After what was, by all accounts, a TRIUMPH for Lady Gaga Sunday afternoon – her pitch-perfect rendition of “The National Anthem” SLAYED – The New York Times oddly decided it was the PERFECT TIME to do a hatchet job on her. In an article entitled “Beyoncé, the Past Is Calling, and It’s Lady Gaga,” Times writer Wesley Morris said, in effect, that while Beyoncé and Gagaloo may have been pop equals six years ago when they made “Telephone,” that was a long time ago. The times have changed. Now
Beyoncé now has an astronomical lock on the world’s attention. We orbit her. All she did on Saturday was release a song and a video — “Formation” — and the planet seemed to stop.
True enough. Beyoncé WAS peerless Sunday afternoon, as Morris claimed. She was dressed like Michael Jackson. She moved like Tina Turner. She was as political as Nina Simone. “You were encouraged to think that her equals aren’t with her in the present. They’re communing with her from the past.”
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga seems content to be past.
Wait, what? That seems uncalled for. But there’s more. He’s just getting started on his epic takedown. Here’s where things get REALLY nasty.
Gaga’s work now is like a long-term art project that’s put 50 years on her persona, and at 29, she’s five years younger than Beyoncé. She’s been cooing with Tony Bennett on their “Cheek to Cheek” tour; she’s wearing stuff that you’d find on Fanny Brice. Her Gucci pantsuit could have been from the Céline Dion collection or from Liza Minelli’s closet. So, too, could the strength of her singing and chest thwaps.
She’s given herself a coating of the geriatric, of respectability, of Vegas.
At last year’s Academy Awards, Gaga near-perfectly performed a medley from “The Sound of Music,” and her earnestness was touching even as you had no idea why this was happening — to us, to her. She cleans up awkwardly. If this is “art-pop,” as Gaga’s last album was called — trying out nostalgia for eras in which she never lived, tearfully accepting a Golden Globe for her work on “American Horror Story: Hotel,” playing a version of the winking grotesque creature she started as — it seems designed to keep her out of the mainstream fray: away from Adele and Rihanna and her former collaborator Beyoncé. Lady Gaga has aged herself past what’s trending. She’s willfully become the living embodiment of what’s trended.
Ouch. “Geriatric?” “Vegas”? “Celine Dion pantsuits”? “A winking grotesque creature”? “The living embodiment of what’s trended”?
That was WAY HARSH, Wesley.
Read the entire article here.
What do you think? Just because Beyoncé slays, does that mean that Gaga doesn’t? Isn’t that a false equivilancy? Or a false dichotomy? (I’m forgetting my fallacies). My point, though: Why is it one or the other? Why can’t two people be fabulous at the same time?