Recently, little monsters and critics tuned on Dateline to catch a glimpse of Lady Gaga's new music video for her next single "G.U.Y." While some questioned why the Mother Monster chose Dateline, to premiere her new content (it's got people talking, right?) many still tuned in to check it out.
After the preview ended, fans went online, where the video was there in full. My gut reaction when finding the video online was: "Oh it's over 11 minutes." I was not aware it was "G.U.Y. -- An ARTPOP Film." Still, after epic videos like "Telephone" (which I then realized came out roughly four years ago, and felt old) I wasn't that surprised by the length. Regardless, I clicked play.
First, it surprised me that it was a mash-up of more than one song. I wasn't sure if this was a surprise to fans, but it was news to me. While "G.U.Y." is the next single that the public will begin to hear on the radio and so on (if you haven't already), that was actually the third of four songs in the video. Either way, this is a smart move from Gaga and her team. While it is about the main song ("G.U.Y." was the bulk of the video), it did put other songs on the radar. Plus, in a world where things get leaked, it has become increasingly harder to keep things under wraps. (Lately, Beyoncé has been the only major exception to this.) Many were aware that she was making a video, but the actual specifics were not widely known.
The video itself is not "shocking" (this isn't a bad thing). I wasn't sure what to expect and as prepared for it to go many different directions. Gaga, like many artists, has used different forms of artistic expressions in the past to get us talking. However, the "shock" factor has become increasing hard to achieve, and sometimes can backfire if not used correctly. So while I expect Gaga to "shock" us in the future, it was very smart and refreshing that she did not do this with this video.
This is not to say the video was not interesting to watch. Instead of cringing and pondering what I just watched, I found myself being entertained and somewhat transfixed. Yes, at times I was also a little confused (but, I expected this). Questions like: "Was that Bravo's Andy Cohen's face in the sky?" entered my mind (it was). I also was surprised to see some of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast members, though I later recalled an interview where Gaga stated she was a fan of the franchises
There were also plenty of theatrics and interesting visuals (which included the likes of Michael Jackson and Jesus being resurrected, though that was literally a few seconds of the video). The backdrop of the Hearst Castle also added to the overall feel and could have easily played its own character. Still, even with all this, there was still a story that was being played out. In my very basic interpretation (I am sure Gaga can tell a much better one), it is about someone being knocked-down (through greed, etc.), shocked back into reality/resurrected, and then goes on to dominate his or her own life. With recent events, it is very possible that Gaga mirrored the basic concept of the film on personal experiences (that many artists do) or it could be just a story.
Lately, there has been a strange tear down of the "Just Dance" singer. While, I will fully admit that I don't get everything that Gaga does, there is no doubt that she is talented. I distinctly remember an interview with Howard Stern where she sang (and proved again, she could/can really sing) and this video in particular shows she has maintained her dancing skills. We could debate her talent (or the state of popular music) but I will pass. Personally, I listen to all types of pop (and not so pop) music, and am a fan of a wide variety of artists and musicians (I wouldn't consider myself loyal to one fan base in particular). In the end, I enjoyed the video, found myself re-watching it, and thought Gaga did a great job. (I even watched the credit sequence, which proves it sometimes truly takes a village.) While some want to dismiss Lady Gaga, I wouldn't be so quick to do this. Everyone goes through career ups and downs (not just in the entertainment world). If anything it is possible, the last few months or so have just been an intermission of sorts, and the Mother Monster is now preparing to "wow" us with her second act. Will she succeed? I don't know. However, with "G.U.Y. -- An ARTPOP Film" I would say she is off to a great start.
To check out "G.U.Y. -- An ARTPOP Film" you can watch it here.