Lady Gaga Feat. Beyoncé - Telephone - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Lady Gaga Feat. Beyoncé - Telephone

by Pete Sykes Rating:5 Release Date:2010-03-15

You've seen the video, of course: apparently it's a genre-defining masterpiece, our 'Thriller'. Well, I missed that meeting. Rather, it's a glossy, incoherent, abysmally acted nine-minute alleged 'Tarantino homage', with added dancing and astonishingly brazen product placement. If it has achieved one thing, though, it's to disabuse people of the notion that Lady Gaga is some kind of feminist icon. At one stage of proceedings, she struts into a prison yard and is kissed and groped by a predatory, muscular female inmate. How shocking. From the crassly-appropriated lesbian erotica, via the women's prison setting, to the dancers wearing nothing but bra, thong and see-through pantyhose, the film is little more than a compendium of male fantasies, albeit with some fabulous frocks thrown in. True, Beyoncé's character murders her oafish boyfriend, but even as this is happening, the camera is leering boorishly over her cleavage: you can practically hear the director drool.

Thankfully, Gaga is better as a tunesmith than as an actor or feminist, but she remains one of the world's worst lyricists. 'Telephone' sees her avoiding a fella's pestering phone calls because she's too busy having a girls' night out. The opening line ("Hello hello baby you called I can't hear a thing/I have got no service in the club you see.") gives a clue as to the gravity of her lyrical concerns, but it's another couplet that marks the nadir: "Just a second it's my favourite song they're gonna play/And I can-not text you with a drink in my hand-ay." Soundblab calling Gaga: you can't just add random syllables to the end of words to make them rhyme. That is cheating, and what's more it sounds really lame. The song is insanely melodramatic, too: in the middle eight, Beyoncé wails, "I shoulda left my phone at home cos this is a disaster!" At no point does it occur to either of them to simply turn their phones off.

Musically, 'Telephone' is perfectly serviceable piece of dance-pop trash, possessing a couple of decent hooks and sounding like it could have been lifted straight from Madonna's 2005 disco record, Confessions on a Dance Floor. But it's not a patch on 'Bad Romance' or the other Gaga song it resembles, 'Just Dance', whose narrative also occurs in a nightclub (does anyone else think that Lady Gaga probably spends too much time in clubs?) Ultimately, though, the music takes a backseat to Gaga's supreme ability to get noticed and push our buttons, something that the 'Telephone' video, if not the song, proves she is unparalleled at.

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