her hair has shrunk away to a Purdey cut or slicked-down side parting. In one scene, which is very much an homage to Madonna in Vogue and Erotica, a black trouser suit appears! Even the debut of Gaga’s gun bra (yes, gun bra) doesn’t inspire much awe. We’ve obviously become very blasé about the sight of various items of hardware attached to Gaga's frontage.
The PVC nuns habit, rosary bead nibbling and widow’s weeds may attract a bit of half-hearted controversy on behalf of outraged spokespeople for the Catholic Church, like errr, Katy Perry who tweeted
“Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke.”
but really, anyone who thinks this video is trying to provoke the Church is deliberately missing the point. This video, like ALL her others is clearly about death.
We absolutely love it and think it gives a rather cheesy summery ditty a healthy does of menace and doomed passion. But what about you? Let us know if you think Gaga is stormin' or if it had you a-yawnin' . . . .
- Naomi Attwood