Monday, November 02, 2009

Music Review: Poker Face, by Lady Gaga



Song: Poker Face
Artist: Lady Gaga
Album: The Fame

[WARNING: ADULTS ONLY! Explicit sexual issues discussed throughout review; foul lyrics contained, etc. If you are not an adult, or do not wish to read such material, please pass on this right now. I highly advise all to proceed with caution. Consider yourself well warned.]

Lady Gaga. Where does one start? From a relative unknown to overnight chart-topper, Lady Gaga has taken the world of music by storm. With her incredibly catchy tunes, unique, flamboyant style, and raunchy attitude, this little "lady" has garnered some real attention. You hear her name everywhere. She appears everywhere. Her music videos on YouTube have countless millions of views. Fans can adorn a wall with the Official Lady Gaga 2010 Calendar.1 Kelly Ripa went as the star just this past Halloween.2 Owners of the iPhone can even purchase the "Be Like Lady Gaga" app; take your picture, add some hair, face art, big shades, and--poof!--you can "be like Lady Gaga".3 So what's the big deal here?

Due to the massive nature of the material one must wade through to even get an accurate grasp of this quick-risen starlet, I will attempt to contain myself to one song, as is my usual custom. However, this unique case will lead me to discuss Lady Gaga as a larger issue. I have been watching her rise with interest, and I've also done a fair amount of research over a span of several weeks to write this review you see before you. Thus, this will be my deepest-dug review yet. If you appreciated my Katy Perry review, then you will most certainly want to read this one. Thus, all I can advise you now is to strap on your seatbelts, 'cause this is gonna be one perverted ride.

I first became acquainted with her upon hearing her song Just Dance. Fast and with a good beat (often called electropop), Spencer fully admits it, he was interested. With my usual caution, I didn't run out and buy the single. I later saw the album cover and thought, "Hmm, ok, not too crazy here" but neither did I buy it then. Something niggled at my head when I thought of Lady Gaga. Eventually, I would discover just exactly what that was and why.

Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in 1986 to a New York Italian family.4 With an early interest in music and stage, Stefani found her niche in combining the two, which is what we see in her work today. A firm believer in music combined with what she calls art as well as a follower of pop culture (in the Poker Face music video her sunglasses flash "POP" and then "CULTURE" in green lettering), Lady G is known for her bizarre style and overtly sexual themes (perhaps learning one or both during her days as a burlesque performer). Her abilities were apparently noticed by the famous Akon, and soon Lady Gaga (who takes her name from the Queen song Radio Ga Ga5) would watch as her 2008 album and it's catchy singles soared to the top of the charts.6



Now, the lyrics:


Mu-mu-mu-mah
Mu-mu-mu-mah
Mu-mu-mu-mah
Mu-mu-mu-mah
Mu-mu-mu-mah

I wanna hold em' like they do in Texas Plays
Fold em' let em' hit me raise it baby stay with me (I love it)
Luck and intuition play the cards with Spades to start
And after he's been hooked I'll play the one that's on his heart

Oh, woah, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-a-oh
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got
Oh, woah, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-a-oh
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got

Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)
Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)

I wanna roll with him a hard pair we will be
A little gambling is fun when you're with me (I love it)
Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun
And baby when it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun (fun)

Oh, woah, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-a-oh
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got
Oh, woah, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-a-oh
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got

Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)
Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)
Mu-mu-mu-mah
Mu-mu-mu-mah

I won't tell you that I love you
Kiss or hug you
Cause I'm bluffin' with my ******
I'm not lying I'm just stunnin' with my love-glue-gunnin'
Just like a chick in the casino
Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand 'cause I'm marvelous

Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)
Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)

Can't read my,
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)
Can't read my
Can't read my
No he can't read my poker face
(She's got to love nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mu-mu-mu-mah)



So...to all those who caught the references, I hope you're thinking, "Where do we begin?" because that's exactly what I'm thinking right now. I admit, although I have attempted to do my best, I will more than likely miss some of the references and meanings; this material has required some unusual research. So,that said let's start from the top, shall we?

Lady Gaga seems to be rather careless with the affection of her man, to put it lightly ("And after he's been hooked I'll play the one that's on his heart", "I won't tell you that I love you/Kiss or hug you/Cause I'm bluffin'...").

The sexual references...well, they abound. "I'll get him hot, show him what I've got", "baby when it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun", and "stunnin' with my love-glue-gunnin'" all refer to sex. Also, when Gaga sings "Cause I'm bluffin' with my ******", she leaves no room for debate on the meaning of the crude word she uses (via placing her hand on her groin area in the music video).7 [Note: I refuse to post the actual word here. Such sexually explicit innuendo does not belong on my blog; this whole post feels like it's pushing it enough.]

And while we're on the subject, the music video for Poker Face is, quite literally, disgusting. Appearing in various amounts of clothing, Lady G (unfortunately) dances with the expertise of a striptease artist. The details of the video are irrelevant; what is there is there and it is all out in the open, for all to see. (On another note, the video to her explicit song LoveGame was x-rated enough to be banned in Australia, while American kids can simply turn on MTV and see it in it's full glory, or rather lack thereof.) Her Paparazzi and Just Dance videos are relatively softer, but even they are still incredibly suggestive. Did I mention that the song Just Dance is apparently about being drunk (at the least)?

So, although she claims she is "not a promiscuous person", Lady Gaga produces such material, and personally, openly admits that she sleeps around (as they so call it) and also has told the world her one necessary quality in a male partner (no prize to he who answers correctly). What gives?8 And when we see all of this, we are compelled to ask, "Is this all?" Oh, no it isn't....



As well as said material, the song has numerous positive references to gambling (clearly). So, either you feel like screaming and running in the other direction, or you followed along with our dissection very well and are wondering what exactly "Poker Face" means. Initially, the phrase sounds appealing, at least to someone like me (I guess you could say I have my own "poker faces" that I put on if I really need to). Therefore, we just have to ask, why can't her boy "read [her] poker face"?

When dealing with such a subjective issue, it is always preferable to let the originator define the meaning, and, lucky for us, Lady Gaga has done just that. So...are you sure you really want to know?

In the wee hours one Sunday this past April, Lady Gaga told her adoring crowd just exactly what all that stuff about keeping a "poker face" was all about. Lady Gaga's "poker face" is the face she wears when she is with a man but is fantasizing about a woman. Don't believe me? Feel free to check my references.9

Gaga has made it more than clear that she is sexually interested in members of her own sex, on numerous occasions and in many different conversations. And if anyone doubted still, the x-rated photos of her cavorting with her friend Lady Starlight in a club surely settled it.10

Check your horror for a moment, readers, because it gets worse. While Katy Perry received scorn from the homosexual community for her song I Kissed a Girl, Lady Gaga is the champion of it. The singer makes a point of performing at sodomite clubs wherever she tours, she promotes the cause of "gay" rights, and at the recent 2009 VMA awards she strode onto stage in a see-through, face-covering, red dress (sans brassiere) to thank "God and the gays" (she was awarded for Best New Artist).11

And just on October 11th, Lady Gaga spoke at the National Equality March (around this time a banner for the march was included on her official website12) for the "LGBT" cause. She demanded Obama heed their call for "equality" as they call it, screaming, "Are you listening?" Having actively campaigned for this event with relentless enthusiasm, the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people everwhere must be dearly important to miss Germanotta. She closed by saying, "Bless God, and bless the gays!" Again, don't believe me? Then please see the noted videos.13



And if that's not enough for you, then let the lady speak in her own words, and I quote: "My sister texted me and she was like, ‘Madonna is 15 feet away from me. And there are two guys having sex in the audience,’...I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is exactly what I wanted. I’ve got Madonna and I’ve got gay sex!’"14 (Events described occurred during one of her concerts apparently.)

At first you may have been reminded of Katy Perry (as long as you read my review last year), but I'm beginning to feel like miss Perry is almost tame, relatively, no? Regardless, it would appear that the young ladies of our day all too often drink from the bitter cup of homosexuality. On the one hand it makes me deeply sad, and on the other, it makes me determined to do what little I can. And that, my friends, starts today, here on these pages.

Does it sound like Lady Gaga has an agenda of some sort? Decide for yourself (and yet again I quote): "I almost want to trick people into hanging with something that is really cool with a pop song. It’s almost like the spoonful of sugar and I’m the medicine.... And, now, I’m just trying to change the world one sequin at a time."15 Is it just me, or is this just a little more than a bit of musical artistry?

Lady Gaga has entered into this great war, and she has entered on the wrong side. I regret this fact, because, besides the fact of another lost soul, I never relish conflict with a lady. Take it from me, no matter what I would protect and fight for Lady Gaga like any other woman, and if I were her bodyguard, you would see me just as ferocious as I would be protecting anyone else if it came down to it.( There seems to be a debate as to whether or not Lady Gaga is really a woman, or a man or perhaps a hermaphrodite. This question is fairly irrelevant to my review, and I remain unconvinced by those who claim her sex is other than what is already known.) But due to the identity of her Master, who I am sworn to war against, I must take my stand in opposition. So what can we do? Speak out.

Yes, it is true, Lady Gaga knows how to make some good music. But, in the end, we see that this is not her sole intention. Whether she is the Britney Spears Redux or Katy Perry 2.0 is now a moot question. It is clear that she is much more. As a Christian Warrior, I feel bound to respond.

Spencer

P.S. To those who may possibly have an issue with this review and what I am doing here, I say this: Did anyone ever win a war by hiding themselves from the strategies of their enemy? Can we as believers really expect to fight effectively while being oblivious to the issues of our day? Before writing this, I took a mini poll of sorts, and found that some of my regular readers had no idea who Lady Gaga was. Not that they were missing much, but on the other hand I thought it was time that they were alerted. While I wouldn't recommend this task of reviewing said material for every Christian, I have done it here so my brothers and sisters in Christ don't have to. The next time you hear about Lady Gaga, you will know what to think.


Endnotes
[Note: Caution recommended for any who choose to follow source links.]

1 Amazon.com: Official Lady Gaga 2010 Calendar

2 2 Kelly Ripa As Lady Gaga & Regis Phiblin as Susan Boyle On Regis & Kelly Halloween Show 2009 (Part 1)

3 YouTube: Be Like Lady Gaga and YouTube: Re: Be Like Lady Gaga

4 Wikipedia: Lady Gaga

5 The Origins of Lady Gaga's Name

6 Wikipedia: Lady Gaga

7 Rolling Stone Q&A: Lady Gaga

8 YouTube: Lady Gaga - Interview - about her Sexuality

9 Lady GaGa Entertains Thousands At Palm Springs White Party and Lady Gaga Says Kanye West Saw Past Her 'Poker Face'

10 Note: due to the explicit nature of said photos I will include no link. I recommend not searching for the pictures, but they are readily available should anyone wish to seek them out.

11 Gaga Jumps The Shark For 'God & Gays'

12 Lady Gaga: Official Site

13 Lady Gaga and Obama for Gay America, YouTube: Lady Gaga speech at the National Equality March - Oct. 11, 2009 and YouTube: Lada GaGa's speech @ Bootleg 09-04-09

14 Lady Gaga is happy Madonna is a fan

15 Lady Gaga: Official Site: Bio


Other Sources

Lady Gaga: ready for her close-up

Wikipedia: Poker Face (Lady Gaga song)

Plugged In Online Album Reviews: The Fame

7 comments:

Lady Neferankh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
olde.fashioned said...

I can't imagine the filth you had to wade through in order to bring this review to your readers. I very much appreciate your efforts, long-suffering (as I'm sure it must have been, in a word, icky!), and dedication to enlightening the rest of us to yet another one of the hidden evils of this world.

duva said...

Interesting... I must admit I've been fascinated by her style, never really listened to her music though and don't think I will. Didn't know about her stance on HBT-issues and I'm not going to push this here since it'll just lead us to dark places. However I had to comment just to commend you for this quote, it made my day ;)

"Thus, all I can advise you now is to strap on your seatbelts, 'cause this is gonna be one perverted ride."

Mada said...

Thanks to one of my classmates, I am VERY well informed as to what some of the meanings in her songs are (engineers tend to be a little bit...dirty); he's pretty obsessed with her and her music. In my opoinion she is a great vocalist, and has an ear for a catchy melody, but is extremely slutty. Oddly (or rather, not) it's sort of the smuttiness of her music that makes her popular with some of my classmates. Then again, I AM studying a branch of engineering, so I'm not really surprised.

The Warrior said...

duva: Haha, happy to have amused you. :-) And yes, thank you, I appreciate it--further discussion on the topic will not change any minds, I presume.

Mada: Ah, yes...I empathize with you, because I've known many of his kind. I'm sorry. I know how bad it can be!

Spencer

Andy Moore said...

Good on you Spencer, well done review of a fairly tough subject. I'm not convinced it's necessary or appropriate to review every manner of vice, but I suppose in some cases it's important. As for me, I can't stand that genre, it's just all cheap and here today, gone tomorrow... give me the good old classics from the 70s and 80s, or some more alternative, unheard of stuff...

Anyway, just saying hi - keep up your good blog and the good fight.

The Warrior said...

Yes, that is why I was so very reluctant. Not everything is necessary, very true (You don't see me doing Britney or Madonna, do you?) I just became convinced that this case was one of the ones that needed to be spoken on.

Thank you all so much for reading!

Spencer