Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance": Music Video Review

12/14/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Sarah Vaynerman

If you are somehow still not convinced that Lady GaGa is a true artist, take five minutes and watch her video for "Bad Romance," the hit single from her sophomore album, "The Fame Monster."

Aside from Lady Gaga's own video for "Paparazzi," there hasn't been a single video of the year, if not the decade, that even compares to the event that is "Bad Romance." No, that isn't hyperbole. Gaga says she chose director Francis Lawrence because he "could execute the video in a way that I could give him all my weirdest, most psychotic ideas, but it would come across to and be relevant to the public." It always is her intention to arouse her audience with risque, controversial imagery and this video is proof that she is damn good at it. The concept is credited to Haus of GaGa, her mysterious collective of trusted creatives said to be inspired by Andy Warhol's "The Factory." Haus of GaGa designs much of what she wears, and has a hefty creative stake in her album art, music videos and live performances.

Through the course of nearly a dozen costume-changes, GaGa is supported by an entourage of Russian models and mafia members who will eventually kidnap her to sell as a sex-slave. The video is about fashion--she dons Alexander McQueen's latest runway collection throughout the video. It's about innocence--set in a Bathhouse, she emerges from a spotless bathtub with pastel-colored hair and eerie, doll-like eyes. It's about money--she commands a roomful of ogling buyers while surrounded by floating diamonds. It's about glamor--she approaches her master for the first time wearing crimson-red lipstick and a bearskin robe. And it's about death--the video ends with a disturbed GaGa on a bed next to a scorched corpse.

"Bad Romance" oozes with cultural references--the video opens with an Anna Wintour-esque GaGa, she delivers three Hitchcock thriller references in two lines, (“I want your Psycho, your Vertigo stick, while you're in my Rear Window--baby, it’s sick”), and the costumes find inspiration from Janet and Michael Jackson's "Scream" and the timeless tortured souls from "Where the Wild Things Are."  Just to name a few.

Lady GaGa takes ownership of her material and with that ownership comes a responsibility that few modern-day celebrities choose to assume. GaGa has an obsession with themes of fame, media and iconography, and rather than apologizing for it, she embraces it and uses it to her creative advantage. Few female performers have ever challenged society's expectations of a pop star the way that she does. This is no Britney, Rihanna or Beyonce. GaGa doesn't tease and tickle just enough to satisfy the hungry yet remain "normal." She throws your greatest vices, sickest pleasures and biggest fears in your face and is delighted to find your eyes affixed to the screen while you drool. She is not just about fame, or fashion, or sex, or even music. She is about the message, the experience and the impact. The "Bad Romance" music video is another one of this artist's masterpieces.

“When I’m writing music, I’m thinking about the clothes I want to wear on stage. It’s all about everything altogether--performance art, pop performance art, fashion. For me, it’s everything coming together and being a real story that will bring back the super-fan … I want the imagery to be so strong that fans will want to eat and taste and lick every part of us.” - Lady GaGa

View the video for Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance" below. Thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous said...

    I think this is one of the strangest popular music videos produced to date.