Lady Gaga
The Fame


3.5
great

Review

by Daniel Incognito EMERITUS
October 28th, 2008 | 663 replies | 59,986 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Like a good entertainer, every aspect of her music, her clothes, and her stage presence adds to the theatrics of the performance. Influenced by some of pop’s most celebrated artists, it is easy to see splashes of David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson all carving out The Fame. Lady GaGa isn’t just the product of many nights staying at home singing to Cyndi Lauper on the stereo though. Having been to a prestigious New York arts school, and already having composed songs for artists such as the Pussycat Dolls; you can’t discredit her background. With The Fame all these ingredients seem to come together to form a vibrant & unapologetic creation, drenched in pop culture.

Trends within the billboard charts can often be short lived. Boy bands, gangster rap and pop punk have all had their glory days. Yet at present songs aimed straight at the club dance floor seem to be constantly hitting the top of the charts; and it is easy to see artists such as Britney Spears, Timbaland and Kylie Minogue all heading off in this direction. Yet where this shift in sound by Britney Spears sounds calculated by her producers and managers, for Lady GaGa it is her. Obvious similarities do exist to Gwen Stefani. Yet with more skillful vocals and a focused synth-heavy sound, Lady GaGa does plenty to carve out her own style.

Beautiful Dirty Rich bounces about with a funky beat and great vocal layering. GaGa’s smooth vocals show great touch and confidence. The vocals repeat the same phrases over, their placement and repetition working exquisitely to create the enticing groove. In Paparazzi too her vocals stand up as a strength. The thick bassy synths don’t overwhelm her vocals, her tone and lyrics shift nicely with the rest of the song. Her voice may not be the most attractive aurally, but while she may not have a Mariah Carey like voice, she more than makes up for it in deft touch.

The lead single from the album Just Dance stands as a highlight. The quickly shifting track offers an awesome beat with a strong bottom to it. Yet while the beat creates a striking groove, the top synth and vocal layers shift from section to section delivering delicious hook after hook. The vibrant styling and catchy vocal lines make it perfect for the club, and hard not to get into. The guest vocals of Akon and Colby Odonis don’t draw away from GaGa, but the different tones work nicely together making the songs construction more dynamic.

As much as Just Dance is designed to go straight to the dance floor, it is also unashamedly testament to her pop heritage. The song seems unconcerned with external opinion, simply aiming for the goal of creating something that sounds good. It’s a charming attitude that extends throughout the album, especially in her lyrics. Combined with nimble control of her vocals and skilled production; it makes for an exceptionally appealing combination.

Pokerface shares the rest of the albums lively personality – the synths being anything but level. The vocal texture in the breakdown takes an eccentric turn, but strangely has a nice alluring quality to it. Most songs on The Fame seem to be different takes on a similar formula, and for the most part the execution makes each song stand out from the rest. Yet listening from top to bottom, The Fame will tend to grate on the nerves of the listener by the end.

Especially at the bottom end of the album the songs don’t quite stand up to the singles in terms of club magic. Thankfully none of the songs act as sore thumbs, filler to extend the album length. The album offers plenty for listeners who stick to the upper half of the album, but those who give later songs such as Boys Boys Boys and Summerboy a bit of time will find some catchy vocals and rhythms.

While The Fame only really captures one component of the pop theatrics of Lady GaGa, the music more often than not proves catchy. Though not possessing vocals as naturally attractive as some other female artists; she often utilizes her voice better and shows greater flexibility in her delivery. The deft production and execution have a strong impact, and as a result the hooks of many songs are hard to resist. The Fame isn’t a defining moment in pop culture, but it is a promising sign for Lady GaGa, with plenty to dance to.



Recent reviews by this author
Daft Punk Random Access MemoriesOmar S Just Ask the Lonely
Maceo Plex Life IndexPaul Kalkbrenner Icke Wieder
Gold Panda Lucky ShinerFlying Lotus L.A. EP 3 X 3
user ratings (957)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Brendan Schroer STAFF (3.5)
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick....

Alex Robertson STAFF (4.5)
Welcome to the world of Gaga....

Dylan S. (3.5)
The Fame is an album full of catchy hit tunes, but still just a pop album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



6000 Comments


They couldn't stop playing Just Dance in Sweden the entire summer.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Auldy
October 28th 2008



351 Comments


good example of 'Hype', in the local newspaper, their review of this album started with

"Lady GaGa is the next Madonna"... slightly overblown

your review here is alot more accurate. She seems to have a good grasp on the complete ideologies of Pop music, the clothes, the beats, the dance moves and has a certain amount of credibility and substance to her that most other female pop acts lack.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really?? This is actually good? I sorta dismissed it when I heard Just Dance, or maybe just because it was overplayed.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off


She seems to have a good grasp on the complete ideologies of Pop music, the clothes, the beats, the dance moves and has a certain amount of credibility and substance to her

Yeah thats a pretty nice summation.
Really?? This is actually good? I sorta dismissed it when I heard Just Dance, or maybe just because it was overplayed.

Well I'd recommend it over comparable artists on the top40 charts these days. But I'd imagine quite a few users on here wouldn't like it regardless.

johnnyblaze
October 28th 2008



2595 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That Poker Face song/video was terrible. Her and Britney like these stuttering chorus hooks far too much, the P-p-p-poker line is very annoying.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

That Poker Face song/video was terrible. Her and Britney like these stuttering chorus hooks far too much, the P-p-p-poker line is very annoying.

I find it kind of catchy, and the rest of the song (as well as the music video) are pretty enjoyable.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFpY8XAPxkU

And it isn't as though 'stuttering chorus hooks' are used very much at all in other songs in the album.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2008



6085 Comments


poker face is atrocious but good review

AtavanHalen
October 28th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I'm really not feeling this album. She seems confused about what she wants to be doing as an artist.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

She seems confused about what she wants to be doing as an artist.

I thoroughly disagree, comes off the complete opposite to me. The album reflects what she has been doing for many years leading up to today. The music reflects her character nicely, and it all seems to target nice, danceable pop music with a great groove. This Message Edited On 10.28.08

natey
October 30th 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I love "Paparazzi".

BSX
November 2nd 2008



1633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Lady GaGa is the next Madonna"


I was told the reason why people say she's being called the next Madonna is becasue she sings like her esp. her early 80s stuff. I really like Brown Eyes and Disco Heaven every other song is ok.This Message Edited On 11.13.08

Digging: La Roux - Trouble In Paradise

tinpanalley78
November 18th 2008



9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think it's a very good album, too. But I have to agree with what was said before : Poker Face is an awful song and the video is just as bad.
It seems to me that Gaga has a real persona and her own little pop world that comes through in her live shows, her videos on Youtube and, partially, on her album.
I think that she is trying to be all over the place, mixing the styles (much like Prince), but not consistent enough to quite pull it off. I mean... You can't convince me that Eh eh and Poker Face deserve to be on the same album as Lovegame, Beautiful Dirty Rich or the Fame
Maybe it's because her producers are aiming for mass appeal from a debut album(?) If she sticks to her guns and stays focused on what really makes her stand out (which is NOT Poker Face and that terrible video), I think her second album is going to be fantastic.
This Message Edited On 11.18.08

Anthracks
November 27th 2008



3670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Paparazzi and The Fame are outrageously good. Poker Face isn't as bad as you guys make it out to be, but it's probably one of the weakest on the album.

This is my favorite pop album of 2008 I think.This Message Edited On 11.27.08

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
December 3rd 2008



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Paparazzi and The Fame are outrageously good. Poker Face isn't as bad as you guys make it out to be, but it's probably one of the weakest on the album.

This is my favorite pop album of 2008 I think.

Yeah other than one J-Pop album it probably stands ahead of Britney, Kanye etc for my favourite pop album of 08 too.

And I don't get this dislike for Poker Face, the more I listen to it, the more I find it is great.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 21st 2009



2125 Comments


I borrowed this from a friend because of this review and I'm really enjoying it, even Poker Face.

Eh, Eh > all though

Asiatic667
January 21st 2009



4647 Comments


stuff this stupid album, lady gaga sucks

gaslightanthem
January 21st 2009



5209 Comments


this is pretty good actually, 2.5 is being quite harsh tbh. may raise over the next couple of days

natey
January 21st 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Paparazzi" > everything

Asiatic667
January 21st 2009



4647 Comments


Every bowel motion I ever made > Lady GaGa

xmOBSCENEx
January 23rd 2009



122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

beautful dirty rich is my favorite along with love game and the title track



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy