The GaGa Chronicles

When we set out to blog, there was a conscious decision to only share info on the artists Softsynth feels positively about (barring negative reviews and the like, which are fair comment), and not to spend time shitting on those artists that don’t meet with the music snob criteria always lurking underneath the surface. The only exception to that rule was a couple of cheap shots taken at Lady GaGa when discussing a burgeoning ubiquity of electronic artists suddenly on the charts. And full disclosure, GaGa’s schtick is exhaustively tiring and her early success with “Poker Face” represented just another chart-single-by-the-numbers horror. And yet. And yet…

We can be Judgey McJudgerson with the best of them. Once an artist gels into a solid idea what they are “supposed to be” it’s hard to change the narrative. So when one day we catch a video for a song that just grabs us with a video as compelling as we’ve seen in some time causing us to ask in anticipation, “who is that?” Imagine our shock to discover it was Ms GaGa herself, the iconic manifestation of all that is wrong with mainstream chart music pulling out the awesome “Paparazzi”. That, coupled with her truly wonderful performance at Sunday’s VMAs (sorry no link, stupid Viacom) where she pulled out the performance art, danced (more or less) and actually sang (yes Britney, it is possible; she recognized she wasn’t going to hit those autotuned high notes and opted for the lower harmonic and good on her for going for it), caused us to take a much closer look.

Now she’s still not entirely our cup of tea but Softsynth offers a mea culpa. The album is mixed to say the least but she’s a true, unabashed electronic artist who weaves some truly interesting, subtle synth lines into the mix that are truly compelling and often surprising (listen to “Paparazzi” for example with headphones and catch the little hiccups and eye-opening bleeps and crossfades that you don’t catch on first listen). If she can produce these kinds of sounds and still chart we doff the cap to her. (Plus how can we not salute someone who weaves crutches into a dance routine?)

(and let’s acknowledge it; the weird is so affected it takes away from it’s potential awesomeness but she sells it and she works it and we can’t help but celebrate someone who is willing to look like such a pretentious dumb ass from time to time, occasionally stumbling upon the awesome…)

Watch: Paparazzi

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