The wait is almost over! Lady Gaga is coming back with new music! After her glorious role in American Horror Story: Hotel the pop star has spent a lot of time in the recording studio, working on the follow up on 2013’s ARTPOP. The first single of her new project, ‘Perfect Illusion’, will be released next month and is co-produced by Mark Ronson and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. “The song is about modern ecstasy. We found our sweet, simple, ragey way of saying it. I get this sick adrenaline rush every time I hear it”, Gaga explained to iHeartRadio. That sounds exciting, doesn’t it!? We celebrate Lady Gaga’s return with the best 10 songs and music videos of her career so far!
10. Yoü And I (2011)
‘Yoü and I’ sounds nothing like most of Gaga’s other work. The country inspired midtempo ballad has a way more acoustic and organic sound in contradiction to most of her singles which usually have a heavily electronic production. It perfectly shows off the strength in her vocals and that chorus is perfect for a sing-along. The love story in the video is complex, but stunningly shot and it features Gaga making out with her male drag king alter ego Jo Calderone. Interesting!
09. Judas (2011)
Gaga has used quite a lot of religious imagery and lyrical references to Christianity, of which ‘Judas’ might be the most obvious example. This pumping electro pop banger taken form the Born This Way album incorporates elements of the biblical story around Jesus and Judas and in the video they are shown as well, with Lady Gaga taking on the role of Mary Magdalene. The track got a typical Lady Gaga hook. I think nobody has ever been able to listen to this song and not have the ‘Judas juda-a-a’ part stuck in their head for the rest of the day.
08. Applause (2013)
‘Applause’ marked Lady Gaga’s comeback in 2013 with the album ARTPOP. Both the album and the single did not receive a very favourable critical reception in reviews, but I’d say the expectations were almost impossible to reach for poor old Gaga. ‘Applause’ is a perfectly fine pop tune with a video that featured a handful of iconic looks. Not one of her most ear- and eye catching work, but sometimes a straightforward, well written pop song is all we need.
07. Just Dance (feat. Colby O’Donis) (2008)
It is safe to say that in hindsight ‘Just Dance’, Lady Gaga’s debut single from album The Fame, can be seen as quite the groundbreaking release. It was one of the most important tracks that started the whole pop dance about going to the club trend. What a chorus to begin your career with as well! ‘Just Dance’ still sounds relevant these days. It’s hard to believe this didn’t do that much in the charts when it was released first, but only became a hit after ‘Poker Face’ turned out to be her break out hit. Still, dry humping an inflatable Orca in a pool in the garden always works to capture the attention as a starting artist.
06. Born This Way (2011)
‘Born This Way’ certainly will go down in history as one of the most iconic gay rights anthems. Of course the lyrics of the track are not only about the acceptance of the LGBT community which Gaga has always been vocal about, but basically cheers everyone on to be themselves and celebrate diversity. This is also the point in her career where the videos started to become a bit more complicated and quirky, but if you are into alien birth and that sort of thing, it is actually quite amusing.
05. Alejandro (2010)
The contrast between the sunny and catchy sound of The Fame Monster‘s ‘Alejandro’ and the dark video with military scenes and some religious symbols is still quite fascinating. The sound brought back the pop of the 90s with of course an updated production, as Gaga always manages to sound contemporary. It is one of the most irresistibly catchy things she has ever written and the video easily contains some of her most edgy visuals.
04. Poker Face (2008)
It was not ‘Just Dance’, but ‘Poker Face’ that turned out to be Gaga’s big breakthrough. By the time it came out, basically everone was humming the ‘pa-pa-pa-poker face, muh muh muh muh’. Talking about popular culture impact! It was definitely right on the money when it was released in 2008 and trendsetting at the same time. It definitely went down as one of her most iconic moments to date. The video for ‘Poker Face’ introduced her arty and outrageous outfits to the public for the first time. A big moment in contemporary pop!
03. Telephone (feat. Beyoncé) (2010)
Lady Gaga doesn’t do a lot of collaborations, but when she does, it’s fire! It was very exciting to have two of the leading ladies in pop of that moment on one track and in the same video! This was certainly the period that everything Gaga touched, turned to gold. This bonkers club anthem was tailor made for both Gaga and Beyoncé and was played on every single gay party for a while. The video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, was like a short movie and brilliant in every single way. There were quite some Tarantino influences to be found and the bizarre dialogues between the two pop stars are spot on! Watching this, you kind of miss the times where the release of a music video was such an exciting event. That is one of the main reasons we need Gaga back as soon as possible!
02. Paparazzi (2009)
The song ‘Paparazzi’ basically sums up everything that makes Gaga a brilliant pop star. The production is ace, the lyrics are smart and the chorus has one of the best melodies written in at least the past ten years. There is just something infinitely cool about it. Don’t even get me started on the video, also directed by Åkerlund. What kind of masterpiece! Especially the scene where she takes revenge on her boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard!) who threw her off the balcony. That Mickey Mouse outfit alone is worth the seven and a half minute watch. To be fair every scene is brilliant in its own way!
01. Bad Romance (2009)
‘Bad Romance’ is hands down one of the best pop songs ever written. Every aspiring pop artist should use this track as a template at one point. It just ticks all the boxes: the chorus is larger than life itself, she serves some of the best vocals of her career and the hooks just keep following each other up. It does not happen often that an artist so effortlessly created her own unique sound so early in her career while at the same time hugely appealing to the masses. The video by the hand of Francis Lawrence is stunning from start to finish and very gif-able at the same time. That last scene destroys whole careers!
Keep an eye on A Bit of Pop Music for more news on Gaga’s comeback and of course a review on the new single ‘Perfect Illusion’ as soon as it drops!