The Fame Monster
by Lady Gaga, pop (2009)
Interscope, $10.98, ASIN B002W6Z0UK

Lady Gaga continues her world domination with the release of The Fame Monster, containing eight new tracks and therefore making this almost a full album.

Let's see, we have Lady Gaga singing about touching herself at the sight of a "lavender blonde" in So Happy I Could Die, but there are also, er, serious issues in this album too. Our fashionable diva realizes that she is now famous enough to release songs full of dramatic denouncements of the trials and pains of being famous, hence songs like Dance In The Dark - where she places herself in the phaeton of famous people who met tragic like Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe - and Telephone, her duet with Beyoncé - where she talks about how she no longer has time to party because she's working too hard. Poor baby, it's so hard to be famous, I'm sure she's weeping tears of sadness onto her bags of money.

Lady Gaga's in finest form when she's not being pretentious but instead being mischievous and naughty. The fine S&M-tinged Teeth is fabulous, for example. Alejandro is her La Isla Bonita for the current generation - sunny, infectious, and just a tad melancholic. Still, there is no denying the superb craftmanship of songs like Dance In The Dark which has a chorus that just won't leave my head no matter what.

Is Lady Gaga a rip-off of Madonna or is she an innovator? I'm still not sure, and this eight-track follow-up is certainly not enough to help me make up my mind. I do know one thing, though - lyrical pretensions aside, The Fame Monster has eight strong ear candy tunes that do remind me of the fun I had when I listened to Madonna's True Blue for the first time, the kind of fun that invites me to throw down whatever I am doing to sing along with abandon because the music is too fine for me to just listen with apathy.

So in a way, yes, I'm a little bit closer to being a convert after listening to this one.

Rating: 80

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