The Fame Monster | Lady Gaga

| Cadenza Reporter

After just one album, Lady Gaga has already become a music, fashion and art icon. She has set trends and conquered the world with “The Fame.” One year after her first album’s release, Lady Gaga is releasing an EP called “The Fame Monster.” Originally, “Monster” was supposed to just be a deluxe rerelease of her debut album, but Gaga decided to offer the eight new songs as their own short album as a courtesy to her fans. Even if they hadn’t been offered separately, these eight new songs would be well worth the repurchase of “The Fame.”

On “The Fame Monster,” Lady Gaga uses her original formula (dance beat underneath catchy lyrics) but branches out into many new territories at the same time. The album’s first two singles, “Bad Romance” and “Telephone,” are by far the most recognizably “Gaga” songs. The songs are modern dance-pop filled with synthesizers and catchy lyrics galore. The former song, though it may be the first single, is probably the weakest song on the album. Of all of the songs, it took the longest amount of time to like. On “Bad Romance,” some of her singing is a little cacophonous and can therefore turn people off. That said, after a few listens, its catchiness is irresistible.

“Telephone,” on the other hand, is definitely one of the best on the album. It is high energy, club ready and, of course, catchy. Beyoncé features on this song as the only guest on the EP. The self-proclaimed diva leaves her runs and high notes at home, as she assumes her “Sasha Fierce” personality and swaggers across the song. She fits perfectly well in between Gaga’s verses, and the combination of two of today’s most popular superstars is hard to resist.

As on her first album, Gaga doesn’t only produce dance-centric tracks on “The Fame Monster,” but she also adds two slower songs that further diversify the album. The first, “Speechless,” sounds like a rock ‘n’ roll power ballad with its heavy piano chords and spare instrumentation. It is on this song that the eccentric singer really shows off her skills. She has a real voice, and she isn’t afraid to use it on this song, contrary to what many say about her. “So Happy I Could Die” is less of a ballad and more of a slow, peaceful, ethereal pop song. It is calm, collected and shows a different side of the energetic Gaga.

Elsewhere on the album, Lady Gaga changes up her style and takes us back to the 1980s with “Dance in the Dark” and “Monster.” These synth-heavy throwbacks manage to mix the modern dance beats with the ’80s sounds. “Monster” is not as danceable as some of her previous hits but is still high energy enough to get people moving. As usual, the song’s lyrics are catchy, if not extremely confusing, as Gaga sings about a guy who “is a monster:” “He ate my heart, and then he ate my brain.”

By far the strangest song, though, is “Teeth.” This song is reminiscent of a southern saloon song with its heavy, continual bass drum and sleigh bells. Throughout the song, Gaga demands that her guy show her his teeth. While the song’s meaning isn’t clear, there is no doubt that Gaga is heavily referencing vampires throughout the song (“Help, need a man now, show me your fangs”). While “Teeth” is definitely a strange, out-of-this-world song, Gaga pulls it off like only she can.

After a slew of club-ready hits produced by RedOne, Lady Gaga released “The Fame Monster” EP, which shows just how versatile she really is. While she has certainly become an icon, she is more than just that or a one-trick pony. She can sing ballads just as well as she can sing catchy dance-pop. She is undeniably creative, she can make whatever music she feels like, and she can do it better than most.

Rating: 4.5/5
For fans of: Britney Spears, Madonna, Ke$ha, Cascada
Tracks to download: ‘Telephone’, ‘So Happy I Could Die’, ‘Monster’