Category Archives: Kumbaya

The Cover for “Born This Way” Has Arrived…

Brace yourselves for this…

…You know what?

I fucking love it!

It’s hilariously bad in the best sense. It’s self-knowing, which is unusual for her. It’s campy, absurd, and completely over-the-top. I adore this cover.

Of course, the Little Monsters hate it; they wanted something arteestic, which they didn’t get. So, as usual, I’m at odds with the Critters, who have cooked up mad conspiracy theories about how the cover is fake and is all a plot to reenact the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus on Easter. Riiiight…

The cover is real, it’s awesome, and it’s the coolest thing she’s done in a while. Keep it up, Gaga!

PS — I like ‘Judas’ a lot more than I did a couple of days ago. It’s a damn good song; it’s a better version of ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Poker Face.’ It’s as if RedOne and Gaga decided to remake those two songs but with the aim of getting it right this time. And they did. With the exception of the pretentious, self-indulgent lyrics to the chant, I love the song and have been listening to it a lot.

PPS — Lest you think I’m going soft, I’m not. I’m simply an objective critic and not a blind hater.


Is Lady Gaga a Better Singer Than Britney Spears?

Stans for performers with powerhouse voices always whip out what they think is their trump card: in Lady Gaga’s not-so-modest phrasing — “the bitch can sing.” Stans for Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and Lady Gaga are most frequently seen deploying this argument, which is no surprise: it’s easy to instantly appreciate a singer who can belt out an intimidating soul ballad with ease. The implication is clear: Britney Spears, in the final analysis, simply cannot sing very well.

As usual, the Little Monsters have it all wrong. They and their stan allies — and, alas, many music critics — erroneously conflate having a powerhouse voice with having a quality voice. This unfortunate mixing is meant to undercut singers who can’t belt out the soulful ballads: women like Kylie Minogue, Ke$ha, and, yes — Britney Spears.

I happen to prefer the latter three to the former three. It’s not that their voices aren’t as good — they’re simply different. While someone like Britney would surely struggle to match the spin that Lady Gaga can put on a rock ballad like “Speechless,” it’s well-nigh impossible to imagine Lady Gaga being able to match Britney’s performance on “Breathe On Me” — or Kylie Minogue’s on “Chocolate.” Rock ballads are well-suited to powerhouse voices like Gaga’s — but when a sensual, subtle performance is called for, the likes of Lady Gaga simply can’t match a voice like Britney’s.

Different songs call for different interpretations — and hence for different voices. Whether a person “can sing” depends on the kind of material they’re tackling — and all of the performers I listed work with people who help them cater to their strengths. Lady Gaga won’t be caught dead trying to take on a sensual, sexy song like “Chocolate” or “Breathe On Me,” while Britney will surely never attempt a rock ballad like “Speechless” or a soulful song like Christina’s “Bound to You.” It’s not that one is necessarily “better”: they’re simply different. With that in mind, we can view this truth in a very positive light: all of the women I listed are good singers, and no clear-headed stan has anything to be at another’s throat for.