Fueled by heavy dance tracks and popping electronic beats, The Fame, the first album by the glamorous Lady Gaga, is a well-crafted sampling of feisty anti-pop in high quality. Already a famous female DJ in her own right, Lady Gaga (nee Stefani Germanotta) pulls out all the stops on The Fame, injecting hard-hitting synthesizers and crashing slicks ...
Fueled by heavy dance tracks and popping electronic beats, The Fame, the first album by the glamorous Lady Gaga, is a well-crafted sampling of feisty anti-pop in high quality. Already a famous female DJ in her own right, Lady Gaga (nee Stefani Germanotta) pulls out all the stops on The Fame, injecting hard-hitting synthesizers and crashing slicks and grooves. From its opening track until it closes, The Fame fails to come up short on funky sounds to amuse fans of this dance genre. However, what carries this album to new heights is the combination of voice and the razor sharp lyrics which accompany it. Gaga's sound is no different than that of Gwen Stefani, however her coy delivery of each cooing note gives the album a laid-back slick feeling of ease, which meshes with the dramatic beats that back the album up. In addition, the lyrics which feed the album, especially on the desirous "Paparazzi" or the boastful, vain "Beautiful Dirty Rich," salt and pepper the album with a nasty, club-friendly feeling of fun and feistiness that an excellent, well-produced dance album should have. The lyrics are not any more deliciously entertaining than they are on the title track, which feeds the listener savory lines like "Give me something I wanna be, retro glamour, Hollywood yes we live for the fame." There are a couple of missteps, such as the rock-tinged non-dance piano track "Again Again" (which would be a nice track had it not been sandwiched between such meaty ones). Plus, the The Fame has it's "ballad," however the breezy "Eh, Eh" doesn't hold water on this album; rather, it feels dry and lifeless, something which holds this album back; however, the infectious "Poker Face" and title track which follow it successfully rejuvenate the vibe on the album for its second half. Gaga has stated that the eighth track on each release of the album will be different, however "Money Honey," is a galactic number susceptible to comparisons to the album's lead single, the well-known summer smash hit "Just Dance." That's not necessarily a bad thing, since the lead single is a powerhouse of dance waves and infectiously produced beats, but the album doesn't always stand out as definitive, even though it's consistently fresh and innovative. As the album winds down, the tracks start to slow down, but Gaga's frosty tones and sickly hooks end the album satisfyingly. Ultimately, the beats need to end up repeating themselves in places, but in the long-haul, The Fame is in excellent standing for establishing Lady Gaga with a solid career. ~ Matthew Chisling, Rovi