To co-incide with the unusual lateness of my review, I’m going to pay you all back for your patience and post two reviews today. This is the second of those two – you can find the first review here – [[http://unrealityshout.com/blogs/single-review-kylie-minogue-all-the-lovers|Single Review: Kylie Minogue – ‘All The Lovers’]]
After the gargantuan ‘Bad Romance’ and the huge club stomper ‘Telephone’, Lady GaGa is set to release the physical copy of ‘Alejandro’ this week. This presents a problem.
Some of you may remember, GaGa’s last ‘third’ single, ‘Paparazzi’, failed to match the success of it’s predecessors ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’, both of which topped the UK Singles Chart at #1, leaving ‘Paparazzi’ to wallow about at a comparitively dismal #4.
There is no mystery behind why this happened; it certainly wasn’t because ‘Paparazzi’ wasn’t as good as it’s predecessors: in my opinion it was far superior, and the video was a visual master-piece to say the least. The reason ‘Paparazzi’ failed to match the success of ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’, was due to the lone fact that it was released three months after the album. Could even ‘Poker Face’ have made #1 were it released after the album?
You see, by the time ‘Paparazzi’ was released, ‘The Fame’ had topped the charts globally, sold nearly 2.7 million copies world-wide, and had launched the career of the soon-to-be pop juggernaut who is now a household name.
So, now we have GaGa’s next ‘third’ single, this time from stop-gap release ‘The Fame Monster’, an album where every track could be a hit single. Only this time her she has literally 5 times the trouble. ‘The Fame’ (re-released as a double disc with ‘The Fame Monster attached in some territories e.g. the UK and Ireland) has now sold a record-breaking 15 million copies. No other artist has ever had a diamond-selling début album so you can imagine the goliath challenge ‘Alejandro’ is facing.
‘Alejandro’ has to sway people who haven’t bought the album, as well as those who have, plus those who already have the digital download of the single, into buying the physical copy if it wants to get anywhere near the Top 5. But can it do this? Is it ‘good’ enough?
Well, it remains an unusually tame song for GaGa to sing; it speaks of denying love, rather than wanting love as well as revenge, taking rides on disco sticks, or bluffin’ with various bake-goods. The production is unmistakably RedOne, with a chorus that can only add to GaGa’s song-writing abilities. The beautifully crafted, criminally catchy hook-line “Don’t call my name” is then accompanied by the pounding, Spanish-tinged production with rousing synths and an irresistably catchy vocal riff.
Straying from GaGa’s typical four-on-the-floor beat, ‘Alejandro’ is as Spanish as a Hispanic wearing a sombrero and playing a mandolin whilst being ridden around a busy Spanish market on a bike by his best friend who is trying to sell some grapes. It echoes Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ – you’d have to be an idiot not to see a connection – but what GaGa has done, is not just swagger-jacked Madonna (as many of her detracters have claimed she has done), she’s taken Madonna’s 1985 UK #1 apart, and crafted it back together, whilst updating the production, giving it cleverer lyrics, and adding more GaGa into this track than any of her others: oddly enough, this is GaGa’s most ‘GaGa’ track.
The video, one of GaGa’s best, regrettably has very little to do with the actual song, something ‘Telephone’ suffered with as well. But ‘Alejandro’s video towers over all (with the exception of ‘Bad Romance’) because of it’s message. “What message?” I hear you say… well, I’m not surprised if you’re bewildered by it. The message is far too vague to be as prominent as GaGa would probably like but if you’re interested here as a link to my full explanation of the video.
[[http://unrealityshout.com/blogs/oddones-video-explanation-2-lady-gaga-alejandro|OddOne’s Video Explanation #2 – Lady GaGa – ‘Alejandro’]]
And here is the video (I recommend watching the video just before you read the explanation).
So, can ‘Alejandro’ measure up to at least ‘Paparazzi’s mark? Yes it can. But she’s been very savvy about it: there was a dispute between GaGa and Interscope (her record label), and Interscope wanted ‘Dance In The Dark’ to be released for summer but GaGa got her way and ‘Alejandro’ got released. My point lies in that if ‘Alejandro’ was released at any other time of the year, I doubt it would’ve entered the Top 10 so early: it’s the perfect song for the summer, and whilst it’s tamer, it’s a breath of fresh air from Lady GaGa with it’s uplifting melody, ascending synths, and summery vibe. It’s deceptively clever, and one of her best songs yet, accompanied with a big-budget video with an important message, this song would easily out-peak ‘Paparazzi’, but sales from ‘The Fame’ and ‘The Fame Monster’ may just hinder it’s peak.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Download: June 28, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘The Fame Monster’