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opinion

My issue with criticisms of "The Cure"

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 that juju   Paws Up 14,927
that juju

OK I need to get this mini-rant off my chest and Twitter isn't the place:

The Cure came out almost a week ago, and a lot of the fanbase has loved it, some not so much. A lot of casual fans like it enough, some not so much. So, like every other Gaga project since her debut, reception has been polarizing to say the least. This is acceptable! It's perfectly okay not to like something! This isn't where my issues are concerned. Last Tuesday, after seeing Popjustice go back and forth over the matter, I tweeted them this simple inquiry:

27yo2h5.png

This brings me to today, when casually browsing their site for the "New Music Friday" post, knowing damn well they had a remark about The Cure. Lo and behold, they indeed did, and it reads:

j5e8ba.png

Here's what I find so toxic about this mindset/these expectations that are placed on Gaga, expectations that are both lofty and almost impossible to live up to: very few artists, in their entire careers, ever turn the tide of trends in a way that they completely revolutionize the scene in terms of what becomes mainstream; they might influence it in little ways here and there, but to totally cause an upheaval in pop music is almost unheard of, and certainly isn't something that happens every other day. When Gaga stepped onto the scene in 2008, she did just that, not only with music, but with visuals and fashion - and thus, she influenced the scene for the following (at the very ****ing least) 3 to 4 years, in ways that no one artist had done for at least a decade before her.

In short, Gaga has already achieved something very few artists will ever, in their entire lifetimes, achieve.

Without going any further in that direction, fast forward to September of 2016. After 3 years away from the pop scene, Gaga drops Perfect Illusion. Not only is the song unlike anything she had ever released previously, but it's completely separate from any current pop trends/anything on the radio. No one is buying it, no one is streaming it, radio isn't playing it, and blogs (like Popjustice) greet it with ambivalence. Perhaps it wasn't the right time or there was a lack of promotion, regardless - the song, and accompanying album, were different. They were unique. They were certainly pushing an agenda - perhaps not the one the masses were hoping for, but an agenda nonetheless. Something that, in this day and age, should be applauded, but was ultimately greeted with a collective "meh" from press and the general public.

In short, Gaga took a huge risk, one of the biggest risks in her career. And it paid off in some ways, not in others.

Just last week, we were greeted with The Cure. This came out of the blue. When was the last time y'all remember hearing a brand new song, then actually getting a studio version of it a few hours later? Sure, there's a trop-pop tinge to it. Sure, similar songs have been released in the past two years that fit the bill. Sure, it's totally different from the agenda-pushing Joanne's sound, but all of these things are OK. Gaga, as an artist, shouldn't be boxed into simply being the oddball or revolutionary: she should be allowed to express herself however she pleases, and that be enough. But, for seemingly more and more people, this isn't enough.

It seems to be that the mindset is this: we expect Gaga to push the mold, we expect her to try new things, we expect her to """set the agenda""". But when she does all of these things, like she attempted to do with Joanne, and more or less with ARTPOP, we crucify her. It somehow isn't enough. And then, when she decides to please the people by straddling the trends and doing something more straight-forward, that isn't enough either. It's such a cluster**** of contradictions and hypocrisy; if it's wearing me out this much, I know for sure it's taken its toll on Gaga. And it has to stop. What she's done for music and pop culture already is insurmountable; not a single one of her peers has done anything on that level, and she should be commended. That being said, this burden placed upon her, that it's all up to Gaga to push the mold with every single thing she does and to do no less, is not only toxic to her artistry and highly unfair for the artist, but unreasonable as ****. We should support her equally, whether she wants to do something out of the box, or whether she decides to color within the lines for once. I'll admit that The Cure isn't pushing any agendas, but at the very least, I consider it a damn good pop song. And if that's OK for any other artist, it should be OK for Gaga as well.

tldr; She is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. If she goes completely left and does something unlike anything she's done before, it'll be met coolly and not appreciated for what it is. If she does something right on the nose of current pop trends, it'll be met coolly and not appreciated for what it is. And, simply put, it's making me tired.

Edited by juju
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[ if everything is dipped in gold, then baby it'll never grow / everything sweet ain't sugar-coated ]

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androiduser   Paws Up 1,822
androiduser

basically, when Gaga sets the trends we make fun of those who follow trends, and when Gaga follows a trend, then she's a poor tortured artist :nails:

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Jus   Paws Up 1,058
Jus
4 minutes ago, androiduser said:

basically, when Gaga sets the trends we make fun of those who follow trends, and when Gaga follows a trend, then she's a poor tortured artist :nails:

This. :golfclap:

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http://gagadaily.com/forums/topic/248164-the-random-charts-game-lady-gaga-edition/

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BrothaGaga   Paws Up 4,803
BrothaGaga
6 minutes ago, androiduser said:

basically, when Gaga sets the trends we make fun of those who follow trends, and when Gaga follows a trend, then she's a poor tortured artist :nails:

i'd have to agree. :madge:

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 TeenIdle   Paws Up 11,079
TeenIdle
8 minutes ago, androiduser said:

basically, when Gaga sets the trends we make fun of those who follow trends, and when Gaga follows a trend, then she's a poor tortured artist :nails:

0mlj8_s-200x150.gif

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DelusionalGaga   Paws Up 5,968
DelusionalGaga

Well said, completely agree with u :golfclap:

tenor.gif

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PerfectIllusion   Paws Up 3,901
PerfectIllusion

This is the first time she released predictable music but its just one song and its great so i dont see a problem. Other artists go with the flow and nobody gives a sh*t...

Edited by PerfectIllusion
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PropaGaga   Paws Up 1,146
PropaGaga
14 minutes ago, juju said:

tldr; She is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. If she goes completely left and does something unlike anything she's done before, it'll be met coolly and not appreciated for what it is. If she does something right on the nose of current pop trends, it'll be met coolly and not appreciated for what it is. And, simply put, it's making me tired.

Pretty much. She can never really win unless she somehow strikes the balance she had in 2008/2009 when she was still shiny and new to everyone, but I don't think it's possible because the cultural climate was totally different then.

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Killa   Paws Up 5,521
Killa

I agree to some degree, because Joanne as well as Perfect Illusion lacked something. It was not trendy but it wasn't good enough to really make a point. Perfect illusion is an addicting song, i like the fury, the structure is ideal, it should be a killer and it kinda.

And that was the opposite of what was in, that is this easy listening trend, that she just nailed. That should amazing, how she proved she could do something more lowkey after ARTPOP and Perfect illusion, that are everything but casual listening.

I'm proud of her, i think she wrote a nice song, and it may not be groundbreaking but it has that flawless quality to it. A good pop song, you listen and you dont feel like changing anything, and she did that, standard. She proved once again that she nails pop music. In Joanne there was too much compromising, imo.

 

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BrothaGaga   Paws Up 4,803
BrothaGaga
3 minutes ago, PropaGaga said:

Pretty much. She can never really win unless she somehow strikes the balance she had in 2008/2009 when she was still shiny and new to everyone, but I don't think it's possible because the cultural climate was totally different then.

Do you think pressure for another hit record is getting to her brain? Everyone always expects so much from her.

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 that juju   Paws Up 14,927
that juju
6 minutes ago, PropaGaga said:

Pretty much. She can never really win unless she somehow strikes the balance she had in 2008/2009 when she was still shiny and new to everyone, but I don't think it's possible because the cultural climate was totally different then.

Precisely. The path she's paved previously is why she is considered a trailblazer and the stuff of legends, but there's also that pressure to constantly be pushing a mold. It reminds me of one person's response to the release of Applause: "she could release the near-perfect pop song, and people will still find something wrong with it". The reception of Applause reminds me a lot of the reception we've had for The Cure.

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[ if everything is dipped in gold, then baby it'll never grow / everything sweet ain't sugar-coated ]

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Bebe   Paws Up 12,240
Bebe

I don't know, I don't concern myself much with people's opinions. With every song she releases there are going to be people that love it and people that don't. 

I haven't actually expressed my thoughts on The Cure yet so here it is: 

I think she sounds good vocally, but the production and instrumental do nothing for me. I really dislike the generic synths at the start and throughout :/ I don't want to dislike the production, but I do, I don't have a problem with 'trendy' music I just don't like this particular trend she is dipping into.

With that said, I'm not complaining. It was a nice surprise - I don't expect an EP or another album will follow (although if it does I'm sure there will be songs that I like in said EP/album).

My point is really that people are allowed to dislike the song, people are allowed to criticise it for being generic. Of course as an artist Gaga can make any sort of music she wants, but that doesn't mean every fan wants a song like The Cure.

While I will most likely catch flack for this (I'm going to bed after I post this so maybe I will wake up to a mess) I think musically as of now her contemporaries are making more interesting music. I'm not a huge fan of Katy personally, so I'm discounting her, but the pop/rnb girls like Rihanna and Beyonce have some interesting tracks. I listen to songs like Consideration from Rihanna's last album and I'm like "Shiit this is a unique track only Rihanna could do (with help from SZA in the chorus obviously)" but throughout the album there is cool production and a feeling that it's totally Rihanna. Even her lead single Work featured Jamaican patois and Creole and felt like a song only Rihanna could pull off.

I listen to a albums like TF/TFM/BTW and ARTPOP and feel like "Yeah, this is totally Gaga" even Joanne which is a musical departure from her old work still has the feeling of "I don't see her contemporaries or anyone else really being able to pull this off like Gaga can." At least for the vast majority of the album. 

I don't get that with The Cure, maybe for the first time since she came out. It sounds like the sort of pop music I hear all the time and it doesn't feel, to me, like a "Gaga" song nobody else could pull off - you know what I mean? It sounds like a whole lot of songs on the radio that everyone does.

People here might not like that criticism and might disagree, I'm sure most people here do :shrug: with that said - I'm just not feeling the song, it doesn't feel uniquely Gaga and it doesn't hit on any trends that are personally interesting to me.


Gaga is still my favourite artist, nobody captivates me like Gaga does, I love her voice, I believe in her talent, her theatrical and energetic performance style excites me in a way that none of her contemporaries excite me - I'm still f*cking obsessed. I'm nowhere close to leaving, I don't even feel unsatisfied or upset with her.

I'm not mad that she released The Cure, like I said - It was a nice surprise to get new music, it's just not a song that excites me like her other records have and it has nothing to do with me expecting Gaga to go all avant garde and be totally groundbreaking with every song she releases - It just doesn't feel uniquely Gaga to me, it sounds generic, and I think her contemporaries atm have managed to release great pop singles with productions that feel uniquely 'them' even while they capitalize on certain trends. 

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SEANGT   Paws Up 1,569
SEANGT

The expectations everyone puts on her are insane to be sure. She deserves a hit with The Cure, it's an amazing bop. But you could say PI wasn't that great even though it was off-trend. It was loud and hard to replay over and over for some. It even had a weird message about social media that nobody was really buying. If you're going to go on-trend, you should have a strong message, but The Cure doesn't really. 

I don't really agree with those arguments, but I think that's how the songs were received and I can see where it comes from. 

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PropaGaga   Paws Up 1,146
PropaGaga
8 minutes ago, juju said:

Precisely. The path she's paved previously is why she is considered a trailblazer and the stuff of legends, but there's also that pressure to constantly be pushing a mold. It reminds me of one person's response to the release of Applause: "she could release the near-perfect pop song, and people will still find something wrong with it". The reception of Applause reminds me a lot of the reception we've had for The Cure.

I don't believe Gaga thinks about music as math like some other pop stars do. And that's because she's not a pop star, she's an artist. It's an incredibly cliche sentiment, but it's clear that where other people see numbers, Gaga sees colors. She will paint with every brush she can until she can paint no more. She's curious and doesn't see herself as above or below anything. So let her release a "generic" bop -- she'll probably release a metal polka tune next. Maybe that'll be more their speed.

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Slayer   Paws Up 8,679
Slayer

I feel like I should be disappointed that she hopped on the 'tropical house' trend, but I'm just... not?

She has proven how innovative, creative and brilliant she is, time and time again. If she wants to use ONE freaking tropical-house riff in a bloody great pop song, then she can do whatever the f*ck she wants. She has nothing more to prove. To anyone.

And in case nobody else realised, back in their heydays, Michael Jackson and Madonna borrowed heavily from the 80s synth sounds that dominated the airwaves. They didn't have to push the boundaries with every single song they made. And nobody accused them of following the pack either. I think Gaga just gets a bad rep because she set the goalposts too high so early on into her career. That has always been her greatest failing.

With that said, I do kind of love the hypocrisy of all the Little Moaners who hated 'Joanne' for being too country, and are now complaining that 'The Cure' too radio-friendly. Already making notes so I can tag and expose y'all. :classy:

 

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I love judas SO MUCH but I canʹt look like a copycat of JLO!!!!

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