So, I Pretty Much Love Lady GaGa’s “Paparazzi”

noah | September 28, 2009 2:00 pm

Dear Lady GaGa: I was wrong about you. Not about “Poker Face” (which is still a pile of wretchedly moldy Peaches) or your continuously annoying art-school-confidential persona (which seems more defensive each time you put it on) or your buddy-buddyness with Technicolor-haired Internet scourge Perez Hilton (ugh)—I’m pretty confident that those are all annoying. But we must talk about about your fast-rising single“Paparazzi,” about which I was pretty lukewarm on first listen. Because somehow over the weekend I fell in love with its dripping, gaudy fantasticness, and I wanted to thank you. If the copy of “Paparazzi” that I bought Saturday morning had been packaged in cassette-single form, I probably would have been forced to go back to Record World to pick up a new one by now. The more cynical among us might think that the addictive nature of this song is little more than a sad result of the whole Illuminati thing that you allegedly have going on, but I say “fie” on them. As a package of glossy, high-concept pop, the song is perfectly packaged: the hip-shaking beat; the whip-crack sound effects on the chorus; the imperfections in your voice, which only serve to highlight your narrator’s position as the supplicant toward her object of desire. (Note that when I say “package,” I am just talking about the craft of the song, and not its overblown video or your used-tampon outfits.) And then there are the lyrics, which turn the slightly crazy form of unrequited romantic love into its own form of celebrity worship—kind of an amazing analogy for this still-fame-saturated moment.

I’m your biggest fan I’ll follow you until you love me Papa-paparazzi Baby there’s no other superstar You know that I’ll be your Papa-paparazzi Promise I’ll be kind But I won’t stop until that boy is mine Baby you’ll be famous Chase you down until you love me Papa-paparazzi

Deep? Not by any stretch of the imagination. But as another pop-music sage once noted, the line between “stupid” and “clever” is a very fine one, and with “Paparazzi,” you’ve vaulted over it and gone right into the territory of “brilliant.” And given all the crap I’ve thrown your way since you first came on the American scene, I feel like not mentioning this fact would be sort of unfair. Earlier: Lady GaGa Has Another Wank