Lady Gaga, ‘Applause’ – Song Review
Due to low quality, hacked versions of 'Applause' leaking left and right, Lady Gaga sprung into action to share her new single 'Applause' a week ahead of schedule.
More over Katy Perry and 'ROAR.' Monsters of the little sort, if you are expecting 'Born This Way Part Deux,' you will be disappointed. 'Applause' is electro pop Gaga, with some slight new wave influences and a crazy catchy chorus that had us putting our paws together and clapping, living for the 'Applause' right along with Mommy Monster.
'Applause' is a thoroughly '80s-influenced song, with Gaga delivering her lyrics in authoritative style. Her spoken word style in the verses is incredibly dramatic and enunciative, as if every word is measured and has equal weight.
We hate to say this -- and by no means would we ever use the term "reductive" since we don't think it applies -- but 'Applause' does remind us of '80s-era Madonna, with its bouncy, dancefloor-ready, synthy beats, driven by keys. We're talking pre-'Like a Virgin' Madge, too. Anyone else hear a melody similar to 'Burning Up?' It's not overt but it's there, and it's an influence, not a rip off.
But where Mother Monster fully separates herself from Her Madgesty is the more intellectualized lyrics -- Gaga knows she is pop culture and art as much as pop culture and art are her, and she says it. She does not hide how much she is enamored by the fame and all its trappings and additional perks, including the cult of personality and the worship of fans. She lives for it and, well, if you don't live for something, you'll die for nothing.
Gaga also takes her synthy sound up a notch and the room-filling chorus is epic -- especially in the last 40 seconds, when the simulated claps and crowd noise comes in.
Honest opinion: First listen did not garner love from us. Neither did the second or the third. But by they time we were four listens deep, we were grooving in our chairs. Gaga threw the lasso and pulled us into her lair. It's a really good Gaga song, yes. But it was not the out-of-the-gate suckerpunch that was 'Born This Way.' In fact, 'Applause' has more similarity to anything on 'The Fame' than on 'BTW.' But she's not reverting or taking a step back. She's just sticking with those roots.
Below the audio are Gaga's tweets about this pop music emergency which necessitated the early release of the song. Rather than combat low-rent, poor audio versions, she gave us what we needed and wanted early. So we sorta win, since we got music a week in advance of her plans.
Listen to Lady Gaga, 'Applause'