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In all fairness, if you're going to go the postmodernist route in pop music then Madonna will necessarily be a strong presence, being as she was so singularly influential in modern pop music's early decade and continuing to effect the genre even up into the early 2000s.
It is exactly that inevitability, however, that is proving a bit problematic for Lady Gaga, although there's still too much noise over Madonna references in the first place for this idea to be debated: even once you reconcile and defend Gaga's Madonna shtick, there remains the fact that if the game is pastiche, referencing Madonna is the most obvious, least thought provoking, and ultimately least useful of choices.
I found it necessary to get it all out now because there is a new Britney Spears album coming out in less than a month, and I do not need any unnecessary Gaga-related distractions, especially with a May release date for this supposedly epic album.
Check out Don't Hurt (Prod by The Cataracs), the latest track from Dev, featuring Timbaland which dropped on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012.
Gaga's musical references are so obvious and unsurprising that those of us familiar with pop music before Gaga (which we must remember much of her core audience is not...it's unnerving to realize how young "young people" really are) can tire of her once the visceral excitement of the immediate rush wears off, and I can speak from experience.
Sure, the truth is I really shouldn't have to work this hard to appreciate a pop great, and I hope this album Gaga has in store gives us a lot more than lazy Madonna rewrites and Elton John piano ballads, so stay tuned for that.It doesn't help that the other main issue I found - surprisingly to me, as I'm in no way a prude - was how uncomfortable I felt the more I watched Gaga dancing in the beige and black lingerie that may fit thematically but, along with the hairstyle and those shoulder/head horns this new non-judgmental race of awesome seems to have, she appears so thin it's almost worrying, and for some reason her near nakedness didn't bother me to see, it bothered me that somehow I couldn't help imagining myself similarly exposed, which is an odd reaction to have but there it was.On the bright side, I found the other tableaux especially pleasant by contrast. I love the self-consciously glamorous way Gaga-as-evil-mother-goddess fires the machine gun from side to side, complete with shampoo commercial hair flippage.When Britney Spears referenced Prince on "I'm a Slave 4 U," THAT was interesting, especially when she followed it up with the first nod to the icon Spears would ultimately draw the most inspiration, Janet Jackson.Of course, Spears was subtle about it, subtlety being so fundamental to her image and style throughout her career; Gaga is of a vastly different school where subtlety stays locked up in a remote closet and only brought out on rare and strategic occasions, and then usually only as a means of amplifying her defining lack thereof.
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) or a certain luxury car, electronics logo, fragrance or alcohol brand when you're just trying to watch Katy Perry shoot pyrotechnics from her boobs already thank you very much can we get on with it, you can thank Lady Gaga.