The Fame Monster is the third EP and second major release by American recording artist Lady Gaga. It was released on November 18, 2009 through Interscope Records. Initially planned to be included on a re-release of Gaga's debut studio album, The Fame, she announced that the eight tracks would be included on a standalone release, saying that she thought the re-release was too expensive and that the albums were each conceptually different, describing them as Yin and yang respectively. A Super Deluxe edition of The Fame Monster including The Fame and additional merchandise, including a lock of her wig, was released on December 15, 2009.
Musically, The Fame Monster is a pop album influenced by a number of genres, prominently the disco, glam rock and synthpop music of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as industrial and Gothic music. The album was also inspired by fashion shows and runways. According to Gaga, the album deals with the darker side of fame, including love, sex, alcohol and more. Lyrically, they are expressed through a monster metaphor. The cover artwork was done by Hedi Slimane and has a Gothic theme, as described by Gaga herself. The artwork was originally declined by her record company, however, Gaga convinced them to go through with it. The Fame Monster received generally favorable reviews from music critics. In some countries, the album charted with The Fame, and topped the charts in multiple nations, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, and Switzerland. In the United States, it reached number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and topped the Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
Its lead single, "Bad Romance", was a commercial success, topping the charts in more than twenty countries worldwide, while reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The next two singles, "Telephone" and "Alejandro" were successful as well, reaching the top ten in multiple countries worldwide. "Dance in the Dark" was only released as a single in select territories, but received moderate success in some countries, and receiving a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 53rd Grammy Awards. "Speechless", "Monster" and "So Happy I Could Die" charted in multiple countries as well, despite not being released as singles. The Fame Monster has won multiple awards since its release. It was nominated in a total of six categories at the 53rd Grammy Awards, winning Best Pop Vocal Album.
It’s hard to believe that just a year ago nobody had heard of Lady Gaga. Now, she’s a proper pop star ”“ a genuine household name on both sides of the Atlantic, with a fair degree of cultural traction. And she has achieved this with a blend of hooky tunes and outrageous outfits, a mix that Madonna once offered.
It’s all old-fashioned, really. That sci-fi clobber of hers, and her interviews where she talks up the Warholian nature of her project, flatter to deceive: this music is nowhere near as mould-breaking as she would have you believe. It’s a sound that Britney Spears purveyed on her last two albums, but for young fans of this sort of electro-ish RnB who probably consider Spears too old and can no longer identify with a harried mum of two, Gaga is providing a fresh alternative, and this has allowed her to sell four million copies of her debut album, The Fame.
And now those four million are being treated to a sequel, of sorts ”“ The Fame Monster is available as a bonus disc on The Fame’s re-release, and its content can be downloaded separately. Among the eight new tracks are the new RedOne-produced single Bad Romance, which features cheesy rave synths, the now typically Gaga stomping beat and a controversy-lite lyric (“I want your ugly, I want your disease”). Melodically, it recalls Black Celebration-era Depeche Mode and keeps up Gaga’s habit of referencing herself in her songs. Admittedly, Warhol would have loved it.
Elsewhere there is the superstar duet with BeyoncÃ©, Telephone, produced by Rodney Jerkins (less stellar than it sounds); So Happy I Could Die, which is brazenly Auto-Tuned Europop that telegraphs Gaga’s Sapphic tendencies (“I love that lavender blonde... I touch myself and it’s all right); Alejandro, which moves at an Ace of Base pace; the generic machine RnB of Dance in the Dark; and Speechless, which is a bit like Pink in ballsy rock-ballad mode.
It’s hardly original, and nor is it exactly a triumph of DIY feminist invention ”“ look at the number of people listed on the CD credits, many of them men. But she’s bringing eccentric couture to the masses and is certainly fun to have around ”“ The Fame Monster is also available as a collector’s edition containing, among many other essentials, a lock of her hair and a paper doll collection. Now that’s Gaga. User Comments