First of all, I must preface this review by stating that I really have no right to breathe the same air as Lady GaGa’s latest single, “Applause.” I’m just a lowly blogger who’s completely unworthy of listening to Mother Monster’s masterpiece, and as far as actually reviewing it goes … fuhgeddaboudit! I mean, who the fuck do I think I am? I’m no music scholar, that’s for sure. I’m lucky to even be alive after having the audacity to speak negatively about the David Bowie of our generation in the past. So, a sincere thank you to my Warholian Queen for not taking me out back and putting a bullet in my head like the mangy mutt that I am, for I know it is what I truly deserve, and that it is only through her divine grace that I can be a free bitch (baby) and voice my personal opinion on her beautimous art (pop).
Now, as for the song, it’s pretty good. Obviously I was hoping it would suck balls so I could drag GaGa like she dragged Femme Fatale on the charts, but one cannot deny the truth. After trying (and failing) to reinvent the wheel with Born This Way, Stefani’s gone back to the more commercial dance-pop that made The Fame somewhat enjoyable. DJ White Shadow’s cooked up some deliciously fun synth-pop beats, sprinkling in some New Wave and subtle arcade-y bloops and bleeps for extra oomph. There’s not enough of it to turn “Applause” into a full-blown ’80s throwback, though; it’s still very much a modern song, just with a little retro twist. At a time when every man and their dog is trying to rehash past decades (*looks at the ’90s*), it’s actually kind of refreshing — even if the production as a whole does sound a bit behind the times as the EDM trend continues to wind down.
Vocally, GaGa’s delivery falls somewhere in between Bowie at his most theatrical and a midnight rerun of Liza with a Z on Logo. It’s camp and fabulous, and one of the best vocal performances GaGa’s ever given on a single. I’ve always felt she should be some gaudy Broadway diva instead of a pop star, anyway, so this approach is all kinds of perfect.
Some idiots with too much time on their hands are going to enjoy analyzing the lyrics to “Applause,” but I’m treating them as irrelevant, just like I do with the majority of top forty lyrics. Most commercial songs are just a string of nonsensical words that sound nice when slotted into a hot beat, and that’s exactly the category I’m putting “Applause” in. I have no interest in applying any real meaning to “Applause” or trying to connect it to GaGa’s self-absorbed Twitter rants about art and critics. Most of the pretentious slush that oozes out of her mouth barely makes sense as it is, so I’ve learned to just tune out her egotistical crap and pray for something to sing along to on the radio.
So, in a nutshell, “Applause” is a very catchy commercial bop with an incredible chorus. Katy Perry’s “Roar” could also be described as that, but “Applause” is far less toothless and banal. I mean, there’s safe, and then there’s safe. You know?
See GaGa, I can’t stand you and I still gave your song a great review. We’re not all bad you anti-blogger bitch.