Lady Gaga

I listened to Born This Way recently because, well, it's just the time of year where I think about it the most and... yeah, she's kind of a miserable prospect as a popstar to me these days, but I think that there has always been so much turmoil in her life on stage that she probably assoiciates being a popstar with misery, and... I don't really know where that leaves her. I think the shows her peers are touring with this year make the Chromatica Ball seem even more antiquated and stale than it seemed at the time, and moreover, they seem to just have a palpable joy to them that Gaga's grim presentation between eight hour screensavers by Nick Knight didn't.

I hope she finds her bliss, genuinely. But I don't think any of her music-related work in years seems to reflect that the person behind it loved making it. Maybe the "911" video at a stretch? I remember last year seeing her rather joylessly knock out her three biggest hits (aside from "Shallow", the obvious golden child she properly loves where everything aligned perfectly for her) from the perspective of being trapped by them and thinking... yeah, that tracks I guess. And that's fine, but maybe don't break your ankle running towards legacy act status when you appear to have no affection for basking in that legacy. She is 100% in a position to be making bolder, more adventurous choices on stage and on record, but she honestly seems too scared to lose it all by trying. Girl, if Beyoncé is getting away with playing "Rather Die Young" to stadiums you can maybe retire Safe B-Tier Hit From The 2009 Golden Age "LoveGame", and slot in "Applause" without the general public revolting!
I mean its probably the stan in me wanting the recordings talking, but I feel like having tour content out there has always been, and continues to remain, super important for maintaining a legacy. Especially when you're a performer.

When I was getting into pop culture in 2011, Blond Ambition/The Monster Ball/The Beyoncé Experience/Onyx Hotel were on constantly in my house. I know its different in 2023 and the best parts of these tours are on TikTok and what have you, but preserving this stuff is an almost pointless document of pop culture history if they aren't released. I got it with Joanne because that was a bit traumatic luv, but she couldn't stop yelling about how happy she was touring Chromatica. Give us the damn footage, girl.
I think she just lacks commitment to her music career now. Chromatica isn't my favorite thing she's done musically, but it made sense at that point her career to make a relatively 'basic' pop album and score some easy hits, but then she didn't do shit with it. It was like - sorry for the inevitable comparison- Hard Candy. Madonna makes her most US radio pandering album in years and - while she was never going to get a ton of airplay on ageist US radio - she didn't even really try with it! She made 2 garbage videos and then went on tour for the $$$.

Why didn't they just ask Cardi B to feature on a Free Woman remix and throw it out as single #3? Why can't she plug Dom Perignon and her music simultaneously? Why did we enter a dimension where she can do one but not the other?

I also blame Interscope for a few blunders. Why the fuck wasn't Always Remember Us This Way a proper single? It was already a hit on its own, it could've been an easy top 10 for her with some effort. It wasn't like Chromatica was right around the corner. They had time to properly keep pushing the soundtrack to the biggest moment of her career this side of The Fame Monster.

Gaga: The Movie Star years isn't bothering me as much as it could because unlike most of her pop peers who have attempted the same thing, she's actually succeeding and she's (so far) picking things that feel pretty in line with her being Lady Gaga. I just wish she could channel her passion into music as well. She doesn't need to tour. She could release a new album this fall, set up a Vegas residency for it next year where she performs 10 new songs and 10 old songs and people would love it. She doesn't have to be a legacy act yet.
Gaga must've decided against calls for future singles. There's no way Interscope didn't want to follow-up a number one single with 911 and Sour Candy both retaining streams pretty well. I remember her going on a PR tour for the kindness book right when the 911 video dropped, and there wasn't a real sign of pushing forward with Chromatica.

In retrospect, I think Chromatica was meant to be a quick short-lived moment and the pandemic just dragged everything out and revealed that there wasn't much enthusiasm behind it in the first place. April album release, surprise Coachella set, Top Gun single, summer tour and then it's over by September.

Things seemed pretty limitless after Joanne + A Star Is Born, like she could creatively go anywhere and had the power to make a distinct move. Nowadays she seems so laissez faire with everything re: music that she'll probably just bring pieces from The Chromatica Ball to Vegas and keep on the same trajectory.
Maybe this is just me being positive but I really think she could release something during Q4 this year. Or early 2024.

I just don’t think she’ll wait until after Joker 2, like most people seem to believe.
Too ambitious
Just pin this to the top of every page. You can't be a legacy artist when you are continuously reaching new heights. This week alone Always Remember Us This Way will be the first female non-single in Spotify history to reach 1 billion streams. Doesn't even touch upon the stadium attendance records she broke with the Chromatica Ball, or Bloody Mary blowing up unexpectedly, or another Oscars performance being well received again by the GP.

I agree she should shake up her setlist (where the hell was Applause or Venus?), but she still has a healthy audience and young people are checking out her catalogue. She's outstreaming Beyoncé regularly but you wouldn't dare find anyone say she is a legacy artist.
Absolutely none of this changes a single thing I said in my post.
My point is that it's not really a competition and I don't understand calling someone a legacy artist anyway, people started calling Madonna a legacy artist in 2003. That was 20 years ago and she's still here. It's just another label people use to put popstars down. I don't think I've ever heard Mick Jagger or Bono be called legacy artists.

I will say that Gaga treats her music career like it's even less important than her makeup stuff though.
Her makeup line is actually great, so i'm happy for her success with that. I think people who seethe at it's existence need to chill -- however, I do think being frustrated she posts way more about the brand than about music is warranted. She's still never managed to really balance her social media presence ever since stepping back from it after ARTPOP. She only posts usually when there's something to promote, and the main thing she has new to promote is the makeup. I miss her posting about working on music.
I just… I know they’re all capitalists, but it’s all a bit hard to stomach when there’s not even any music to back it up. At least give me the illusion, Stefani!

But I realize she’s gonna do what she’s gonna do. Make up is just so dreadfully dull.
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It's just weird to not feel any passion for music or performing from her when she seemed like she breathed and lived music when she first started. I get more passion from Britney and she's basically been retired for years. I'm not even talking about new stuff, just the occasional post remembering a past career moment or even vibing to someone else's song.

It just sucks when music and performing feels like a contractual obligation or another brand extension. Oh well, what are you gonna do.