Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday Music

So I thought I knew exactly which song I was going to use today, but at the eleventh hour, I've changed my mind and am going in a totally different direction with this post.

I have Gaga fever.  Sorry U2... Maybe next week.


Now, I know people typically fit into one of two camps: love her or hate her.  Lady Gaga is nothing if not polarizing.  I, for one, am utterly fascinated by her.  I've seen her in concert, downloaded her albums, put her music on repeat, and read every Gaga article and interview and "expos√©" I can get my hands on.  But interestingly enough, the more you know about Lady Gaga, the more of an enigma she becomes.

People accuse her of being a fraud and a sell-out.  Some say she's nothing more than a puppet being strung around by her label as a money-making machine.  She's weird, sure.  Really weird.  And no doubt absurdly rich by now.  But I think under the bizarre exterior and dizzying success of Lady Gaga is a lot of heart.  From what I've read, she seems incredibly hard-working, devoted to her art, and truly passionate about what she does.  I find that pretty admirable.

Still from the "Born This Way" video

OK, I'll get off my soap box now.  Why, you ask, are you subjecting me to this Lady Gaga op-ed on a blog that's supposed to be about depression and emotions and stuff?  Well, I've been listening to her new album Born This Way for the last few days, and if I could sum it up in one word, it would be this: positive.  Really, really positive.  So unabashedly positive, in fact, that many critics have given her flak for singing such cheesy, over-the-top, preachy lyrics.  The themes of self-love and acceptance, independence, and freedom in many of the songs are not even a little bit subtle, nor are the lyrics particularly insightful or poignant.  Listening to songs like the eponymous "Born This Way" is like getting a flashing neon sign shoved in your face that says "LOVE YOURSELF!".

But you know what?  I think it works.

Haven't you ever heard that if you're in a bad mood and you just force yourself to smile, as fake and ridiculous as it may seem, your mood will actually improve?  This album is seriously like the auditory version of that strategy.  Corny but effective.

And I haven't even gotten to the actual music yet... Those hooks!  Those beats!  Pure, delicious pop.  Almost every song on the album is upbeat and ridiculously catchy.  You would have to be comatose not to want to sing along and strut around and dance -- even if only in the privacy of your own apartment, √† la Wemmy.

So here's one of my favorite songs from the album, "Marry the Night," for your listening pleasure, and a few choice lyrics:

I'm gonna marry the night
I won't give up on my life
I'm a warrior queen
Live passionately tonight


I'm a soldier to my own emptiness
I'm a winner

I'm gonna marry the night
I'm not gonna cry anymore
I'm gonna marry the night
Leave nothin' on these streets to explore
 

Love is the new
Denim or black


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