A little Madonna, a little Gwen Stefani, a little Depeche Mode. A little R&B, a little rock and a whole lot electronica-infused dance pop. Shove all these influences together, and you get Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka, Lady Gaga.
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On "Paper Gangsta," the singer briefly wants something substantive when it comes to romance ("I'm lookin' for love/Not an empty page full of stuff that means nothing"). "Brown Eyes" finds a woman pondering where a relationship went wrong.
"Just Dance" chronicles the efforts of a severely intoxicated woman ("I've had a little bit too much/ ... Can't find my drink or man/Where are my keys?") simply to stay upright on the dance floor. "Lovegame" not-so-subtly articulates Lady Gaga's desire for intercourse ("I'm educated in sex, yes/And now I want it bad/ ... Let's have some fun, this beat is sick/I wanna take a ride on your disco stick"). The suggestive "Poker Face" mingles gambling metaphors with even more crude sexual euphemisms. "The Fame" imagines living like the rich and the famous as a young woman coolly considers a career in the porn industry if that's what it takes ("I can see myself in the movies/ ... Photograph my mind and whatever else you'd like to shoot/ ... All we care about is pornographic girls on film and body plastic"). Similar sentiments pop up on "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" ("We've got a redlight pornographic dance fight"). On "Money Honey," a woman having an affair ("I'm your lover and your mistress") says that a rich man's wealth is all that matters. "Summerboy" celebrates a summer romp ("Get your a-- in my bed/Maybe you'll be my summer boyfriend"). And so it goes on track after track that celebrates a nonstop sensual party. A half-dozen vulgarities turn up along the way, too, including three s-words.
Musically speaking, this New York-born singer's debut is a state-of-the-art tour de force as it seamlessly molds so many sonic influences. It's a shame, then, that the Lady's lyrical content is as shallow and coarse as her beats are infectious. Miss Gaga is ready to give any rapper a run for his money when it comes to celebrating the charms of mindless materialism and casual sex. "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" aptly encapsulates The Fame's vacuous hedonism.
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Album peaked at No. 4. "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" both topped the Hot 100 singles chart.