Release Date: Oct 28, 2008
Record label: Streamline/KonLive
Genre(s): Rock, Dance, Pop
The times were crying out for a pop star like Lady GaGa -- a self-styled, self-made shooting star, one who mocked the tabloid digital age while still wanting to wallow in it -- and one who's smart enough to pull it all off, too. That self-awareness and satire were absent in the pop of the new millennium, where even the best of the lot operated only on one level, which may be why Lady GaGa turned into such a sensation in 2009: everybody was thirsty for music like this, music for and about their lives, both real and virtual. To a certain extent, the reaction to The Fame may have been a little too enthusiastic, with GaGa turning inescapable sometime in the summer of 2009, when she appeared on countless magazine covers while both Weezer and DAUGHTRY covered “Pokerface,” the rush to attention suggesting that she was the second coming of Madonna, a comparison GaGa cheerfully courts and one that’s accurate if perhaps overextended.
Like a good entertainer, every aspect of her music, her clothes, and her stage presence adds to the theatrics of the performance. Influenced by some of pop’s most celebrated artists, it is easy to see splashes of David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson all carving out The Fame. Lady GaGa isn’t just the product of many nights staying at home singing to Cyndi Lauper on the stereo though.
The most embarrassing moment on Lady Gaga’s debut album The Fame is not, shockingly, the part where she sings “Let’s have some fun / This beat is sick / I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”. No, the most embarrassing moment is a song called “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)”. As a defiantly modern club album, awash in dirty synths and whispered promises of promiscuity, The Fame comes to a full-halt when “Eh, Eh” comes on, as—unlike the sinuous strobe singles that came before it—this vapid, superficial piece of gooey ‘80s synth-pop ruins the bad-girl party atmosphere that was being so carefully constructed during the first four tracks.
Of all the synthesiser-toting singer-songwriters allegedly set to rescue the nation from the dreariness of landfill indie in 2009, New York's Lady GaGa is the most straightforward proposition. In contrast to Little Boots' unlikely cocktail of technological geekiness and north western-accented DIY aesthetic, or Frankmusik, with his Paul Morley-penned record company biog, the former Stefani Joanne Germanotta is a songwriter by appointment to the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears and New Kids on the Block, and a protégé of rapper Akon. She's also already a global commercial success.
Set in a dilapidated Veterans Administration hospital, Article 99 may be the first medical melodrama that isn’t about dedicated physicians performing life-saving acts of valor. It’s about dedicated physicians not performing life- saving acts of valor: Their hands are tied by the crisis in veterans’ health care — the calamitous lack of funding, the red tape, the increasingly prevalent policy of refusing to cover conditions (such as heart problems) that aren’t directly related to military service. To function as doctors, the movie’s heroes have to become outlaws in their own hospital.