Sunday, 27 December 2009
46. Bad Romance, Lady Gaga (2009)
Bad Romance took me back to the first time I heard Lady Gaga, and the way my skin itched, my nose twitched, my brow furrowed. After Katy Perry – all false eyelashes, '50s heels and towering disappointment – all I bloody needed was another brilliant-looking pop star letting me down, banging on about Warhol and disco sticks, falling out of nightclubs wearing sunglasses and knickers. Her songs jagging and blaring out of dodgy car radios reminding me that this wasn't my pop, that this wasn't for me.
And then Bad Romance beginning with that funny Mozart harpsichord flourish, announcing its queen. The imperial chant of rah-rah, roma-ma-mah, Gaga, ooh la lah. The hunger for ugly things, dirty things, for money, for love; the brash, theatrical confidence of a woman wanting to be strong, then desperately trying to hide how sad she could be. And then that incredible chorus, the yearning, all-together-now oh-oh-ohs, full-chested, huge-hearted, the vast melancholy and euphoria that the best pop brings together. Realising how wrong I could be. Watching her bowl over the X Factor dressed like a bat in a bath – feeling that this is what it must have been felt like watching Morrissey on Top Of The Pops, his NHS specs and his hearing aid, his charity shop shirt and gladioli, a weird individual being themselves – then feeling so proud when its so-called spoonfed viewers took her to number one, claimed this odd woman for their own. Knowing this was a song for the end of a decade when pop claimed me back, when the strangest things worked magically, and when anything seemed possible.