In a word, yes.
Lady GaGa’s “Telephone” video premiered last night/this morning, depending on where you are in the world. And where you are in the world is important, apparently, because GaGa herself has termed it “a global pop event.” Unbearable arrogance? Well, maybe. But you can see where she’s coming from.
2009 was about proving that GaGa was not just a flash in the pan pop star and that she had real talent. Those acoustic renderings of her biggest hits proved her worth as a musician and writer, and somewhere around the release of “Bad Romance,” it became cool to like GaGa.
So where to go from there? Well, upwards, of course. Second LP The Fame Monster was leagues ahead of its predecessor The Fame in terms of vision and, above all, writing prowess and consistency (although with only eight songs, you would hope it would be consistent throughout), and as her work develops and strengthens, so does her artistic vision, it seems.
Doing great pop videos is nothing new. But it’s hard to remember a time when an internationally successful mainstream pop star was taking such risks and doing something creative and fresh. Recycling Quentin Tarantino is not fresh or creative or original, I hear you say. Well, perhaps. But in the context of the pop video, it is. Here’s an oddball but highly intelligent operator at work; the “Telephone” video isn’t as striking as “Paparazzi” or “Bad Romance,” and the less said about the godawful product placement the better, but it’s by turns quirky, indulgent, puzzling, and hilarious, and when could you say that last about a pop video? “Bad Romance,” probably.
Thank goodness that there’s still a pop star out there doing something creative with this format. You don’t have to like Lady GaGa or her music to realise that she’s an incredible force of good for pop music right now.