After the phenomenal success of The Fame, Lady GaGa was everywhere, her songs heard over every music channel, television adverts, you name it. She had catapulted herself into the spotlight, creating her success almost single-handedly. With record sales over 10 million, The Fame went to #1 in over 7 countries, going multi-platinum worldwide. A lot to live up to. But Lady GaGa wasn’t phased, having many potential hits already written, hiding up her sleeve. In a sense, The Fame Monster is a kind of re-release, but GaGa didn’t want to just cash in by contributing to an addition 2 songs along with the original, she basically wrote and recorded a whole new one on top of the previous one, which also comes as a second disc. The Fame Monster was released November 18th 2009.

The very first song, the lead single from The Fame Monster, begins with a different feel to the whole of The Fame. Bad Romance is still an electro-pop song, but it has a more mature, almost operatic feel to it. Of course, the vocals aren’t that of a soprano, Lady GaGa has her own sound, and that sound appears to have improved. GaGa sticks vaguely to the formula that sprung her previous hits, but opposed to Poker Face, Bad Romance is more melodic and the chorus feels slightly gospel, due to the “oh’s” in the background. Alejandro is something completely different, although the electro baseline can be heard quietly in the background, so can a set of strings instruments. It still has that huge instrumental feel that Bad Romance had, which I greatly enjoy. Alejandro, for me, is one of those songs you miss the quality of, because it’s overshadowed by other songs on the album, but it’s a really decent song when it comes down to it. Monster feels a more dancy song, although there has been an electro-pop song, it has a dancefloor-filler feel to it. The lyrical melodies in the chorus are catchy, the dance baseline makes you want to get up and it’s just a feel-good song, even if you’re singing “he ate my heart”. The first ballad, a power ballad in fact, on the album is Speechless, a song about GaGa’s father, the phone calls she had when he underwent open-heart surgery. Even though GaGa is best writing and performing fast-paced, electro-pop songs, she can actually pull a ballad out of the bag, her vocals have improved incredibly. Dance In The Dark brings back the faster-tempo to the album, during the verses, her lyrics are echoed behind, even though it’s not necessarily distracting from the song, it doesn’t really add anything to the song. The chorus is big and bold, definitely a sing-along one. I have to admit I really enjoy the breakdown towards the end, with a rapped bridge. One of my favourite on the album is Telephone which features Beyoncé Knowles. It’s a match made in heaven, GaGa and Beyoncé bring the song to such a standard it’s incredible. The chorus is catchy, the vocals are fantastic and Beyoncé’s bridge halfway through is filled attitude. They need to collaborate again in the future. Onto probably my favourite on the album, So Happy I Could Die. It’s got all the makings to be a success on the dance floor. There isn’t especially anything I can mention as to why it’s so great. It has one of those “Je ne sais quoi’s” that I can’t describe. It has a fantastic beat to it, the melodies are soft and flowy, and it’s a happy song, as you could guess from the title. The final song on The Fame Monster is Teeth. It has an eerie starting feel to it, with quiet squeals of pain, and the feeling the GaGa’s whispering “Don’t worry, I’ve done this before” in your ear. It has a punch to it, it has attitude, which has kind of been lacking before, not that it’s a bad thing. It just brings a new dimension to the album, showing the various sounds that Lady GaGa can bring to an album. The song is a brilliant way to bring the “little monsters” listening to the end of their auditory pleasure.

I just love The Fame Monster, I really do. She has chosen quality over quantity, which she sort of did on her debut, and it really worked this time. It shows Lady GaGa actually cares about her fans, rather than shoving out a half-hearted re-release as a way to get more money. The album is pure quality, and with an extra 8 tracks in your musical library, Stefani Germanotta is generous. Her vocals are improving dramatically, her lyrics and sound is maturing and she will, I have no doubt, produce a third album that will rival the first two. 9/10

je ne sais quoi
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