Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Fame (Album)

The Fame (Album) Release date: 2008. Artist: Lady Gaga. Record Label: Interscope. ASIN: B001GM28HO.

1. Just Dance
2. LoveGame
3. Paparazzi
4. Poker Face
5. Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)
6. Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
7. The Fame
8. Money Honey
9. Starstruck
10. Boys Boys Boys
11. Paper Gangsta
12. Brown Eyes
13. I Like it Rough
14. Summerboy

Critical evaluation: Lady Gaga’s first album The Fame catapulted her into international superstardom and pop culture icon status after its release in 2008. Lady Gaga’s success at this point almost over-shadows that her music is quite original, well-sung and catchy. Apart from the most well-known songs on the album like “Paparazzi” and “Poker Face,” many of the other tracks will appeal to listeners. “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” provides an interesting look at the life of the “rich kids” who’s lives consist of partying and spending money. While many of Lady Gaga’s lyrics act as a commentary on certain social issues like “Beautiful, Dirty Rich,” the melodies are very clever and catchy. Much of the album is a narrative of Lady Gaga’s views and experiences. One of The Fame’s only ballads “Brown Eyes” has some of the more sentimental lyrics of the album, telling the story of a young woman who lost her love with the brown eyes. In one verse, Lady Gaga sings “I guess it’s just a silly song about you and how I lost you and your brown eyes, brown eyes.” Unlike many other artists in her genre, Lady Gaga writes and performs her own music and lyrics and uses her songs to tell the world about her life and experiences. This contributes to her near universal appeal, but teens in particular will appreciate her raw honesty hidden behind a catchy pop-music fa├žade.

Listeners's annotation: Lady Gaga’s first album packs a powerful punch of dance music mixed with fun and real emotions. Features such hits as “Paparazzi,” “Just Dance,” and “Poker Face.”
About the artist: Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in 1986 New York City, Lady Gaga has become one of the most popular and influential entertainers in the world today. As a little girl, Lady Gaga loved to sing and perform. She acted in musicals, and stuck out in school due to her eccentricities. Lady Gaga learned to play piano at age four and began composing her own music at age thirteen. At age seventeen, Lady Gaga started school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After a few semesters, Lady Gaga left NYU to pursue her musical career, and was signed by Def Jam Recordings in 2005. She also formed the Stefani Germanotta Band with some of her friends, and began playing at clubs in the Lower East Side of New York City. While touring clubs, Lady Gaga began experimenting heavily with drugs, and this period in her life is reflected in her song “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich.” In 2007, Lady gaga was signed by Interscope Records and began creating her first album The Fame. Since the album’s release, Lady Gaga’s success has skyrocketed astronomically. An important figure in the LGBT rights movement, Lady Gaga has positioned herself as a pop culture icon and activist. Much of her fame has been attributed to her popularity on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter where she has more fans and followers than any other celebrity. Her shocking style and memorable performances will certainly keep her in the limelight for many years to come. (

Genre: Pop/Dance/Electronic

Curriculum ties:
Pop culture icons

Booktalking ideas:
Lady Gaga’s rise to fame
Issues presented in lyrics to popular songs like “Paparazzi” or “Poker Face”
Lyrics as a form of poetry
LGBT rights

Reading level/Interest Age:
12 and up

Challenge issues:
Lyrics make reference to partying, alcohol, sex
Lady Gaga is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights

Challenge counterpoints:Recommend parent listens to album prior to child
Recommend parent discuss song lyrics they find questionable with child  

Reasons for inclusion:
Album was nominated for Grammy Award for Album of the Year, won Best International Album at BRIT Awards in 2010, won Grammy Away for Best Electronic/Dance Album.
Critically acclaimed, has sold over 14 million copies.

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