Courtesy of MTV
The era of the undisputedly brilliant Lady Gaga music video has returned.
From the apex of video genius that was “Paparazzi” and “Bad Romance,” Gaga slid a long way down into the esoteric, anxiety-inducing messes that were “Born This Way,” “The Edge of Glory,” and “You & I” (in part). I was convinced that the awe-inspiring, infinitely rewatchable quality that once described the Gaga video had been eclipsed by her own spastic efforts to appear avant-garde and cutting edge. Gaga seemed to have lost her grasp on story-driven videos that visually popped and turned instead to convoluted plots (or none at all) and shocking visuals that lent nothing to the product.
But the video that accompanies “Marry The Night,” her latest single from “Born This Way,” brought me back into the fold.
The most important part of watching any Gaga video is keeping in mind that she makes a conscious effort to make and remake her image at the drop of a hat (a facet of her personality that came off much too contrived for “You & I”). This whirlwind of meat dresses, 10-inch heels and latex often made Gaga appear so surreal that she was unapproachable; as indecipherable as a Salvador Dali painting.
And to be sure, “Marry The Night” did not hold back on the crazy, but it also offered a rare glimpse into Gaga’s life at some of her most vulnerable moments. In a monologue that peppers the video, Gaga makes references to suicidal tendencies and her desire to remake her past and losing it all in search of her career. Scenes show her mostly nude getting bad news via a phone call in an obvious reference to her departure from Def Jam Recordings after just three months in 2006. She is later seen covered in Cheerios (just to keep the crazy going).
Moments like her teary declaration, given from a hospital bed, that she would be a star and the resilient statement that, even with nothing but a Bedazzler, she would start all over again add a candid feel to Gaga that is seldom found in her other videos.
In short, Lady Gaga managed to remake her image into that of the underdog. Her rare vulnerability is balanced in the video with pyrotechnics and outlandish outfits, but scenes like those in the dance studio remind viewers (myself included) that this powerhouse glamazon is every bit as human as the rest of us — even if she’s given birth to a machine gun on camera.