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GaGa for Gaga??

May 28, 2009 - Jennifer Brookens
Something that has become a bit of a tradition for me the past few years is having a summer soundtrack - a new CD for my birthday that I can listen to in the van for weeks on end without really getting bored of it. With CDs costing up to $20, and being able to download individual songs, I usually have to be really impressed with an artist and/or a series of their songs before I break down and buy a full-length CD.

I usually don't stick to one or two genres of music - after all, variety is the spice of life! Last year's selection was Amy Winehouse's first release "Frank," while in 2007 I was all about the metal with Seether's (then-new) release "Fake It." But now I have the additional challenge of parental censorship (aka - it's gotta be something I can listen to in the minivan with the kids in there.) Which means nothing overripe with swearing or stuff that will start making a precocious five-year-old start asking questions Mommy's not quite ready to answer.

So the CD I picked up for my birthday last week, Lady Gaga, doesn't fit perfectly into the kid-friendly mold, but at least her sexual inuendo isn't as blatent as many other pop acts out today (Of course, that doesn't cover her videos or wardrobe such as her Rolling Stone cover in which she is barely covered. But I digress.) She's artsy enough to be accepted as an artist by pop music snobs, while music critics are hailing Lady Gaga as "the next Madonna." After watching some old school "Virgin tour" Madonna footage, I can see the comparison - probably another point that won me over, since I've been a Madonna fan since the "Like A Virgin" days when my mother probably squirmed at having to explain to a 9-year-old what "virgin" meant.

The easy breakdown: Lady Gaga kind of sounds like a cross between Blondie and Gwen Stefani, with some Madonna sex appeal and artistry. As Gaga has said in interviews, it will be the test of time to show if she can be an established artist or she's just the flavor of '09 for radio. But after listening to her CD on repeat in my van for the past few days, I'd say she's off to a good start.


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