I know, it’s trite. But it’s true.
And I really didn’t want to like her at first. I would get angry when the dreaded earworm, Poker Face, got stuck in my head. I thought she came out of no where and was just another no-talent packed pop princess. Then I was cleaning The Boy’s room one day and the Poker Face came on. I was so focused on the task at home, I didn’t realize I was singing and dancing and before I knew it the song was over and I wanted to hear it again. And again.
That’s when I acknowledged that Poker Face was a great pop song.
I was still poking fun at it though.
Then one day I happened upon a link to Lady Gaga performing live, acoustic, ridiculous elephant on her head. Sure the head-dress was distracting but not enough for me to notice that she could really play that piano (with a compelling level of drama, I might add) and she could actually sing.
That’s when I admitted she was talented.
Combine talent and great pop music and what do you get? An entertainer. Toss in a little media savvy, crazy costumes and escalating eccentricity (I really think she has an more tame alter ego) and there is the story of Lady Gaga’s claim to fame.
The question remains, will Gaga be able to maintain the level of constant buzz and relevance that she has over the last two years? Let’s be real, how may artists–pop or otherwise–can you name that have had real staying power over the last decade? They are few and far between for sure. Even some of the most influential of the artists I grew up on have disappeared, had public melt downs or really need to just let it go. Perhaps the one who stayed on top the longest, without appearing to crash-and-burn or try too hard, was Madonna.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to make that kind of comparison. It’s no secret Madonna was always able to manipulate the media and reinvent herself for the times. She has always seemed poised and in complete control. You can argue that she’s probably a Queen-B who rules her circle of influence with an iron fist, I say she’s a shrewd business woman.
The only way for Gaga to sustain a long career arch, is to grow. That doesn’t mean continue to grow weird–in fact I think its quite the opposite. The weird will only take her so far; talent and savvy could take her all the way. If she can successfully transfer our focus from her eccentricity to her talent, Gaga could well be around 10 years from now with no sign of being toppled from her throne.