Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”

4 stars (out of 5)

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ladygaga-pokerfaceI suppose it’s a bit late to say that this is great pop tune which should sell really well and might even make a Number One for a few weeks although, on first hearing the album at the beginning of 2009, it was one of the 2 tracks (along with “Just Dance”) which stood out as an obvious single. Both songs are good examples of how to make great pop singles with squeaky-clean radio-friendly production, perfect hooks, a voice which is good and just a little bit different and some fairly sleazy lyrics (gambling as a metaphor for sex). It’s a formula which has worked for decades, so why not make the most of it?

The marketing strategy for Lady Gaga is interesting, portraying her as the glamorous but obviously contrived bad girl while setting up appearances at the BRITs, G.A.Y. and a support slot on the Pussycat Dolls Doll Domination tour. All of this combined with the UK tour set up for June and July looks suspiciously like trying to cash in on a current phenomenon with a very limited shelf life (not new in the music business but becoming increasingly cynical, particularly with female artistes).

As a writer and a very gifted singer, Lady Gaga can’t be really be compared to the likes of Britney Spears (or The Pussycat Dolls) but the one-size-fits-all music business marketing doesn’t really recognise these distinctions, so the next 6 to 12 months should be fairly interesting. Let’s hope there’s still a career left after the initial burst of hype because there is a genuine talent there which shouldn’t be sacrificed to the demands of the machine.

Back to “Poker Face” then; it’s a great pop single which will bring back memories in years to come of early 2009. Let’s hope that Lady Gaga stays around for a while as well.