Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This time, I'm not leaving without you

Is the world ready for another incomprehensible Lady Gaga video?  No?  Okay, so here's Yoü & I.

The entire "Yoü & I Era" has been touch and go for me, and it hasn't really even taken off just yet.  Following The Edge of Glory - the third single which was wildly and widely successful - and its beyond lackluster video (five minutes of gyrating on scaffolding, smashing), it's safe to say I was a little bit apprehensive about Gaga's direction.  When Yoü & I was released, I was both disappointed and relieved: disappointed, because she's been playing the song for over a year, and that songs like Scheiße or Hair or hell even Americano were now still waiting on the sidelines for their chance as the successful singles they will be; relieved, though, because, judging by The Edge of Glory's success, conservative Gaga (though a risk) has proved to be just as successful with her fanbase and exponentially effective with newer and older fans alike.  (my mom much preferred Glory to Judas) In that sense, Yoü & I is the last safe choice for a single, and while I appreciate that and can foresee astounding success for it based on its safety and commercial appeal, I do wish she would've picked something edgy and something new to a public that might've already heard Y&I before.  But that's just me being picky.  I'll keep complaining until I hear that thumping German gibberish on the radio.

I've been appropriately hyped for this video, so imagine my joy when stills of the video began to leak this afternoon and Gaga herself rushed the release - she had promised that the 1000th tweet on her Twitter would be the video, and despite a deal with MTV to premiere it on Thursday, she promptly tweeted "FUCK." "THURS." "DAY." as her 997th, 998th and 999th tweets before finally releasing the video because damnit, she wanted us fans to see it.  I think my family has some sort of magical pull with Gaga on our birthdays: on my birthday, the album leaked, and today was my sister's birthday, and bam, video.  Too bad we need to wait until January for my mom to prove herself.  Maybe by then - Scheiße video!!

Look: if you go into the video thinking you'll fully understand it, you're a fool.  If you come out of this video thinking you've pieced together a storyline, you're an idiot.  Sure, there's some sort of story underlying everything, but not everything will be a cohesive story; instead, I take each of the massive "scenes" of the video - say, Robotic Gaga, Corn Gaga, Creation Gaga, Mermaid Gaga - as each representatives of a set-piece, and what I mean by that is each, while seemingly all the same, are rather different "mini-stories" representing the same theme - relationship.  To say that the Gaga created on the machine by the scientist is the same Gaga as the mermaid who is the same Gaga as the bride at the end is foolish: instead, the Creation Gaga may represent a love that is manufactured and is doomed to work due to the scientist wanting something out of her that she can't give; the Mermaid Gaga may represent a strange love (okay, I don't really need to ever see a man fucking a mermaid ever again.. ever.. again).  All these set-pieces of ideal or damaged love are tied together by Gaga on her piano while overshadowed by Jo Calderone, her male alter-ego representative of her on-again off-again now on-again boyfriend Lüc Carl.  (oho, get the "ü" now?  And oh my gaaad he's from Nebraska) Another common thread to the video is the Robotic looking Gaga, who Gaga herself said has walked from New York to Nebraska - hence the bloody feet - in search of her love.  She comes to a creepy ice cream man on her journey, and I guess his telling her that they're out of chocolate causes her to collapse on the ground.  Whhhhhyyyyyy?

Bottom line: the fact that it wasn't directed by a professional director is blatant - though, not as much as TEOG or Judas.  The last professionally directed video was TELEPHONE: Alejandro and Born This Way were both filmed by photographers, and everything since has been filmed by Gaga's own team.  Gaga: hire a professional director!

On the flip side, though, Judas and this are both masterpieces, and the visual quality to this video is astounding.  The saturated earth tones are beautiful, as is the cinematography.  Visually, she's en pointe: I found myself actually liking the blue wig, and she's never looked more beautiful than sitting on the piano in natural makeup and clothes.  Mind you, I always laugh when she does her troll run across the screen.  Fuck the police!

All in all, I'm very pleased with the video.  Anything would've been better than The Edge of Glory, and better it was.  My biggest gripe is the apparent incoherence and that Gaga's vision sometimes gets muddled (do I even understand Alejandro yet?  No fucking way), but I blame that on the decision not to have professional direction or editing.  And while I'm not yet entirely to terms with the choice to have Yoü & I the next single, I'm beyond satisfied with the video and the idea that I know it'll be commercially successful.  And damn, it sounds good on the radio.

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