lady stardust

I love Lady Gaga. The first time I noticed her was when I heard 'Love Game' on the radio. My ears perked up in a way they typically don't for pop. It was approximately the same reaction I had the first time I saw a Garbage video on MTV (back when they showed videos) and that gut reaction has lied to me seldom if at all. In both of those cases, the flavor of the albums which those singles were drawn from was every bit as outstanding as those first bites.
Over the years, Lady Gaga has drawn much respect for her very real pipes and the way she is able to overtly channel influences while still making it her own. As the reigning queen of outrageous megastars, she could've used the stage at Super Bowl 50 for another stunt, but instead delivered a classy rendition of the national anthem which would've brought tears to the eyes Teddy Roosevelt.
It is therefore with great sadness that I must concur with the assessment of Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie, that her tribute to the late, great music icon at the Grammy Awards was:


‘Overexcited or irrational, typically as a result of infatuation or excessive enthusiasm; mentally confused.’


In case you weren't aware, that is a dictionary definition of the word 'gaga.' Don't get me wrong. Her singing was largely spot on, as usual. It was a lavish display, as usual. It was high energy, again, as usual. But, with 10 songs from Bowie’s collection crammed into a few short minutes, it was indeed excessively enthusiastic. I’ve never been a fan of medleys, and that certainly colors my reaction. In this case however, I can truly say that it failed for me just because it didn’t give enough attention to any one song. It never settled into a groove for long enough to appreciate the gift Gaga is able to bring to a tribute; interpretation which is both faithful and original in style.
I don’t subscribe to the view that this is an example of a recent pop star leeching, Kanye style, on the death of a legend. I just thought she needed to narrow it down to one, maybe 2, songs, and fully commit to those with her considerable talent. Call it too much of a great thing. You might even say that this time, she truly went gaga. - J


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Category: Soundcheck