REVIEW: Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster

TheFameMonsterStandardArtist: Lady Gaga
Album: The Fame Monster
Genre: Pop
Label: Interscope

Has anyone had a bigger year than Lady Gaga? I mean some may claim Taylor Swift, but her album came out this time last year and Gaga’s just hit streets in August. She’s come from relatively unknown songwriter to the 21st century’s Madonna over the course of the last 8 months and she’s already prepared to unleash new material to her fans. The Fame Monster, Gaga’s new 8 track EP was initially meant for a rerelease of her debut The Fame, but Gaga pushed and fought for an independent release in order to keep costs low for fans and also because she sees this work as a complete different musical work. Now don’t let that worry you though because with one listen just one listen you’ll know, Gaga hasn’t gone anywhere and it seems like she’s poised to be on top for quite awhile.

Kicking off this mini-album is the already popular, “Bad Romance” which finds Gaga expanding more than ever into the electronica world that her brand of pop has straddled since day one. Forget dancing in the electronica scene, Gaga has fully embraced it on this track and it works quite well. In fact, even though this song has impacted radio and is already on its way to being completely overplayed, the UTG spun it at least 6 times over the course of writing this review. It’s just too catchy to deny.

Moving on from what we’ve already heard, “Alejandro,” the album’s second track will surely pull memories of ABBA to the mind of anyone over 30 that hears it as it sounds like an updated b-side from the popular musical Mamma Mia. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing though because it is ridiculously catchy, but for those looking for that cutting edge pop sound Gaga has made a name for herself with, it’s a bit “been there, done that.” This is however, completely made up with the soon to be chart topping “Monster” that thrives on the same electropop fumes that carried Justin Timberlake and Timberland so well a few years ago, just with an extra dose of sass.

As the mini-album moves on, there is “Telephone” which features Beyonce in what is sure to be the diva mash-up of 2009 with enough bass to get everyone to the dance floor. Also, “Dance in The Dark” and “Teeth” will surely receive quite a bit of club play, but seem a bit too far fetched to sonically grasp the masses. In addition, if you can listen to “Dance in the Dark” and not think of “Vogue” era Madonna, then you obviously haven’t heard “Vogue” era Madonna because it’s slightly more than an updated version of the same sound.

I feel a need to mention the ballad-like “Speechless” which probably won’t win over many new fans, but packs a lot more heart than any of these “radio ready” tracks. Gaga really pushes herself writing wise here and the sheer scale of the track as it progresses is reason enough to lend her a moment of your time.

I know I’m surrending every single last one of my “man” points, but there is no denying how Lady Gaga has captivated the public in 2009 and with the release of The Fame Monster, she seems poised to expand both her public exposure and the amount of respect shown to her from others in the industry. Yes, it barely rises above the level of electronica laced radio-friendly pop, but the songwriting hidden under the synth is quite impressive. It may not seem like it at first, but Gaga has things to convey to her listeners and with music like this, it’s easy to get them to tune in. If this is the face of pop to come, bring it on.

Score: 8.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Sue

    Lady Gaga is definitely the best artist of this generation… she’s just so amazing and people love her…. I really love the way she dress and her out of this world hairstyles…. keep on rocking gaga!!!

  • haha, i adore lady gaga! she’s just so out there!

  • Needs less black.

  • I adore her music, and her sense of fashion is so fierce!

  • Can someone tell me win Ga Ga new CD come’s out?

  • Yes you are absolutely right. :)

  • Lady Gaga has more fans online than Barack Obama?! Why am I not surprised?? LoL