“alejandro” music video review

I’m a day late but The Lady has does it again, bringing us another short music film from the depth of her creative, fashionable yet overall bizarre mind. It’s a wonder that we are rarely shocked by what she does anymore these days. We can just pass it off as “normal” for her. But anyone else would seem like they are crazy or now, a Gaga rip-off [cough] Xtina [cough]. I think I would be shocked if I saw her in jeans and t-shirt. Then again, how would we know that’s really her? She’d be hiding in plain sight… like a superhero’s disguise.

But depending on whom you ask Lady Gaga’s newest “Alejandro” video has a certain Madonna vibe to it. Homage or rip-off? Before I went to do any research for this video (and the story behind it) I came up with my own conclusions about it. My first impression: I’ll pass on this one. To start with, and to be fair, the song itself isn’t bad. I usually wouldn’t skip it if I were letting it play through. But it’s not a song I have a craving for like “Bad Romance” or “Monster” …which, those who have the album know “Alejandro” is in between these two songs, which is why I usually let it play through. I know other fellow Little Monster friends of mine have mixed feelings for the song itself too, and I think it’s important we talk about the song before we talk about the video.

From my understanding, the song itself is about Gaga’s Fear of the Sex Monster. Having heard the song so many times, I kinda forget the meaning behind the lyrics. I just don’t like to be caught singing about dudes–not that there’s anything wrong with that [hands up]! The song had also been compared to Madonna, as the artist has many a time. I’m sure she’s admitted to being inspired by her. What female pop artist isn’t influenced by her? On top of all of that, they even appeared in a SNL skit together! Ok, just had to get that out of the way.

Now my first watching of the video had me scratching my head. Well, I was actually playing with my hair… but I was doing it out of confusion, struggling to figure out what was going on. Maybe a little bit of discomfort. I think I was looking for some kind of a plot line like many of her videos seem to have. The video I personally hold all her other videos to is “Bad Romance” which does have something resembling a plot, but I enjoyed that video the most due to the song and visuals. “Telephone” most definitely had a story, but I didn’t like the song. I think I’m still on the fence with that one. But not every video needs a plot, right? Perhaps this is just some artsy statement short film. And to some degree, it is.

From songfacts.com: The song’s music video was directed by the photographer Steven Klein. Gaga discussed with The London Times May 22, 2010 it’s concept. She explained it is about the “purity of my friendships with my gay friends, and how I’ve been unable to find that with a straight man in my life. It’s a celebration and an admiration of gay love – it confesses my envy of the courage and bravery they require to be together. In the video I’m pining for the love of my gay friends – but they just don’t want me.”

So there is meaning towards what’s shown onscreen… but it’s up to the viewer to wrap their head around it and if you can understand it. To me, it’s like interpretive dance. They say it speaks for itself. But I guess it helps if you knew the same language.

But before I got any hint of what this was about, the imagery was striking… not all of it in a good way. I’m not a fan of anything looking too depressing and dystopian (yet I loved Dark City and The Matrix, I have exceptions). The homosexuality didn’t bother me. The simulated acts didn’t either. If anything I just nodded my head as if to say “Okay.” You know, in that way that you don’t really understand but you’re agreeing to go along with the ride anyway. Meanwhile, in the back of my head, I’m saying “I’ve seen this before…” And that’s when Madonna comes back to mind. “Vogue“, “Human Nature” and “Like a Prayer.” I didn’t feel this was a rip-off, more like homage, yet with her Gaga-spin on it. Giving credit where credit is due. However I think I actually laughed out loud at the sight of her “guns.” Someone got an upgrade from “Bad Romance.”

Speaking of ending to video endings, this was ended on a creepy note. Or was it just me?

Her outfits and head gear seemed more tame than usual. Is it weird that I miss the caution tape? I did kinda like her goggle-things she kept playing with. I would wear that. I don’t know why, where, or with what. I’d make it work. The color red must be of some importance in this video. Just throwing that out there. But if you are looking for more info, the Wikipedia page is updated.

Overall, I’d have to say this is one of my least favorite videos from the Monster collection thus far. The song probably has something to do with it. Maybe if it was “Monster” I could roll with it, I love that song. But if it were a take it or leave it, I would leave it. I’m not bashing or hating this video, I’m just saying, it’s not for me. But kudos anyway to Lady Gaga for giving us something to talk and think about, you will forever be a conversation piece of our arts and entertainment coffee table.

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Posted in music video, review
2 comments on ““alejandro” music video review
  1. I just became a fan. I’ve liked Lady GaGa’s sound for a while but now I think I’m starting to like her as an artist. I like the struggle between virtue and vice in this video. She’s so sensual but somehow makes it lady-like. How this is possible in those outfits and those “simulated acts”, I have no idea but she manages to pull it off artfully.

    • t. sterling says:

      I think she has practice on stage during her many concerts, or perhaps its part of the design in the clothes. But yes, she’s definately and artist to be reckoned with whether you like her or not. And it seems, people tend to warm up to her and find themselves a little monster of hers. But I agree, I see the contrasts and conflicts and its pretty artistic.

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June 2010
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