Lana Del Rey has forged a unique path you may see as “fallen Hollywood sweetheart kitch” but there is something else decidedly musically complex going on in her progression from sugar sweetened pop tunes that possess much hooked up instant appeal but also use complex musical values that will continue to be valued in a future where she continues to produce music that exerts emotional power as she has firm feet in a creative heritage.
Is Lady Gaga a star or an artist? Her career seems to have peaked and yet although she seemed to go on a voyage of self-discovery with friend Marina Ambramovic – and then launched into her tour or low life bars as an artistic statement? And now she has announced a big staged show on tour. Based on the success of her self-exploration, Joanne? Am I losing interest in the artist as she rakes in the profits from her eagerly waiting empire of little monsters who will buy her regardless and keep her super-rich?
The most important thing an artist can do is to do something new. It is the not the image you craft, it is the music. And the one thing Stephanie has going for her is that she is a top drawer musician and song writer. What works against her is when she thinks she is more like Britney than Beyonce. Not that Britney is low grade art, she isn’t. But she scales the heights of providing cheap thrills on which her rather clever arrangements and vocalisations are carried. Beyonce style marketing is more demure, more about what she sings about than pouting displays of allure.
If I were advising Gaga on her future career – I would say “go weird”. Not political. Not drugs. Not sex. Been there already. Weird as in psychological. As in exploration of otherness. As in finding sources outside of the ego that inspire. I would ask her in all seriousness if she had read Carl Jung? As a rich source of otherness, she could then base her creativity around a set of ideas that may access inner truth without trying to be successful, accepted or even understood. If people “grok” it, the artist can expand the awareness of their audience rather than bask in the bubble of their admiration.
There is a huge difference between being a pop star and being someone whose works will be remembered. What artists today are so original that they will be remembered in 100 years? Very few in the pop world that essentially recycles mating calls, some of them very ugly.
Of today’s crop of stars, Lady Gaga may yet survive to produce great work in her prime. How she writes depends upon how she reads. Finding a spiritual dimension to the music is a journey she will make when the need for attention is in the back seat.