On Sunday, July 28, when Women’s Wear Daily dropped the single cover for Lady Gaga’s newest song, ‘Applause,’ with an accompanying article, that odd feeling came back to me. I’ve been experiencing this weird emotion for awhile and I haven’t been able to pinpoint what it was.
As I read the article, I figured it out. I was feeling elation.
Gaga asks: “I wanna know. What do you see?”
What I see is a woman who got beaten down so much during her last era, physically and verbally, rising up from the ashes of her past albums. She not only has her fit body back, but she’s also brought back that swagger that was so apparent during “The Fame” era.
She’s not hiding her arrogance and bravado under the guise of “helping others” anymore, she’s full-frontal in every way possible.
“I’ve worked since I was a five-year-old to be a performer. All my life. I deserve to be here.” Yes, you do, Stefani. It’s refreshing to see the spark in her eye again and the drama she exudes. As the ‘Applause’ single cover shows, her art can mean anything. What’s more dramatic than that?
‘Applause’ is dropping on August 19, making it the most anticipated single of the summer, and to top it off, she’s performing the song for the first time on August 25 at the MTV Video Music Awards. Can you smell that? It’s the stench of a long-awaited comeback from the only female who can do it as big as your overactive imagination.
Despite the kabuki-esque sadness of the ‘Applause’ single cover, Gaga was very reassuring that the song is fun and “full of happiness.” Something we’re not used to hearing from her that often.
She also asserts that she cannot be defined by one designer or style, but that she represents everything. “[I’m not] defined by the same designer or defined by the same hair cut or defined by the same icon. The statement is that I’m not one icon. I’m every icon. I’m an icon that is made out of all the colors on the palette at every time. I have no restrictions.”
I think we can all agree that Gaga is rarely restricted, which may have led to the downfall of the Born This Way era towards the end. But bouncing back from that, Gaga has certainly realized what her strengths are (i.e. not directing her own music videos) and has wisely let the terrifyingly talented Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin direct the ‘Applause’ video.
Not only should the quality of work be better, but the quantity will most likely double. The impending “ARTPOP” album isn’t just an album, it’s a goddamn multimedia, mobile app project. I don’t think America’s ready for all that sonic pleasure.
We may have to wait a few months for the app, but the wait for the single is only less than a month away. So please keep all your limbs in the vehicle, because for better or worse, a new era of Lady Gaga is beginning.