Let there be no mistake, Lady Gaga knows how to perform and her song, G.U.Y. along with the ARTPOP film that accompanies it, shows just what she can do with esoteric imagery. The “film” runs for an amazing 11 minutes and 46 seconds. Only seven minutes or so contains the actual song. While the credits roll, a long four minutes worth, another song by Mommy Monster, Manicure, plays over the endless track of who did what on the film.
When it comes to music this “lady” knows just what to do, one of the few musical artists who can use autotune and get away with it. The 27 year-old entertainer has enough of a following that this latest offering, complete with the theme of an angel falling from heaven, does not disappoint in terms of toe-tapping enjoyment of the song.
It would have been better if there had not been a Lady Gaga film, for G.U.Y. This overly long music video with esoteric imagery that cheats the viewer out of almost 12 minutes of their time is a waste of time. Just as the singer believes that her “vomit art” performance in Austin was “true art” in its purist form, apparently appearing nude, except for either a body stocking or body paint, falls into the same category. Her need to exhibit her uniqueness both musically and visually is what obviously drove her desire to make the ARTPOP film.
The video, or film as it is called on YouTube, starts with a group of men fighting one another over falling money. Note to the choreographer on the film, the action looked very staged and not at all convincing. Having said that, in one area at least, Gaga could give a lesson to Miley Cyrus in making a video full of sexualized content that does not offend nearly everyone.
In G.U.Y. the film, and the song, the letters stand for “girl under you.” If that is not a clear reference to sex in the “classic” sense nothing is. In this instance, there are no disturbing images that show too much of anyone’s body and there are no shots of masturbation. What fans do get is pure unadulterated Gaga.
The performer even treats her little monsters to the very catchy song Manicure which plays over the very long credit list at the end of her “film.” The credits say that Lady Gaga directed this eclectic vision of a sexually themed song and music video. Unlike the vomit art that she participated in at the SXSW this does not make the viewer uneasy.
There is no doubt that Lady Gaga, or Mother Monster, will be around for a long time. This artist, when she is not taking part in an art form guaranteed to revolt those with queasy stomachs, will continue chameleon-like for years to come. While there are many who will never feel comfortable watching the singer perform, her music is undeniably brilliant.
In all fairness, the singer stages her numbers for a specific set of people. The young who do not feel as though they fit in and are, at heart, a reflection of her own growth as a young person. Lady Gaga may love to surround herself with esoteric imagery, but her music does not depend on it. Try listening to G.U.Y. or Manicure and the listener will find themselves being carried away by the music. Watching the performance is just confusing and not necessary.
By Michael Smith