It is quite fortuitous that Lady GaGa has named her debut album The Fame because, one must assume, she is set to hit it in a big way. Based on the success of lead single "Just Dance" Lady GaGa has seemingly stumbled upon the success that has eluded so many others that came before you. That she is American is an even stranger feat, considering the way America has been positively allergic to anything one may describe as "electronic" or "pop" in the last five years, having - more or less - ignored the resurgence in the genre in return for identikit "urban" music from artists with zero personality and worthless songs.
I am, however, not saying that The Fame is a great album. It's good, but not great. Yet it is so well produced and put together that success seems a mere formality for the New York native. I would strongly recommend those in the GaGa camp reconsider "Beautiful Dirty Rich" as their second single choice as it would probably turn off just as many people as "Just Dance" turned on. It's hardly radio friendly either in the way that far superior tracks like "Paparazzi" or the album's title track are.
It's hard to get a full grip on what Lady GaGa really is. She's clearly not the same sort of frustrating indie pop artist that have become ubiquitous as of late, but she doesn't entirely succumb to mainstream pop the way performers likes Kylie, Sneaky Sound System and Madonna do. She straddles that awkward line between appealing to the masses and the people who sneer at the masses. Coming off as a bit like Róisín Murphy with more success, but fewer quality songs.
Great songs, she has a couple. The previously mentioned "Paparazzi" is sleek and filled with brooding synths, while "Boys Boys Boys" recalls 1980s singer Sabrina in more ways than one. It is subsequently the album's best moment. It's just made for a swag of remixes, too. "Just Dance" is still addictive after all this time - that chorus really is a killer - while "The Fame" and "Money Honey" are truly addictive fair with sass to spare and "I Like It Rough" sounds exactly like what Holly Valance was doing several years ago to a collective yawn by the record buying public, despite being amazing. Compare this and, for example, Valance's "Curious" and I think people would be quite surprised.
Unfortunately, there is just a bit of a hint of filler amongst many of the other tracks. "Love Game" has the distinct disadvantage of being placed between "Just Dance" and "Paparazzi" even though it's chorus lifts it's game. "Eh Eh (Nothing Else to Say)" is inconsequential, "Poker Face" is Timbaland-lite (although it's still better than most of what Timbaland himself is putting out there at the moment), "Again Again" doesn't fit at all onto The Fame with its piano pop, while "Brown Eyes" is a dull ballad and the less said about "Beautiful Dirty Rich" the better, I reckon.
As an opening statement to a career that is sure to blossom, The Fame is a great start. It achieves it's goals with - mostly - aplomb and as long as she chooses the right singles there's no reason why the record buying public won't embrace it with open arms like they did with similar hit-and-miss fare by Fergie and Gabriella Cilmi.