NYC's Lady GaGa is courting fame on both sides of the Atlantic, and probably the ocean in between. The lead single from The Fame, 'Just Dance', is currently sitting at No.1 in the US and UK charts. And why? Well, that's the puzzling bit.
'Just Dance' recalls Timbaland's 'The Way I Are'. It's robotic, but rather than Timbaland, it features Akon - he of the chipmunked voice. It's cold and soulless, anonymous and futile. The rest of the up-tempo material on The Fame begins to take a familiar template: a stark electro opening leading into a saccharine-coated Neptunes-esque "club tune". This is never more noticeable than on 'LoveGame'... oh, and 'I Like It Rough', 'Starstruck' and 'Money Honey'.
Stefani Joanne Germanotta (she wasn't born Lady GaGa, you know) is unashamedly - hell, even with attempted gusto - going for some kerrazy hybrid of pop, glam rock, Ashlee Simpson, electro, disco, Gwen Stefani, gouda, Uffie, bump'n'grind and Hilary Duff. Ambitious? Well, actually it's not - it's an incoherent, unintentional parody of the worst bits of everything it's trying to imitate.
'Paparazzi' is so well-trodden it's got us with pegs over our noses; and when those candy-pop harmonies combine with contrived synth flinches, we're questioning humanity. Elsewhere, 'Boys Boys Boys' sounds like a Pussycat Dolls filler song: "I like you a lot lot/Think you're really hot hot."
'Eh, Eh' recalls Ace Of Base. Opening like Uffie and closing like Will.I.Am producing 'Believe'-era Cher, The Fame will be a vision of a dream to some, but unfortunately not to us. A guilty pleasure moniker is derisive at best, but it's with this epithet that Lady GaGa is set to take over 2009.