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Nothing to get gaga over

Lady GaGa - The Fame
(Streamline Records)
1 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2008
Lady GaGa

Review by Tony Bonyata

On her debut full-length album, The Fame, Lady GaGa (aka Joanne Germanotta) has created a slick, often catchy collection of electronically-charged dance music that draws as much from 1980's synth pop as it does '70s disco. But while the 22-year-old NYC singer may admit to being influenced by the excesses of both of these decades (citing Prince and even Def Leppard as influences recently to Billboard magazine), she's actually targeting fans of not only Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera, but also The New Kids On The Block - her current tour mates that she's opening for.

Despite the many infectious dance grooves, not to mention many major media outlets praising her, the music that fills this 14-track collection ultimately falls flat. Sure, it may get you moving on the dance floor, but these are songs that just don't have the lasting power of her much edgier, club-hopping contemporary M.I.A. or even Madonna for that matter (who Lady GaGa is occasionally compared with - perhaps because of both her Italian-American heritage and flashy, over-the-top, glam stage presence).

Songs such as the sugary opening track and first single "Just Dance" along with "LoveGame," "Money Honey" and the Cyndi Lauper-inspired pop track "Boys Boys Boys" may get your booty moving, but just don't expect to be humming these empty pop songs after the disco lights have dimmed. If fact, most of the numbers here conjure up the image of Saturday Night Live alums Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell bobbing the heads in unison while 'on the make' from their famed Roxbury Guys skit. And like the SNL parody of dance club culture itself, Lady Gaga's music is as popular as it is annoying.

Judging from the slew of other dance-floor divas that have made millions from a glamy look, forgettable saccharine electro-pop and hammy, sexed-up stage choreography, however, she's got a great shot at becoming The Next Big Thing... whether I like or not.

Watch Lady Gaga - THE FAME: Part One

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