Written by: Vincent Nijenhuis
Lady GaGa is the problematic fav of the white gays who cannot see how problematic she is. (The title track on Born This Way sounds like a cringy #AllLivesMatter protest song, and even refers to Asians as “Orientals” like your racist grandpa at Thanksgiving would.) She is a queer woman. She is worth talking about. She matters, cringe worthy lyrics and all. She is another woman whose queerness has been erased by history. Remember when she came out as bisexual to Barbara Walters, and the world gagged? Remember when she featured hot, oil adored men wearing heel in her videos, and left us gagged? Remember when she literally created a martyr of herself on VMAs, thus solidifying herself as forever an icon, and in the process, yes, gagged us? To some, these seemed like random attention seeking stage antics, but to queer little kids trying to figure our identity coming into our own late 2000’s, she was the closest thing to an idol we got. So, indulge me in talking about five of her best songs to date.
1. Paperazzi (“The Fame” 2008)
Is this a song about Princess Diana? Is this a song about the how cutthroat the entertainment industry is that even the demise of stardom is seen as entertainment? Is it both? I’m inclined to believe it’s about the hollowness, vapid nature of the industry and how it’s cuts as well capture everything and nothing at the same time. (Note the flashing cameras sound like something out of the infamous Psycho shower scene.) But this is good pop music, so it’s infectiously catchy making this the perfect tune to numb out reality and replace it with a meta vapidity.
2. Swine (“Artpop” 2013)
Ever wish you could spit in a man’s face, and call him the sexist pig he is? We’ve all been there. This track is for you, and your anger from day to day sexist comments men may make at you such as “love to watch her ass go giggle.” GaGa understands the ridiculous fantasy of this song, but also understands how ridiculous that women have to hear these comments on a regular basis so it makes sense that this song is ridiculous and over the top in the production as well. With its blown out electronic beat, and clever use of autotune, it’s drunk on its own apathy.
3. Bad Romance ( “The Fame Monster” 2009)
Is this the song that made her a megastar, or solidified the fact? I don’t know, nor do particularly care, because this song is genuinely iconic. One simply couldn’t talk biggest hits of the century, because it’s one of the most successful singles of, not just one, but two of the decades so far. With it’s simple, basic lyrics, a disturbingly charming opening, random French thrown in for the hell of it, and the name attached to it, it’s not a surprise. This is her icon. This song is her “Vogue.”
4. Poker Face (“The Fame” 2008)
So, “Bad Romance” solidified her in the stratosphere, but this launched her into it. It is a song about struggling about coming to terms with one’s sexuality, and daring to fantasize about someone of the same sex while fucking their partner. It sounds like the plot to a poorly directed, ill lit porno from the same era. The pre-legalize gay marriage era that demands any ounce of queerness be seen a fantasy, or it would be controversy.The song itself isn’t particularly amazing, or outstand. It’s fairly clean, borderline blant production is the void of any sex appeal which is surprising considering the subject matter. GaGa’s vocals are great on this track even though some of the lyrics are just all the cringe, but, whether or not it deserves to be, it’s an iconic song out of her discography. It can’t be ignored simply for the impact it has had on her career.
5. Government Hooker (“Born This Way” 2011)
Born This Way is by far Lady GaGa’s worst album. The majority of the songs on the album sound like drunken slurs set to generic, uninspired beats to create a mess of an album. That’s completely dismissing how dated the language on this album feels. Government Hooker is by far Lady GaGa’s most daring, experimental banger that sound like the type of drunken mess we should all aspire to be. Opening with this operatic vocal melody that gets interrupted by GaGa’s harshest vocals at the time, it’s the beauty within this terrible mess of this album.