Lady Gaga released the music video for G.U.Y. off her 2013 album ARTPOP. The Andrew Listermann and Nicole Erlich produced video, at over 11 minutes long, incorporates four of Gaga’s songs, bringing with it a change in eccentric scenery. Gaga had a disappointing and somewhat dramatic 2013, with sales of her third album flopping. The video symbolizes the last few months of her life, bringing herself and the album back into a positive spotlight and sending a message to some unfavorable people.
G.U.Y comes off an album that was comparatively disappointing in sales. In its first week ARTPOP sold 258,000 in copies, which is down from 1.1 million sales of Born This Way in the first week of when it was released in 2011. In its second week the record had one of the biggest drops of any album last year.
Lady Gaga blamed her then team members, accusing them of stabbing her in the back by mishandling her health and time and being more concerned with money over quality. She asked the fans for forgiveness. In particular, there was the delay of the music video for Do What U Want, in which Gaga said she was only given a week to execute the song, describing the experience as “devastating.”
The G.U.Y. video begins with a pre-chorus of the self-titled single from ARTPOP. Lady Gaga appears as some kind of winged angel or bird with an arrow in her back lying face down in the dirt as men in suits fight over money. The image represents a damaged Gaga like the state she was in at the end of 2013; the men in suits most likely representing the team members who betrayed her, thus the arrow in her back.
Gaga gets up and stumbles upon a palace of sorts and, as the music transitions to Venus, she is carried over to a garden party and is revived in a pool, rising up as some kind of deity. Meanwhile, stars from the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills – Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards, and Kim Richards – are shown singing along and playing instruments. This part of the video represents the now; Lady Gaga is back to her truest form. In January, Gaga said that ARTPOP will see a resurrection, describing the next few months as the beginning. She went on to say that those who betrayed her are gone and now it is all in her hands to make her dreams come true. In this part of the G.U.Y video we see her rising out of the pool, pure and ready to go, bringing the album into a more positive spotlight and sending that message home.
As she revives, the feature song begins. Gaga is dressed in her usual tight, provocative clothing dancing in synchronization routines with several dancers. There are other notable images including a clone of Michael Jackson and Gandhi and a weird Lego suit. The video also goes back to greedy men in suits as she rebels against them – Lady Gaga really giving it to her former team members.
The video reaches its closing credits at 7 minutes and 40 seconds to Manicure, which is the highlight of the video just because of the song, a track that should be a single. Manicure involves hand claps, a funky guitar, and an infectious chorus, culminating into a guitar breakdown at the end. The video deservedly plays the whole song without cutting to another track.
Overall, the music video for G.U.Y. is more than just a way to promote a song, it is to send a message to those who betrayed her, while showcasing some of the more energetic and infectious tracks off ARTPOP in its self-titled single, Venus, and Manicure. Moreover, the visuals, with its vibrancy and craziness, really get the point across – Lady Gaga is simply showing the world who she really is as an artist. If this video is her way of beginning ARTPOP anew as she said she would in January, then this is the right way to kick-start that resurrection.
Commentary By Kollin Lore