This week Lady GaGa confirmed that she’ll be releasing a new album this year. With “Marry The Night” officially a flop and no potential hits left on the Born This Way, GaGa’s new album announcement is the first major “well, duh” moment of 2012, but the big question is: Do we actually need another Lady GaGa album so soon?
Born This Way may have technically closed out 2011 as a success, but it was far from a smooth era for GaGa. There was the humiliating Madonna plagiarism scandal followed by the fake e-mail, “Judas” under-performing, the embarrassing Amazon sales stunt, the “The Edge of Glory” music video fiasco, the split with Laurieann Gibson, the real sales of Born This Way, and most recently, the floppage of “Marry The Night”, which saw Interscope simultaneously slash the song’s price to 49 cents on Amazon while releasing a bloated remix EP in the same week to try and boost the single’s digital sales — needless to say, it didn’t work, and “Marry The Night” has since been pulled from radio.
But sales and scandal aside, the most important thing is the music, right? Well, not only did Born This Way fail to live up to GaGa’s claim that it would be the “greatest album of the decade“, but it wasn’t even as good as her previous releases. Love her or hate her, but pretty much any pop fan on the planet can admit that both The Fame and The Fame Monster were relatively enjoyable and consistent. Born This Way, on the other hand, was like a turkey with too much stuffing. It’s wildly uneven and lyrically atrocious, with too many ideas and too many songs forcefully crammed into a space that’s not even big enough to accommodate half of it. The only coherency on the whole album is either the songs she wrote specifically for the radio, or “You & I”, the one sole rock ballad that the disc has to offer. Of course, the album still packs in a few truly great pop moments, but it’s not worth having to wade through unlistenable trash like “Americano” and “Black Jesus” to find it.
If GaGa stays on track and releases a new EP or album this year — which I believe she will — it’ll only leave a short window of time between the hype of the Born This Way era cooling down and the new era beginning, and we all know how much Lady GaGa likes to promote her records. Born This Way has to be the most heavily-promoted album of the past ten years — Madonna’s rep said GaGa promoted it “five times” more than what Madonna used to do. Even Rihanna –who gives Lady GaGa a run for the money in the overexposure stakes with yearly album releases– doesn’t plug herself nearly as heavily as GaGa.
I’d like to see at least half of 2012 become a Lady GaGa-free zone. Despite what Rihanna and Beyonce would have you believe, it is possible for current pop divas to take some time out: Ke$ha’s been purposely laying low for months now, and she’s not even half as established as GaGa.
After all the relentless touring, promoting, and recording, it’d be nice to see GaGa take a step back, become a little more mysterious, and work on her next album without having to live in the eye of a hurricane like she did during the making of Born This Way. Of course, giving GaGa a break and more time to think could actually backfire and produce even worse music than some of the stuff that Born This Way had to offer, but I’m willing to take the risk if it means getting a breather from Mother Monster.