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The Fame Monster

Dirty dance-diva bundles new EP with reissued album

Rating: 8 / 10

Ed Power, 14 Dec 2009

“Stanley Kubrick presenting a Paris runway show,” was one US critic’s take on the Lady GaGa phenomenon. If that’s the case, then The Fame Monster is her director’s cut – a redux revisiting of her uber-selling The Fame, with an eight track EP bolted on (and sold separately on iTunes, so as to avoid accusations of ripping off early adapters).

Say what you like about GaGa’s Paris Hilton-goes- to-art school shtick but the Wicked Witch of dance pop always brings her a-game. On The Fame, GaGa presented herself as a bubblegum starlet for the postmodern age and her new songs continue in that vein, particularly the dark Ibiza funk of ‘Bad Romance’, the lyrics of which read like a Hallmark card phrased by David Cronenberg (“I want your ugly/ I want your disease/ I want your everything/ so long as its free”). At the same time, there’s much more here that regurgitated Gaga-isms: on ‘Alejandro’ she makes a decent fist of high NRG euro-pop; ‘Teeth’, which closes the EP, is an R’n B excursion with production from new jack swing ground-breaker Terry Riley. The biggest surprises, however, are straight up glam stomper ‘Speechless’, and ‘Telephone’, a hairdryer funk-out that sees Beyoncé join her in the recording booth for a joint lamentation on guys who insist on calling you up when you’re getting jiggy with your gal friends. The Fame Monster –  it’s aliiive!

Rating: 8 / 10
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