Lady GaGa, real name Stefani Germanotta, was no stranger to the music scene before she emerged at the beginning of 2009. Before releasing her first record, she was writing songs for the likes of Britney Spears, Fergie, The Pussycat Dolls and New Kids On The Block. She was then heard singing by Akon, as she demonstrated a melody for one his songs, and was signed up to his label. The Fame was released on August 19th 2008, and, to date, has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, going multi platinum in over 10 countries. With albums sales like that, The Fame was certified Diamond, the highest record certification category given to an album or single. I’m looking at the UK edition.

Just Dance, the first single released by Lady Gaga, spawning #1’s in many countries is the perfect way to start an album. Her voice sounds pure and soft in this song, with the electro-pop beats underneath, it serves up the perfect summer anthem. The “Da da doo doo”s in the chorus are perfect for singing along to, and the semi-rapped bridge adds a new dimension to the song. Next, LoveGame, a controversial song, banned in some countries for its use of the lyric “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”. The dirty electro bass is brilliant, the chorus is another sing-along classic, and you’re only two songs in. Paparazzi, the first slower song in the album, fits in well with the album title. It’s smooth, almost trance-like chorus melodies lure you in and keep you hooked as she transfers to the verses. As soon as the electronic bassline starts, and the “Ma ma ma ma’s” start, you know you’re in for a real treat. Poker Face is a worldwide sensation. A song that was everywhere. The monotoned rap verses, into the melodic choruses, with the deep backing chants mould into a genius, catchy, love-to-hate pop song. I Like It Rough brings a breezy change to the chart-topping Poker Face. It’s a kinky little mellow pop song about the confusion of “liking it rough”. Singing about sexual subjects comes a second nature to GaGa, although she does it with such a casual manner. “Cherry cherry boom boom” introduces you into the next song, Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say). It has a palm-tree, beach, umbrella-drink-in-your-hand feel to it. A continued light airy feel to the album, which is a nice change. Starstruck, which features Space Cowboy and Flo Rida, has a more autotuned sound to it. Unfortunately, with autotune,  you don’t actually get to hear the “real” vocals. And that is a shame, because Lady GaGa actually has an impressive voice. Luckily the autotune didn’t say around for much long, as Beautiful, Dirty, Rich, switches the albums dimension once more. The chorus is decent and catchy, but I can’t say it has the wow-factor that previous songs have had. The Fame has a simple guitar riff as the main chord pattern, which is good. I like the variety in instruments. The title track is another song to add to the long list of “catchy chorus” songs that Lady GaGa seems to throw into her album. Money Honey has another one of those “dirty basslines” that I enjoy on a record. It’s a sound that will be most enjoyed on a dance floor. From the three previous songs, this is definitely a step up, as those 3 were heading downhill. I’m all for variety, just when it’s done right. The next song, Boys, Boys, Boys, was originally a mash-up of Girls Girls Girls by Mötley Crüe and T.N.T. by AC/DC. The song is upbeat and filled with hand claps and choral backing up vocals, making the song a solid entry into the album. A piano intro begins Paper Gangsta, until the bass kicks in. It’s got an urban feel to it, but Lady GaGa doesn’t mess about with her vocals. It’s just solid singing throughout. I do actually like this song quite a lot, more than I used to. I think it’s a “grower”. Brown Eyes brings down the tempo, we’re treated to a piano ballad from Lady GaGa. With the added addition of guitars in the chorus, this ballad is one of the better songs on the album, not including the chart topping hits. Summerboy has a similar sound to Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say). I say that because it feels summery and light. Not just because of the lyrics throughout, but the arrangement feels like it belongs on a sandy beach. Now for the bonus tracks, Disco Heaven. I can’t say this would be missed if it wasn’t included on the album. There isn’t really anything outstanding about the song. It’s kind of just “there”. The final track, Again Again, starts with a little giggle from GaGa, before an acapella, bluesy line, which leads into a piano chord sequence. It’s got a multiple-genre feel to it. It started off bluesy and jazzy, before sounded soul-ey and singer-songwritery. This is a song that is more than a bonus track, it’s a great end to the diverse album.

The Fame sort of speaks for itself. It’s multi-platinum status shows how popular it is, you don’t need me to tell you that. However, for the huge hits they deliver, there are a few misses. Something that can be allowed on a debut album, for sure, but, however popular you are, there is always room for improvement. 7.5/10

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