The Fame Monster
For some odd reason I just wanted to review this album, maybe it’s because Lady Gaga’s one of the hottest artists this year in the states, or cause she’s just that amazing, either way I wanted to review her album so here it is:
The Fame Monster was Lady GaGa’s 2nd studio album, that’s right her second, this isn’t just an EP anymore. Originally it was supposed to be a re-release with the original The Fame tracks, but it was deemed too expensive, however it was released as itself, just the eight tracks, as well as a deluxe edition so to say with the original The Fame tracks included. And oddly enough it manage to chart at no. 7 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 14,834 copies sold. It was released on November 18 in Japan, and November 23 for the United States as well as the UK.
1. Bad Romance
5. Dance in the Dark
7. So Happy I Could Die
First and foremost I’d like to point out that these songs weren’t written about fame or money etc. GaGa wrote these songs while touring and they were actually about herself. The reason why it’s called the The Fame Monster is because all of the songs were about various “monsters.” The first and most obvious monster is the “fear of love monster” which is pretty obvious when you listen to Bad Romance, and then there are others such as “fear of men monster” in Monster. So the first things you’ll notice is that this album is about Lady Gaga and not about money or fame at all.
*And for right now because I have a lot to say about this album, I will be utilizing the track by track review system for this album.
So GaGa pretty much decided to kick off this album with the first single which was released back in October. Bad Romance is basically the most infectious dance song ever. Tons of dance beats and synth to satisfy anyone who loves GaGa. Initially I thought GaGa was just being dirty will all the lyrics but once you hear them you can tell that it’s profound rather than shallow. She sounded a little full of herself with the whole “Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!” but when you’re Lady GaGa you can pretty much write whatever you want. The hook was amazing and the chorus was not only infectious but it was mind-blowing. Her vocals weren’t all that impressive at first but after a while she starts using her vocals, the last minute was probably the best as far as vocals go. And I just loved her French, it sounded sexy, but it also sounded like she wasn’t trying to be sexy, which makes it even better. And throughout the song she sounded as though she was trying to add a French accent to some stuff, and incorporating languages into your music is always good. Oh and she also referenced Alfred Hitchcock apparently with the “vertigo stick” line.
So speaking of languages everyone that’s take some level of Spanish should realize that Spanish is the language she’s utilizing in Alejandro, in the words of my friend “that’s one sexy name.” Anyway this song is supposed to be “fear of sex monster” and the lyrics pretty much suggest that. I liked the original leak, which featured more synth and heavier breaks, but the true version is fine too. Again there are lots of beats, lighter than Bad Romance and the synth is still be utilized, but she also uses the keyboard in a way that almost makes it sound like a ballad, ALMOST, not quite though. It’s basically a watered down version of Bad Romance that sounds Spanish, and completely different lyrics.
And now we’ve come of one of my absolute favorites on the album, the title track in fact, Monster. The “fear of men monster” is what inspired this song. Pretty much throughout the entire song she’s calling some guy a monster “he’s a wolf in disguise but I can’t stop starring in those evil eyes.” The song overall has a somewhat dark theme to it, the music is very comprised mostly of synth and various beats. The arrangement is just incredible and so are the vocals. Now yes there isn’t much vocal diversity in this song because of the simple fact that there was a vocoder involved, not Ami Suzuki vocoder, but a slight vocoder, well the vocals were edited a bit. Speaking of vocals there were also some background vocals by the guy/monster of the song, I’m assuming they’re either by Red One or Space Cowboy, either way they were just amazing and went perfectly with the song. And as far as the music goes I loved it because even though it was just synth and beats it sounded original and it had some variety throughout the song. Like I said this and another song are my favorite songs on the album.
And now we come to perhaps one of the most profound tracks on the entire album. Without a doubt Speechless was written about Lady GaGa’s father and how he had to get surgery done, but it’s also about the “fear of death monster.” I say this song is one of her most profound songs because of the fact that the lyrics are so deep. That being said, I honestly don’t care for it that much. It’s a nice ballad that’s quite definitive with the guitar, drums, and piano, but I just couldn’t get into it. It sounded way too repetitive and it sounds completely different from what I’m used to. And I should be good enough to see it as a brilliant work of art, but I don’t. I can appreciate it for the lyrics, but I don’t like it as far as the music goes, and perhaps I’m being too close minded and not accepting of her trying something new, but that’s my opinion.
Well another song that it rather mundane is Dance in the Dark. Again I think lyrically it’s nice, not the greatest thing, but still somewhat profound, again this song is about the “fear of loneliness monster.” The music is mostly just mid-tempo dance beats, synth, and distortions. It’s a lot easier to get into than Speechless but it still lacks that hook that the majority or her songs have. For some reason though I feel as if I’ve heard the music before, or maybe even the melody to some degree, either way the song isn’t all bad. Baby loves to dance in the dark ‘Cuz when he’s looking she falls apart…
If mainstream is what you’re looking for then look no further. Telephone is the most mainstream pop track on the entire album. One of the funniest things is that she originally wrote it for Brittney Spears, but she never used it. So that’s how GaGa got it, and she’s stated that it’s one of her favorite songs and that she’s glad that she get’s to perform it now. That being said I’m not sure if there’s a monster with this song. It’s just an energetic dance-pop song. And it even features Beyoncé, just like Beyoncé’s Video Phone remix featured Lady GaGa, although this song is 10 times better. The lyrics pretty much just talk about not picking up the phone and being busy. And the must is just lots of pop, dance, and synth. Pretty energetic electronic beats. Both artists display great vocals, some obviously better than others. Either way this is supposedly going to be the next single, and I can hear why. And as many people might have guessed, one of the producers is none other than Rodney Jerkins, aka Darkchild. Stop callin’ Stop callin’ I don’t wanna talk anymore, I got my head and my heart on the dancefloor…
And now for my favorite track on the album, and perhaps the most dirty as well, So Happy I Could Die. Compared to the rest of the songs on this album it’s perhaps the most simple and shows the least amount of variety, the music’s pretty much the same throughout the song, but for some reason I can’t help but love this song. The music is a smooth fusion of both dance elements as well as the synthesizer. As far as any monster is concerned I’m honestly not sure. I mean the song talks about masturbation:
I love that lavender blonde. The way she moves, the way she walks. I touch myself, can’t get enough. And in the silence of the night, through all the tears and all the lies, I touch myself and it’s all right.
I’ve heard the “alcohol monster” but I’m honestly not all that sure. Anyway onto why I love the song. Besides all the unique lyrics I love the tame beats and the chorus, which she even references Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say).
Happy in the club with a bottle of red wine. Stars in our eyes ‘cuz we’re having a good time. Eh-eh Eh-eh So happy I could die. Be your best friend yeah I’ll love you forever. Up in the clouds we’ll be higher than ever. Eh-eh Eh-eh So happy I could die. And it’s alright.
And now the final song on the album entitled Teeth, which in my opinion is a bunch of crap. It’s one of the oddest songs I’ve ever heard. It sounds like some mixture of gospel and Indian (Native American) music. Her vocals are so-so to say the least. And the lyrics are creepy. I’m all up for masturbation and everything like in her previous song, but S&M is a little too far for me. Maybe if the song was a little catchier it would have been better. Lyrically I’m sure there’s some profound meaning, but it’s just way too abstract for me to comprehend.
Final Thoughts: When you compare this album to The Fame you can see the differences between the two albums. The one thing you should notice is that The Fame Monster is pretty much about GaGa and what she’s gone through and done. She’s also the center of attention for the most part, with a few exceptions. I loved how she tried new things, not many new things, but she tried and that’s the important thing. Her lyrics are clearly more profound as compared to her previous works. Before I still liked GaGa because of her music videos, especially Paparazzi anyone can see the meaning behind it, and her dance songs, only the singles though. But this album is much better. It’s allowed her to display her talent as a singer as well as a songwriter. This will probably be one of the most prolific albums of her career.