Yes, fanboys and fangirls, six brand-spanking new Lady Gaga tracks leaked onto the internet earlier this afternoon, which is news enough by itself. The songs are pretty standard Gaga fair — sparse piano ballads and electropop about fashion, artifice, alienation and romance gone or going bad. Notably, the Lady raps on “Ribbons,” the track that everyone will be talking about around the water cooler. Are we about to see the birth of a whole new rapping persona for Gaga? Will she start spitting hot fire regularly? Regardless, the new songs are sure to inspire a frenzy of discussion as die-hard Gaga devotees dissect just what they mean for the direction of her upcoming album.
For me, though, they just inspired boredom. I am — and I intend to bait the haters with this — simply uninspired by the actuality of her music. I think that she’s clearly a brilliant artist, in her own regard, who has produced extraordinary videos that comment on fame, sexual power, and the destructive and reclamatory power of the gaze. I think she can write one hell of a hook. But, at the end of the day, the songs are still mostly electropop songs about … not much? I know that she plays with how we aestheticize authenticity in interesting ways, but you know, “Telephone” is still a song about not wanting to answer your phone in the club. “Visions of Johanna” it is not.