On Friday, Lady Gaga dropped her latest single, "Born This Way."
The song was instantly embraced by radio stations everywhere and became a huge smash within hours. Even here in our small market, one of the radio stations was playing it on the hour… you know, just in case someone missed it the first few hundred times.
Twitter was abuzz with inevitable comparisons to Madonna’s "Express Yourself" and both fans and haters alike couldn’t stop talking about her.
The heat on Gaga didn’t even have time to get cold when she arrived at Staples Center Sundayin an alien-shaped egg.
Once again, everyone was talking.
How does she manage to pull this off time after time?
Madonna, at the height of her popularity, couldn’t even buy this kind of PR if she had got to third base with Britney Spears instead of merely kissing her.
Are we that much more captivated by everything Gaga does than we were when Madonna was making all the headlines? I don’t think so.
To a degree, social media plays a huge part in the hype.
I think what needs to be said here -- and I’m sure I’m in the minority with this viewpoint -- is that much of this boils down to talent.
Sure, Madonna was talented and was a master manipulator of the media. However, if you compare the two musically, it’s Gaga who comes out on top.
Madonna may have surrounded herself with the best producers and musical collaborators, but come on now, her pure musical faculties have always been somewhat limited.
Is "Express Yourself" a better song than "Born This Way"?
Perhaps, but the original version of "Express Yourself" wasn’t all that great -- and it wasn’t until Shep Pettibone’s smoking-hot remix of the song (and the corresponding David Fincher-directed video) came along for the song to hit its stride.
Even after hearing the song at least seven times now, I’m not sure if "Born This Way" is more of an homage or rip-off of the Madonna tune. It doesn’t matter; the song is headed for No. 1 on the charts, a position "Express Yourself" failed to reach (it did chart as high as No. 2).
Adding to Gaga’s Grammy entrance hype is the video produced by Taiwanese company NMA NEWS, the people behind several viral video hits with CGI recreations of U.S. news, most notably the re-enactment of Elin Woods’s attack on Tiger.
One wonders whether this recreation treatment is exactly what The Lady had in mind. I wouldn’t doubt it if she -- like her CGI counterpart in the video above -- actually finds a way to embed herself inside a human chest cavity and pop out of it like the alien she wants us to believe she may be.
Will Gaga make her presence known at the Oscars later this month?
If so, don’t be surprised if David Fincher or James Cameron is brought on board to direct an "Alien"-themed entrance for her.
Maybe she can pop out of James Franco’s chest for the opening monologue, get stuck somehow, and have Franco spend the duration of the show trying to cut her loose with a dull pocket knife.
Seriously though, as much as I dislike her attempts at getting publicity, it all boils down to the music.
And right now, like it or not, Gaga is the hottest thing out there. She has the musical chops to back up the hype, and we can’t hate on her for that. Let’s put the unfair comparisons to Madonna to rest for once and for all.