Idol / Glee / Gaga

“Told ya so!  Told ya so!  Told ya so!”

Channeling my inner Debra Messing…because two issues back, in this very column, I predicted the following: “If the two country singers make the [American Idol] finale, it will be the lowest rated finale ever.”

Don’t ever doubt Uncle Tony.  This was, in fact, the lowest rated American Idol finale ever.

The only CD I even slightly look forward to from this season with very moderate expectations would be that of Casey Abrams.

Gleekbook?  Glitter?

Speaking of CD’s I would anticipate, can we start a facebook or twitter campaign or something to get a CD out of Lea Michele (Rachel) of Glee?  Now there is an amazing voice.  I really don’t feel like buying 6 Glee CD’s to get one or two songs from her on each.  Puck put out his own CD (it tanked.)  Mr. Schu put out his own CD.  Even the Warblers put out their own CD.  I’m waiting, Lea…

In the meantime, if you don’t watch the show or haven’t watched it lately, and you like anything resembling Barbra Streisand or Linda Eder (hello, you’re reading David magazine) get on youtube and look up “Glee Jar Of Hearts.”  Then watch “Glee Get It Right.”  Then pour yourself a glass of something and finish it up with “Glee Don’t Rain On My Parade.”  You’ll thank me later.

The Monster In The Room

OK, what will any review matter when it comes to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way?”   You’ve probably already purchased the CD or downloaded it from Amazon for 99 cents.

I love the Gaga for many reasons.  But I didn’t take to her right off the bat.  I heard her first few songs on the radio and thought, “So what?”  I wondered why she, doing what our beloved dance floor divas have been doing for many years, was able to break the magic pop barrier so thoroughly and consistently.  Why was she any better than the chick from Cascada or the chick from iio?  Why were tweens across the heartland holding her up in Bieber-esque fashion?

And then I started to catch her performing live on several awards shows, right about the time “The Fame Monster” was released.  I was instantly impressed and I “got it.”  She has real talent, and her performances are the most theatrically edgy without gimmickery since Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.

At that point, I sat down and listened to the 2-disc version of “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster.”  And again I kinda thought, “So what?”  OK, some artists are tough to capture in a recording.  I chalked it up to that.  But the more I heard her other stuff on the radio, the more it grew on me.

So with somewhat lowered expectations, I took a listen to Born This Way, and thought her best would again be left on TV appearances and stages across the nation.  I have to say, overall, I found Born This Way to be a better listen than the first two.  That said, so far I haven’t found any one track to stand out for me as much as “Speechless,” which I adore, or “Bad Romance,” which is truly anthemic.  I qualify that with “so far” because I haven’t listened to each song 30 times yet, and with Gaga’s stuff, it seems to be sometime between the 20th and 30th listen that something begins to click in my head.

I’ve already discussed the first two singles, “Born This Way” and “Judas” in previous columns.  After the first few listens, so far my favorites are ScheiBe (“I don’t speak German, but I can if you like…”) “Bloody Mary,” and “Bad Kids,” which happen to be all in a row in the middle of the CD. The beginning of “Americano” (“I met a girl in East L.A…”) reminds me of the middle of Liza’s “Cabaret” (“I used to have a girlfriend known as Elsie…”)  I can’t help it, that’s how my brain works.  (I was born this way.)

Overall, while this is a dance-pop CD, she heavily layers in a kind of techno-metal vibe.  That’s different, but it makes me miss the more “direct from the dance floor” sounds as put out lately by Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, etc.  There’s no denying Gaga’s vocals, her voice, her talent, or her heart.  But “The Edge Of Glory” isn’t knocking me out yet.  I qualify that with “yet” because I haven’t listened to it 30 times.  If you were on the edge of buying this CD, I’d say go ahead, you can’t go wrong.

Upcoming New Releases:

Cascada – “Original Me” June 20
Vanessa Carlton – “Rabbits On The Run” June 21

This week in gay music history:

1998 – Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell leaves the Spice Girls.  You can find her two solo CD’s in clearance bins everywhere.

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