Thank you so, so much NME. You rolled up your sleeves, grew a pair of testicles and published a public opinion that was bound to cause controversy. And sure enough, the band wagon has been jumped on more times than Paris Hilton. Allow me to take the baton and explain why Gaga’s ‘little monster’ fan base are wrong in claiming that Born This Way is not the most pretentious album of all time.
Critical writing, as an art form, tends to extract the best out of people. Whether they are musicians, actors, directors, politicians etc, each article or interview cites an aspect of their persona in the public eye. We’ve seen the rave reviews and opinions that have propelled people to the top and darted them straight into the accepting hearts of our nation, but we’ve also witnessed the negative fragments of individuals persona. The likes of Ricky Hatton, Paul Gascoigne and George Michael have all found themselves shamed in the media for various antics. A few exceptions, to their credit have bounced back from their critics and found peace again.
Lady Gaga, however, one of the most exposed merchants of media profiling on the planet, has responded in the same way as her fans with her recent criticism in the NME. After an NME poll dubbed Gaga’s second studio effort the ‘most pretentious album of all time’, Gaga and her entourage responded in the same manner as the album. Pretentiously, sanctimoniously and, best of all, laughably. So much so, that the NME received a considerable number of wounded replies from Gaga’s fans. Messages and tweets to the NME such as “I hope I meet the writer of this so I can piss on their face”, “‘Born This Way’ is one of the most meaningful songs ever” and “Don’t mess with Gaga. We’ll tear you limb from limb” have found the way into the NME g-mail box.
Obviously, the person in question had to have her say on the whole matter. She tweeted “Oh the irony of winning “Most Pretentious Album Ever” from none other than NME. *eyeroll* I might laugh forever + then return to narcissism”. She makes a fair comment calling the NME pretentious, as the magazine itself has had it’s share of self indulgence over the years. Having said that, the NME has been around for decades and has surely earn’t the right to be a little euphuistic from time to time. Lady Gaga has been on the scene for three or so years now, and she still feels obliged to ‘speak for the people’ and remain a genuine figure of ‘individualism’.
Now, I could draw a line in the sand and back away from the whole situation revolving the New Musical Express and Lady Gaga, or I could dissolve myself into the argument too. This being the post on a small independent blog, it’ll be a surprise if this will be picked up by anyone, to say the least. So, in true journalistic fashion, I’m going to go the full mile and call Lady Gaga the most pretentious singer/songwriter on the planet. I find her originality to be nothing more than a 1980’s drag queen attempting to dress up as Madonna for a stag night. Her ‘unique’ sound is the product of Michael Jackson’s pop style and Cyndi Lauper’s vocal chords finding their way into the music collection of a twelve year old American girl.
The counter argument is that she is very, very famous and very, very successful. And I respect that, just like the NME did. Funnily enough, the NME gave Born This Way a rave review and placed it in their top fifty albums of 2011. In recent times, Gaga has been nominated as ‘Best Female’ and ‘Best Dressed Female’ at the NME awards. They’ve very much supported Gaga through her ‘gay rights’ campaign in America and, just like everyone else seems to be doing, give her a lot of press coverage via their magazine and website.
In her most gracious and appreciative ways, Gaga has thanked them for their hard work by slandering them. What Gaga needs to realise and understand is that this is their job. They are a music magazine, and they will criticise you. The same message goes to the hoards of narrow minded and naive fans that wrote into the NME. They are an independent institution who ‘review’ peoples work. Secondly, it wasn’t even the NME that drew the conclusion that Gaga’s Born This Way was the pretentious album of all time. It was a public poll, addressing all readers of the NME and those who visit the website for the British magazine company. Don’t blame the NME, blame yourselves for not voting otherwise. If anything, you’ve let down your ‘messiah’ of individualism and soul.
As for Gaga, she should think herself lucky. One day in the future, she may look back on this and be thankful for the public exposure she was given by the NME. I mean, Terrence Trent D’Arby came second with Neither Fish Nor Flesh, and I bet he’s doing cartwheels over the exposure the magazine have given him. Rant over.