A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Video Review: Judas by Lady Gaga

I've never written a video review before, but I thought I might try it this once and see how it goes. I am a fan of Lady Gaga and have loved her ever since her performance of the medley version of Bad Romance and Speechless at the AMAs in 2009. She broke glass over a flaming piano, but still it was her passion and performance that really wowed me that night. She won me over, and I really enjoyed almost every song on her first CD. I know she's odd, to say the least, but for the most part I think her first album was fantastic and well balanced. However, with the sensationalism of the first, it will be hard for her to top it with the second.

Lady Gaga: Judas Video

The thing that Gaga is known for is being original, however, the first single "Born This Way" was criticized for sounding horribly similar to "Express Yourself" by Madonna. I personally didn't mind. Even though I didn't think the song was the best I'd ever heard, it was catchy and fun to sing loud in the car. However, I'd have to say with this new video for her song "Judas," again, Gaga is suffering from unoriginality. I feel like she already did this with the "Alejandro" video with all that Christian symbolism. Also, that's basically the go-to thing to do if you want to shock people been there done that so it's not shocking at all. In fact, it was totally predictable. Also, sidebar: with all this backlash about how she "copied" Madonna, maybe the biblical symbolism ISN'T the way to go since (not only did she, herself, just do this but...) Madonna did that 22 years ago with "Like a Prayer." Not to mention, some awesome costumes and dance moves are wasted between some super LAME moves. I wish they had saved some of them for a better video, to be honest.

As for the lyrics, "I'd wash his feet with my hair even if he betrayed me 3 times,"what other purpose except shock do those lyrics serve? They aren't deep and it's a poorly constructed metaphor, if you can count it as one at all. That, unfortunately, makes the song seem shallow and contrived. I want her to return to flirting with the line instead of demolishing it, because honestly, if there is nothing left to the imagination, then what fun is it? Plus, if Gaga calmed it down just one little bit, made just ONE little song that was slightly innocuous instead of trying so hard to garner the title "controversial," and made a video using no religious symbols, I think she could easily gain some on-the-fencers who now dislike her back.    

Also, the hook of this song ("JudAH, Judah-AH-AH! JudAH, Judah-AH-AH!") is SO much better than the rest of entire song. Just saying. I also kind of wish she had saved that for a better song, too.

I know that Gaga isn't about doing what others want. She's about being who she wants to be, who she is. However, I don't feel that lately she has been who she is. I think once some of these celebrities get so huge, they don't know how to top themselves and so it becomes a matter of "How do I keep the spotlight?" I don't think that should be the goal anymore. She seems to be doing everything she can to be what she thinks will shock and confuse us to keep the attention. In that way is she not succumbing to the same thing that she preaches to all of us to shrug off and ignore? If it starts becoming "gimmicky" in order to keep the eyes of the press, then it is no longer original or sincere. I am afraid Gaga is headed that direction, and the only reason I point it out isn't because I am a hater, but because I adore what she has been and I don't want her to lose sight of that.

Lady Gaga's 2009 AMA performance.


  1. Agree Agree Agree. We love Gaga around here, and I just don't GET this last turn. I love me some "Born This Way", though. New anthem for a new generation.
    I hope this is just a bump in the road. I think the real problem is that she's been going-going-going non-stop since The Fame. I think she needs time to hole up, Stevie Nicks style, and write some music that matters to HER.

  2. "I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs, even after 3 times he betrays me...." She's talking about loving him unconditionally! I know what you're saying and I get all of the kinda conformity you're talking about, however minimal you may mean it, but she isn't worried about the people who don't like her for what she isn't she is only expressing herself and allowing those who truly connect with her artistically to do so for who she is. It's a gutsy move but we need gutsy women in our lives. What is commendable about an artist that is dumbing down HER point of view for the masses, what is commendable about an artist that is just worried about being a cash cow and walking on eggshells to keep from offending or pissing off a few people. The people love her because she is Gaga, people love her because she isn't a cookie cutter pop star that allows HER ART to be demolished by closed minded masses. < SOAP BOX

  3. THE MUSIC SHE IS PUTTING OUT NOW SHE WROTE BEFORE SHE WROTE THE FAME!!!!!!!!! She has been writing the born this way album since HIGH SCHOOL! This is her... The Fame was the buffer.

  4. BUT my point is that she ISN'T being original in this video. She IS "conforming," for lack of a better word, to the exact expectation of "controversial" by using this imagery. I feel like she's better than that. I feel she could have done something SO much better AND more original than this.

  5. I also feel like this imagery/symbolism IS dumbing down controversial themes. I mean... if you want to really slap the masses in the face, come up with some metaphors they may not even be offended by until after they like the song because at first they didn't get it. Like with Bad Romance. And even Poker Face, haha.

  6. Yeah but the song is about Judas as a metaphorical reference to unconditional love and forgiveness. It's genius, if she hadn't done this then nearly everyone would be saying she could have done more. I would think she was trying to be controversial had she not told people ahead of time that they could expect some religious symbolism.

  7. I just want to bow down to you both! but mostly Gaga. All of the work that she puts out is ingenious and requires me to have to reach to a whole new thinking level to even grasp what she is trying to say. I think that if this is from her younger days it could also be dealing with her struggle with religion and the idea of the divine because everyone knows that people go through this in their life especially at a young age when we are trying to get a grasp on how life is. and from some of the track names on the Born This Way album, it seems that this may effect several of the songs. I also believe that people are being to harsh saying that she is copying other artists. Everyone has their influences. It isn't abnormal for music to be inspired by other music of other ages. As far as the music video goes...I think there was so much more that she could have done. In some ways, I feel like she is artistically limited. By what exactly? I don't know. I just feel like she has so much she wants to express, but it is hard to find a good outlet through a 5 minute video.

  8. Yeah but that can also be considered cowardly in the fact that she is cleverly "hiding" her ideas and points of view. She has decided to be more literal "whether gay straight or bi... " and I like that. Silence = Death. DRAMATIC yes but also very very true. Too often people refrain from speaking out LITERALLY about there beliefs and I think that Gaga will be a stepping stone on the path to a more honest and open generation.

  9. "I would think she was trying to be controversial had she not told people ahead of time that they could expect some religious symbolism."

    Ok I can see this point and I agree with you there. Maybe I think the metaphor is just lame... I can get on board, more so, though with the mind set she isn't TRYING so hard. If she announced before hand that there would be religious symbolism, then of course we could expect this. Ok, I am coming around a bit on it.

    I still want to see something different next time though! We've seen biblical symbolism from her TWICE now. Give me some "Speechless" mixed with some "Paparazzi" and I will be satisfied, haha!

  10. LOL I hate being on a SOAP BOX and misspelling words! ARGH!

  11. She has decided to be more literal "whether gay straight or bi... "

    THIS. I NEVER had an issue with this. I absolutely LOVE that she just came out with it. I really like "Born This Way" for this reason exactly!

  12. If I had a choice to make one of her songs into a music video, Speechless would be it....just saying.

  13. "I also believe that people are being to harsh saying that she is copying other artists. Everyone has their influences."

    I love that Gaga handles this by kind of making fun of herself! At the end of Born This Way she does a Madonna homage and sports a gapped grill! Just like the rumors that she used to be/was a man she combated those by doing a photo shoot wearing a pair of skinny jeans hiding an enormous dildo :)




    I love Speechless I would have loved to see So Happy I Could Die as well!

  15. I think that her unoriginality with the whole Christian controversy is her safe place, too. She's already done the religious perspective, and it didn't shock me, it just pissed me off. She's putting herself up on a pedestal and it seems a bit like a mockery to the Christian religion. As a Christian myself, I can honestly say that I adored 'Born This Way' and her older songs.

    But this song is something I can never bring myself to listen to, no matter how catchy that Judas part is. It's not just the religious part of the song, but it seems pretty repetitive and I was reminded of a mixture of Alejandro and Bad Romance all in one go. I like what she stands for in some respects, but, in others, I can't seem to grasp her point of view and I definitely can't connect with her, which is something I look for when I choose what artists I listen to.

  16. Yes! I love how she handles all the hatred. If it affects her in any way, I can't see it. She just keeps her head high and moves on. The occasional mocking is great to see, too.

    and if it was done the right way, Monster would have been an awesome video, too.

  17. OHHHHH! I forgot about how much I love MONSTER! My favorite by far!

    UGH! I love her so much... CLEARLY!

  18. Anonymous,
    If you did bring yourself to listen to it, I mean really listen to it and forgo religiosity for a moment you might actually get something great out of the song's actual message as opposed to allowing social biases to constrict your range of acceptance.

  19. PREACH, Brian!

    and Monster is definitely my favorite, too! I just love everything about that song haha Gaga is so wonderful...I would die if I ever met her.

  20. I have met her! Twice but this was before The Fame was out and she was playing shows at the gay bars in Dallas. Well not met per say but she did hold my hand and point at me :)

  21. Bettis! I'm friending you on facebook!

  22. OH MY GOD. My jealousy of you just skyrocketed! That's so awesome! and you should totally do it!

  23. I really like it. Love the sound and beat of it all from the beginning. Took me several listens to Born This Way for me to shrug off the Madonna similarity and accept it as itself. Love the Judas Jud-Ah-Ah. Catchy, and I totally get what she's saying. I love the metaphor. I don't think she's doing it to shock people. I think so many people go through religious struggles, and everyone, especially artists touch on it at least once, if not many times in their careers. That's how big of a deal it is. Agree with Bettis that it's not unusual for artists to be inspired by others. I get what you're saying, Fatty. Will be hard to top her first album; I may not swoon over every song on her new album, but Ga Ga will always have my heart. 'Cause I'm a freak Bitch Baby. ;D

  24. I didn't care much for the song, putting religious meaning aside 1st ... I found it was trying to be too catchy and very boring in some parts.I watched the performance on Ellen and the dancing was terrible. I do like Lady Gaga not as much as some of her fans and I can see why she would want to sing against religious conformity, but to me the idea of this "unconditional love and forgiveness" ( which is basically Jesus message) with the use of Judas does not make since to me. However, their is another story in the bible that would show this so much clearer and that is the story of Gomer & Hosea. In the story it talks about Gods forever forgiveness and coming salvation. Lastly I am not going to pretend that the majority of the Christian world has it right. I feel that for the most part they are lost on God message of the bible, they use it in to condemn others and make themself feel superior. That is not the message of the bible. And as a active church going christain it is very frustrating to see some many "follower" judge others and push people away... my faith is a very personal belief and I don't look to others to define it for me. I like Lady Gaga, she is talented and when this song come on in the car I will probably be singing along; Because it is catchy good or bad... but the message was lost on me... but that's okay...

  25. Firstly, addressing ANON: I don't think a person's personal choice in music should be criticized as long as they don't preach to others that they TOO should feel that way about music. Anon did nothing wrong but state her/his POV and say that PERSONALLY she/he just can't seem to tap into Gaga, and that's their choice. There is NOTHING wrong with that and just because that person doesn't like JUDAS doesn't mean they are being ruled by society or whatever. It just means that they don't like Gaga.

    And they don't have to.

    Jennifer! THANK YOU I don't... I don't see the connection of unconditional love and Judas. Unless she is saying Jesus loved him even though he betrayed him....? But the way the song goes, it's like she's having to choose between the two of them... so that doesn't fit. This is where I run into problems with it. The metaphor just isn't smooth enough for me, I am English-major minded. Can't help it. And I like that you addressed that your issue has NOTHING to do with being offended by the religious stuff. Because honestly. I could care less. It doesn't bother me really.

    Stacy, I think artists do touch on the religious imagery possibly many times in their career. The issue I have here is 1. she was just criticized for copying Madonna not a breath ago, and now I can't help but feel the Judas video is an inferior version of the "Like a Prayer" video and 2. SHE just did the religious craziness in "Alejandro." Maybe if she had spaced it out from both of these things it would have been easier for me to receive this song/ video... but I mean come on. That's just ASKING for it.

    And I know she is all about "be yourself, do what you want", but whether we want to admit it or not, music (especially the kind she produces) is a business and there are some decisions you have to be smarter about. I know she'll be fine no matter what because her die-hards will always love whatever she does. I just think she could ALSO have tons more fans by making a few smarter decisions here and there.

    Also, Bettis, enjoy Bryen. He's my favorite, haha.

  26. Elizagolighly, Your Welcome... I didn't see the connection either. The only message I got was that she stuggles for her desire for Christ but cling to her love of "Judus" her sinful nature and desires that pull her away. However, the unconditional love and forgiviness of Judas I don't understand. But atleast we always have Hanson who never dispoints us.... I would also love it is you would do a review of another favorite band of mine's new album. Bowling for Soups "fishing for woo's". That is if you like pop punk at all...lol

  27. The first time I ever heard of Lady Gaga I was at a fashion show and she was about to perform for the end of the runway walk. The lights were turned off and the only thing you could see were her sunglasses that lit up with LED hearts. I thought she was going to be some anime pop star...haha..but then she walked out and she sang "Just Dance". The crowd went wild. I didn't really like the song and it didn't entice me to go check her other stuff out, but I thought her performance was pretty awesome. Then I started hearing crazy things she was doing like wearing costumes made out of meat or beanie babies but it reminded me of what performers have done in the past like Madonna and David Bowie. Bowie shocked the world by creating the androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Bob Dylan was labeled "Judas" by the hippies and the folk lovers when he switched over to electric music. Even back in the 1700s, Mozart stirred up controversy composing an opera adapted from the banned play "The Marriage of Figaro". I think it's human nature to push boundaries. As an artist I like to push people's buttons just to get some kind of reaction. It doesn't matter if they hate my work and want to punch me for it or if they fall in love with it so long as they were inspired by it and I made them think about the piece on a personal level.

  28. So she's obviously inspired people in both positive and negative ways, and this latest piece is no exception. I don't like it but I'm not that big of a fan of hers and so I don't have that connection. I love Catholic iconography and I know we all struggle with the issue she's expressing in the song but I think you get a better understanding of that struggle when you just listen to the song without watching the video. The thing is she wants to express that message through the video. She's become more of a visual artist than an audio artist and I think of her main form of expression is through theatrics rather than her music. I think the video is purposely shocking to get a rise out of society, create controversy, and push people's buttons. Would there even be an issue if she hadn't released a music video to correlate with the song? I think there is some substance within the lyrics but she could have pushed it further. Like you said, Audree, the metaphor isn't complete. I get where she was going with it but she could have pushed the lyrics and the music more because (in my opinion) neither are up to par with what she's previously done. Granted if she did work on this piece before she became famous then obviously it may not be as developed but she could have took it there. In fact, her music producers could have helped push it but I think they knew they could rely on the theatrics. I don't follow her so I don't know if the single was released first before the music video but today was the first time I had heard about this song and it was through the video.

  29. I think she's pushed boundaries in several ways and she's a very talented musician but I mainly feel indifferent about her. I find her more interesting and more inspiring when it is just her and her piano. I think the best song I've heard from her is "Speechless". In my opinion it is the most powerful piece by her. I know as an artist you need some kind of 'gimmick' to be recognized but recent artists have succeeded with just a piano and a voice. "The Consequence of Sound" by Regina Spektor is pretty simple but the passion is audible and the lyrics contain great imagery. This video of an acoustic version of "Tonight" by Lykke Li is absolutely heartbreaking. It's just her staring straight out, soul exposed, singing, nothing else.

    I can respect Lady Gaga for being an artist but I'm just not inspired by her theatrics. I think it actually takes something away from her performance. She's obviously connected with millions of fans, and that is great, but I personally feel disconnected.

  30. "I get where she was going with it but she could have pushed the lyrics and the music more because (in my opinion) neither are up to par with what she's previously done. Granted if she did work on this piece before she became famous then obviously it may not be as developed but she could have took it there."

    Thanks Rocky! I love what you said and the fact that your perspective is unbiased and objective. Nice comments!

  31. Brian has it right, ( and i thought i was the only one who copped on to the Madonna tribute at the end of Born This Way! thank heavens someone else did too!!! :L ).

    Everyone else is taking the religious aspect of Judas too literally. She is not saying that she is in love with Judas or Jesus, but that she is in love with what Judas represents and that she knows she should be with what Jesus represents, but instead she finds herself drawn to what Judas REPRESENTS!!!

    Judas represents the bad guy in her life who betrays her, or will betray her.
    Jesus represents the guy that is good and she knows she vcan trust and should be with, but she can't break away from Judas's spell. She is in a dilemma. Just because there are religious symbols there does not mean she is "trying to be controversial" or trying to be offensive. People are just not reading the metaphor and they are taking the literal to understand it. It's her way of trying to get people to relate to her situation, because its something we are familliar with, such as the relationship of Judas and Jesus. But she is NOT talking about them literally, but she is using the issue of Trust and Betrayal in their relationship as a common ground for others to relate or understand her situation. One would think people could relate, there's no reason they can't, but it seems to just go over people's heads, like its a topic that's just too hard too grasp. I think she's a fantastic artist and i think it's a unique and very creative metaphor. Saying Judas is an attack on religion is ridiculous, it is like saying that the Bible itself was meant literally - you have to read in between the lines. It's stuff like this that is wonderful, becuase it actuall gets you thinking!! What is the point of anything like music that is supposed to enrich one's life, if it had no meaning behind it? there wouldn't be a point and life would become quite boring rather fast.

  32. ...but like I said... I am not taking it literally and I am not even offended. I GET THE METAPHOR. I just don't think it's a very strong one. It doesn't fit. It's incomplete.

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