I watched a live version of “Paparazzi” before doing this analysis. Which was a huge mistake because I started second-guessing my instincts. Did the vocals really deserve only a 4?
Luckily I’m babysitting my nephew right now. He’s watching TV. Spongebob Sqaurepants just ended and Big Time Rush is on.
Big Time Rush. Hannah Montana. JONAS. Victorious. iCarly (if I can cheat a little here). These are all kid shows that glorify fame. One of my favorite books is Hello, I’m Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity. Which, well, the title says enough, doesn’t it?
Gaga sounds solid on “Paparazzi.” But what does that even mean when singing itself is a cliche? The qualities that elevate the performance from “just another singer singing” here— the timing, the teasing, the character— are nowhere to be found here. I stand by my rating.
However, I have a new-found respect for Gaga’s shtick, because I get it now. When her talent alone wasn’t getting her anywhere, she invented a plan B that took “individuality” to such an extreme that it went full circle and became true individuality again.
Which was self-serving, and it doesn’t make the recorded version of “Paparazzi” any better. But it’s an incredible accomplishment nonetheless.