Anyone else see Lady Gaga crowdsurf at Lollapalooza this year? Because, wowsers.
I’ll admit that I’m probably not the target market here, but I do have some deep respect for the Gaga celebrity performance. It’s fascinatingly postmodern – here we have a Madonna sequel, a clone even, whose version of fame is all shot through with the kind of sexual androgyny and queer performativity that made early ‘80s superstars like Prince such fixtures. In those last years before the realization of AIDS, this was the kind of hyper-real celebrity we were interested in. But that’s been mostly gone for 30 years. And, now, Gaga. I have to say that I welcome her presence (if not her music, exactly).
Anyway, this record takes a bunch of her songs, reaching all the way back in her catalogue to stuff she first put out two years ago, and gives them the obligatory remix treatment. Featuring club maestros like LLG vs GLG, Stuart Price, Starsmith, and Richard ‘Humpty’ Vission, we had some reason to expect this to be an interesting ride. And, the various studio gurus who try their hand at putting a little more Gaga into these tunes do, on the whole, a competent, if completely unnecessary, job. The problem is one of need rather than execution. If you love these songs and want to hear them sound different and not as good as the versions you cherish, this record is for you! If not, what you’ll hear is a confusing collection of material you didn’t much enjoy in the first place sound unpleasant in new, and parallel, ways.
This is also a shorter version of the Remix record Gaga put out a few months back, by the way. (The previous one had all of these songs plus a few extra versions thrown in for good measure, as well as a much more naked record cover.) It is unclear why this happened, but since these types of records are essentially stopgaps labels put out when they have a hot product that they want to make money on between actual studio albums, a cynic might guess the score here. Either way, this is tough to recommend.