Lady Gaga – The Fame

August 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM | Posted in Lady Gaga | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Lady Gaga – The Fame

1. Just Dance (feat. Colby O’Donis)
2. LoveGame
3. Paparazzi
4. Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
5. Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)
6. Poker Face
7. The Fame
8. Money Honey
9. Again Again
10.  Boys Boys Boys
11. Brown Eyes
12. Summerboy
13. I Like It Rough

♦ ♦ ♦

Lady Gaga’s debut album was released on August 19, 2008. It reached the #4 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certificated Gold. In the States, more than 550,000 copies have been sold.

Opening the album, there’s Just Dance (feat. Colby O’Donis). This is a midtempo track, but it’s actually really fierce. Beginning the song, there’s a cute synthesizer melody and it can be heard throughout the song as an underlying sound, especially in the chorus. That’s what makes this hit single so catchy and it can really get stuck in your head all day long. Gaga’s vocals are really crystal clear, and her fellow Colby also gives his own flavour to the song. The echo in the bridge is really great as well, with Gaga repeating one line over and over again.

The disco-stick song, oh yeah. Love Game actually comes off as really dirty at some points, but due to the catchy melodies it can be forgiven. It’s fun that she opens with spoken lyrics, and after that the music just explodes all around her. The sung lyrics are very funny and makes me role over the floor every single time, and just like in the previous song, the synthesizer is the central point of the track. I like this song more than Just Dance because of the interesting yells Gaga makes throughout the song, kinda like ‘HUP!’. Unique, really.

From dirty to freaky with Paparazzi, and if it wasn’t for the ‘all over the place’ percussion, this song would be close to being a ballad or lowtempo track, although it stays midtempo. The freaky part that I mentioned is for the lyrics, it really makes you think of groupies. In the chorus, Gaga sometimes sings like she doesn’t have enough air in her lungs to make it to the next higher note, but the chorus remains the most catchy part of the entire song. It makes you almost kinda happy when it comes along!

One of the biggest plusses of Beautiful, Dirty, Rich is the heavy percussion that just blows you away. A little bit confusing is the title compared to the lyrics, because she sings about being beautiful and ‘dirty rich’. Anyways, what makes the bridge so interesting is the fact that she sings quirky lyrics like ‘bling bling bling’ and ‘bang bang bang’, what defines her as an artist. No heavy synths this time, but there is a dissonant piano in there somewhere, so thank Gaga for some variation in her songs.

Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) remains one of my all time favourites because of it’s unique reggae/electro sound which makes it feel like some kind of an island vibe. Another reason why I like this song is because of Gaga’s clear voice, it’s really strong and actually there. The song consists of smooth transitions from one part into another, although otherwise has been stated, and I can’t help but liking the lyric ‘Cherry cherry boom boom, Gaga’! This song is over way too soon…

So Gaga brings the electro and dance back with her second single Poker Face, and it’s a nice addition to hear that her voice has been edited with some sort of vocoder in the verses. This makes it really interesting, especially since she sings the rest of the song without the vocoder. Somehow, this actually works! This track also has it’s share of drama with the ‘ooh whoo’ parts just before the choruses start, almost melancholic, but I also had my share of laughs with the bridge (what person comes up with the lyrics ‘bluffin with my muffin’ and ‘stunnin with my lovegluegunnin’??). Catchy again, how does she do that?

For the first time on this album, a guitar is clearly recognizeable in the intro of the title track: The Fame. Again, this song has a really energetic pulse coming along with it and musically it’s very well constructed in both the instruments and lyrics. This is the average pop song mixed with the dance sound we’ve heard before with the synthesizers popping in time after time. Gaga’s vocals blend in really well with the song, and it surprised me she writes all of her songs herself. That’s a definite plus, since there hasn’t been a single song up until now that sounds boring and not energetic.

It’s obvious that producer RedOne collaborated on Money Honey, as well as on Just Dance, Love Game and Poker Face. This is what makes every track smoothly blend into the next easily so that there are some transitions. Some parts of the song remind me of Just Dance, such as the tempo and the typical RedOne sound effects, but when all is said and done, this track is as unique as every other song with blasting synths and funny lyrics.

Gaga does something unexpected then and throws in a bunch of Soul music in Again Again, a track that mainly consists of percussion and a piano. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the choir which consists only of her very own vocals duplicated several times. Gaga pulls this genre off surprisingly well since it really suits her voice, but in the chorus some of her longer and higher notes sound a little bit harsh. Though, that part completely forgiven, this type of variation on her album is very, very welcome indeed!

Boys Boys Boys comes up with a kind of beachy summer vibe, and has that special Gaga flavour all over it again. The synths in the beginning of the song sound pretty easy likeable, and it’s hard to describe what makes this song so special and fantastic. I can’t help but like the ‘I like you a lot, lot’ part, and again she’s chanting one part of the song and singing the other part, just like in Poker Face. Another nice addition is the group of women in the chorus, chanting ‘We love them!’. A happy bunch all the same.

Again, another piano based track but this time an electric guitar makes some nice riffs as wel. I’m talking about Brown Eyes, one of my very favourites since the moment my ears caught the first tones. I’m in love with the electric guitar solo in the hooks, and Gaga finally seems to expose a more emotional and heartfelt side of herself with deep lyrics, so finally she doesn’t sing about disco-sticks and fame xD

And the guitar comes back one more time with Summerboy, and we hear Gaga counting on the beat of drumsticks before the song finally starts. I think I’m gonna give the catchyness (which is all over this album) a name: the Gaga-factor. She pulls it off again with this summer-ish song, and I can’t imagine not liking this song at all. What makes this song unique is that wonderful guitar mixed with her signature percussion and synths, and it makes me all happy!

This last track is actually a bonus track, but I’ll be reviewing it anyway. I Like It Rough has that synth flavour as well, and is a decent track although it still works quite well for Lady Gaga. It’s a lighter song than the rest of the tracks on this album, but the Gaga-factor is there all the same. The melody flows smoothly, but there are no stand-out moments considering the music. There are some good moments for Gaga’s vocals, since she sounds very professional while adlibbing during the ending of the song.

Gaga received a lot of attention since the moment I first heard about her, and that’s no surprise. Here she released such a solid debut album, catchy songs all over it, not a single exception. Nothing really bored me while listening to this album, and since time passed I can easily remember what a song sounds like as soon as I hear the title. I played it on repeat like hell since it was released, and I can recommend every single track on this album. Surprisinly good for a first review, it’s definetely a good start with Lady Gaga’s ‘The Fame’!

Favorite tracks: LoveGame | Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say | Boys Boys Boys | Summerboy

OVERALL RATING

5 stars

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