I've only heard a couple of songs by Lady Gaga. Mad props for honoring Freddie Mercury with her name, and her stuff sounds just fine, it's just not something I really want to hear. It's not that I hate it, I'm just apathetic. However, I have seen enough pics of her stage performances and such. I will say this about Lady Gaga -- she gets it. Stadium performers need to be larger than life. You're just a speck on stage, so you need to do something to keep people's attention. This is why performers came up with "flying" above the stage (Bon Jovi) or elaborate stage shows (Kilroy Was Here) or dance troops the size of a state militia (Britney Spears). You want people to pay attention to you, you need a smaller venue. Ever see Tina Turner live? She prowls that stage like a tiger. And you would never see that at an arena show.
Lady Gaga, from what I've seen of pictures at awards shows and that, is very much about making things larger than life (the bra with the sparklers shooting from where her nipples would be? She's a lot more confident wearing that than I would be). It's interesting, but I didn't really see the reason for people getting set. I was a Culture Club fan. Boy George tends to be quite a measuring stick for WTF. In many ways, Lady Gaga would be perfect as a visual rock performer (note for the uninitiated: visual rock is the Japanese version of glam rock. Lots of really elaborate costumes and larger than life archetypes).
So, anytime I hear Lady Gaga is working on something visual, I expect it to be something a bit odd but somehow right up her fans' alley. She does seem to know what they groove to. She tweeted to her fans something about a "highway unicorn" and "get your hot rods ready to rumble."
So, here's the cover of Born This Way. Okay. I doubt I'll do a riff on this for Sound Waves the way I did Alice Cooper's Welcome To My Nightmare, but then again, I'm not the target audience. Not that I think this is crap. Personally, I think this would look just smashing on black velvet. I can almost see the guys at Orange County Choppers mulling things over. At least she isn't doing like the Black Eye Peas at the Super Bowl Show, where I watched them perform and wondered when the light cycles would be showing up.
And the fans reaction?
They seem to hate it.
One person said it looks like it took $2 and a person who just learned Photoshop to make. Some are saying it has nothing to do with the music inside (two words -- White Album). Others just don't think it's over the top enough for a woman who wore an outfit made of Kermit The Frog dolls. "I think this looks like random fan ar (sic)." "Gaga I really love u but this cover is awful, very mediocre and unprofessional...I'm in shock. Please do not dissapoint your fans." "Gaga I'm so disappointed ! I love u but this cover is not pop, rock or even 70's metal. It sucks. :S" "Love you Gaga-always will but this album cover is just........cheap looking." "No graphic designer in their right mind would approve of such an atrocious font, and not only that, It has an awful metallic- looking bevel and emboss! It is terrible."
Like I said, album covers are fun, but you can never tell what makes something iconic (The Ramones) and what is just kind of standard (the cover of Rubber Soul). I'm not saying they shouldn't dislike a cover. I just think they're making a liiiiiiiiiiiittle too much out of this.
Oh, and Lady Gaga? If you're reading this? (Yeah, right.) Stereotomy by the Alan Parsons Project (from the first issue, not the reissues). It was a great concept, I think you might be able to come up with something with that.