Lady Gaga appeared to be a very original artist for a few minutes, but then you realise that she is 100% derivative. A post-modern hodge-podge of illusions and pretences. A glitterball of abilities wrapped in a huge variety of packages. Only once has she worn a costume twice (as far as I know), but she wears such a variety of sublime ridiculous and ostentation costumes that we are almost used to it. Seeing her act in any way we perceive as “normal” takes some effort. Her contributions went from startling to brilliant to ecstatic to obscured by ego rapidly. She is not pretentious, she is horrifically talented. She is not however a great editor, and some of her ideas arrive partially raw. She does not have the ear as much as she possesses the eye. She could have a film career and she models her career on David Bowie (she said she did), although she seems to have had more than one flash of Madonna-esque tendencies.
And now she has a new moment to do something that sounded like more of the same – her new album, Joanne, so far has revealed the single Perfect Illusion to which I reacted badly at first, saying she should strip back to her piano singer sensibilities instead of the big dance number. I thought she needed to hear someone she respected to say “no” to her before she trotted out infererior material.
And then she did perform that same hit on a piano by herself. And it was actually a better song. Still too much going on for most ears, but then again, why not?
And then I found this: perfect illusion? Perfect fit. Lady Gaga’s Dive Bar Tour.