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A classic 10 track album buried in a mediocre 16 track one
on 20 August 2009
On the surface of it, there would appear to be many reasons to dislike Lady Gaga. The gimmicks, the attention seeking, the bandwagon jumping. But what also cannot be denied, even by her most vehement haters, is that she has made some of the best pop music around this year.
Calling card single Poker Face is, as I fully expected when I first explored the album, the best track here, with its glorious electronic beats, hooks and lyrics which turn out to be nothing to do with card games and everything to do with bisexuality, making it perhaps the greatest song of the year. But it is testament to the album's quality that it does not dwarf everything else here, by a long shot. There is also the majestic stalker's anthem that is Paparazzi; the marvellously camp electro stomp-fest that is Boys Boys Boys; the rather daft but thoroughly entertaining Space Cowboy collaboration, Starstruck; the Gwen Stefani like bubblegum poptastic Eh Eh(Nothing Else I Can Say); and, of course, in Just Dance, perhaps the best song ever to be written about getting completely wasted so you barely know where you are or who you're with (and unfortunately for us, the latter ends up being the rather mediocre Colby O Donis). All these tracks sound like singles: many have been.
Sadly, however, the album is a massive 16 tracks long, and is somewhat bloated and patchy overall. The second half of the album is largely devoid of decent tracks (other than Boys Boys Boys), with the repetitive, clumsy paino driven hip hop of Paper Gangster, and the rather dreary ballad Brown Eyes being particular lowlights. It's a shame, because without these filler tracks, this could have been an absolute killer of a 10 track album.