What does mermaid porn, an ominous ice cream truck driver and a bionic arm have in common? One mega star: Lady Gaga. Or at least Gaga's video for her new single, "Yoü And I." We may not be too jazzed about the recent announcement thatshe's opening the VMAs this year
. (Place your bets now for what theatrics she has in store;just pray that it has nothing to do with a giant, awkward egg
.) But this whole campaign for the "Yoü And I" single has us positively intrigued.
Gaga confirming reports from her pop past that she in fact does have a male alter ego, Jo Calderone, by donning the costume again and using video magic to make out with him on top of a piano? In a Nebraska cornfield? Okay, that's kinda cool. We guess. But don't tell anyone we said so.
The thing with Lady Gaga these days is this: She's not a pop star for the masses anymore. She's not the cool "It" girl that just burst on to the scene. She doesn't "just dance" anymore. She puts on a whole damn show. She's Lady Fucking Gaga, and she is very over-the-top -- sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. For "Yoü and I," it's for the better.
As her videos for the singles from her third collection of songs, Born This Way, have proven -- up to and including "Yoü and I" -- she is an auteur. A really weird but provocative pop auteur. Because you don't find mermaids named Yuyi making sweet Nebraska love to perfectly tan, tattooed men in the everyday pop-music video; only in hers. Britney Spears, she ain't.
After all, who else could take the lyric "There's only three men that I'm-a serve in my whole life/It's my daddy and Nebraska and Jesus Christ," slap Mutt Lange's production chops all over it and then make a music video to match that includes Gaga making out with a male version of herself and another lover turning her into a mermaid? This is how you generate buzz around a single in the 21st century. Somehow, Lady Gaga has created pop's answer to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and we can't stop watching.
Unfortunately for Lady G, though, those YouTube hits and overall interest haven't translated into sales yet, and that seems to be Gaga's struggle on every single since the Madonna-ripping song of all songs, "Born This Way." As it stands, "Yoü and I" has yet to chart on the Billboard Pop Songs chart and sat at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 after re-entering.
The song first charted at 36 on the Hot 100 around the time Born This Way was released. But don't worry, Mother Monster is good for at least one more single from that album. Oh, and if you like your Gaga a little more upbeat, check out this remix of "Yoü and I." It's not as good as the original, but it's good for a line dance or two.
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Movers and shakers: As discussed two weeks ago, Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" finally did it. As of last Friday, August 19, Ms. Perry and Michael Jackson were the only two artists in Billboard Hot 100 history to have charted five singles as number one from only one album. Not too shabby. As for the rest of the chart, the same major players this week are looking to knock Katy from the top: Nicki Minaj, Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera, LMFAO, just to name a few. Of note, however, is Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"; last week was the first in which the single has dropped out of the top ten since claiming the top spot at the beginning of summer.
Up Next: As we predicted last week, Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" continues to sell extremely well for an out-of-nowhere act. Moving up 13-8 this week, it could easily crack the top five by this Friday. Likewise, Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaboration album, Watch the Throne, charts at number one for the week. No surprise there.