Here she goes again. The problem with being outrageous as a shtick is how to outdo your self each time. But I think Lady Gaga is still okay on the weird-o-meter as far as this video is concerned. I just had to post this because when Gaga releases a video, it’s always worth a look, whether you love her or you hate her. This probably is my least favorite of her many top 10 hits on the Hot 100, but I must say, the video is quite a spectacle. Expect a furor from many sides for the homoerotic and religious images, as one could only expect from a provocateur like Gaga. Although one has to remember that Madonna’s been there, done that, back in 1987 with the now relatively tame “Like A Prayer”. Many of the younger Gleeks are not familiar with the dark past of the gospel-infused pop hit. When the video debuted, on the eve of a ginormous multi-million ad deal with Pepsi, Madonna shocked everyone with dark images of burning crosses and the material girl making out with a statue of a saint that came to life. It cost her the Pepsi deal, when the softdrink giant instantly backed-out, because of the uproar the video created. Who wants their product attached to a video with possible racist and blasphemous themes? So if you notice, regardless of how famous Gaga is, you rarely see her as an endorser of mainstream brands. Most would be too scared to gamble their image on an artist intent on constantly challenging public opinion.
This video has provocative images as well, military-garbed men and women in medieval bowl haircuts and pasty make-up, Gaga in faux religious garments swallowing a rosary, flashes of near-nudity and near-graphic sex scenes. “Bad Romance” was surreal, “Telephone” was nasty, now “Alejandro” has a little bit of both. I’m on the fence on this one. Although it’s a visual buffet that’s interesting to say the very least, I’m not sure if the video is really saying anything or it’s just stitching together indelible images, bombarding us with pomp and pageantry, but signifying little. That said, nobody does these types of videos better than Gaga, and on this level she is unparalleled. How she says things is unquestionable, it’s what she’s saying that I’m really curious about. Shocking people, or being an iconoclast, transcends flash and bombast. What makes the rebels visionary is the meat that lies beneath the rebellion. It’s the ideas, the concepts, the beliefs that dare go against the grain, that fuels the pyrotechnics of a revolt. I just hope she’s shocking people because of what she’s saying, and not just shocking for shock value’s sake. It is this that will decide if Lady Gaga is a true artist, or merely media savvy.