Pulling back the curtain: Lady GaGa v. confessional pop

I. The man behind the curtain: (a scene taken from the 1939 movie adaptation of The Wizard of Oz)

II. Lady GaGa’s heat and light imagery:

Unfortunately not available, due to YouTube copyright restrictions, but you know what Lady GaGa is about.

III. Jay Smooth on Lady GaGa: (taken from a discussion on National Public Radio)

I’m waiting to see what’s at the core, that’s exactly how I feel about Lady GaGa. You’ve mastered the game and you’ve worked your way into everyone’s living room, now, are you gonna pull back the curtain and let us see the wizard?

IV. Lady GaGa: (quoted in today’s International Times Herald)

I HATE the truth!

I’m wondering: Why would it be interesting to see the presumed »core« behind the heat and light of Lady GaGa? Also, isn’t that some slightly creepish, possessive attitude — wouldn’t that be like telling a fashion designer sporting her own products that, okay, we like your clothes, but now get naked?

I agree with Jay Smooth that Lady GaGa’s music is rather conservative (not to say totally boring) and I had to smile when he said he feels like she’s »acting out her doctoral thesis on semiotics«. I’m quoting him (as opposed to some other critic) because I’m a fan of his vlog and as always he’s brilliant in verbalizing concerns about Lady GaGa’s »fakeness«.

However, I have increasing doubts whether it’s fair or legitimate (or in the best of our interest as pop music lovers) to demand the curtain pulled. Is the confessional pop of the pre-GaGa Stephanie Germanotta (or any other singer-songwriter for that matter) in any way superior to GaGa-performances? Is it more »real«? I doubt it. To me, it looks like the same old reproduction of established codes, only less spectacular and captivating in their re-arrangement and presentation.

I find the mode of interpreting Lady GaGa as a sort of Trojan Horse that refuses to let out the Greek soldiers somewhat tiring. Also, I’m not sure this is how subversiveness in popular culture works these days. The only thing I do know is that I couldn’t care less for orthodox rehashes of singer-songwriterdom and their boring confessional pop. If that’s »the truth«, I hate it, too.

Lady Gaga: Leave the curtains closed, please.

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