Archive for February, 2011

Britney Vs Gaga: No contest

February 20, 2011

(I’m back – excuse the interruption)

So here we are, waiting (eagerly?) for major new releases from pop princesses Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. The contrast couldn’t be more different.

Britney – not matter what she has in store for us – promises more of the same. Gaga is the best thing to happen to music in a long long time. I’m sure even she doesn’t know what will happened tomorrow. That’s part of why she’s so interesting. As the music industry salivated over the then forthcoming ‘Hold It Against Me’ single I found myself wondering “why”? Who could possibly be interested in Britney any more?

You could understand it once. New girl on the block, a prospective rival for Madonna. That jailbait thing while she was telling us about reading the Bible every day and saving her virginity. None of it was true. She’s given us the odd good tune, made some entertaining (provocative) videos, but it’s all been a big fat lie. We’ve been deceived. The trainwreck of her personal life is sad, but no reason to deserve loyalty. What’s she got for us that we’re not also getting now from Katy Perry (saucy, but cheeky with it) or Rihanna (sexy and striking)? Britney’s music comes from the same production line (literally). What does Britney herself have to add and offer?

These days singer are often like fashion models. Someone else is responsible for the clothes they wear. Pop stars have become “clothes” horses. Here’s what you’ll wear today, get out on the catwalk and sell.

There is just one of Lady Gaga’s differences. She generates what we hear and see – with help of course , but she’s the engine. While others helped her become what she’s become amd she relies on a team to help her be what she wants to be, behind the craziness there’s a REAL Stefani Germanatto, with her feet on the ground. Her father is her business partner, but not her manager like others we could mention whose parents have pushed them into the spotlights mindless of the consequences. How many of the “problems” we perceive in others can be sheeted home to opportunist, bad parenting? Gaga is control. She’s running this show, at her own break-neck speed, not the industry’s.

There shouldn’t be a ‘Fame Monster’. She was simply supposed to add some new tracks to ‘The Fame’ to breathe extra sales life into that debut album, forcing her biggest fans to invest again. But the ever-excessive Gaga came up with TOO MANY tracks. She came up with another album! As her fame grew so did her shows, not just in number, but in extravagance. Lady Gaga hasn’t deceived her fans (her monsters). She’s shown her gratitude and devotion to them all the way.

The whole controversy about ‘Born This Way’ – is it or is it not Madonna-like? – is almost laughable. This singer constantly shows herself to be more than a song. It’s a package. It’s an event. It’s an adventure. While the music industry moans and groans about its fortunes, manufactures and manipulates, losing its “love” for music, Gaga providing everything that’s missing. Excitement. Passion. Commitment.

And she sings and dances.

If music is a carnival, Britney is the old Ghost Train (I’m not scared any more), Gaga is the Plunge of Death. ( Aaaaghh!)

What I’m listening to:

The National (High Violet) – Just can’t get enough of this album. The drama, the poetry, the intelligence!

Julia Stone (Memory Machine) – Raw, honest, almost agonizing emotion on display.

(Please come back for more)