The Lady Is A "CHAMP"

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“Lady Gaga takes world of pop by storm, appears at Borgata.” It’s not difficult to see why the pop-music world and beyond is gaga over Lady Gaga. In just over a year the sensual diva has gone from virtual unknown to a superstar, who has sold more than eight million copies of her initial albums, 2008’s The Fame and 2009’s The Fame Monster. Gaga, aka Stefani Germanotta, is filling a gaping hole in the pop scene since she can sing, write and produce catchy, provocative songs. But what stands out most about Gaga, who will perform Saturday at the Borgata in Atlantic City, is her ability to entertain. The New York City native has the ability to captivate via music, costumes (her plastic bubble dress was arguably the best onstage outfit of 2009) and glam pop star attitude. In a music world filled with milquetoast figures, Gaga stands out that much more since she’s an old-school entertainer, who appears to have stepped straight out of the ’70s. It’s not surprising that Gaga, 23, is heavily influenced by the theatrical David Bowie and Queen. She’s outrageous, but that’s what pop music performers were once upon a time: freaks who walked upon the high wire ala circus performers. In other words, Gaga adds color to a vanilla pop scene. It was evident when she opened for New Kids on the Block in early 2009. “You got to check out who’s opening for us,” NKOTB’s Danny Wood said. “Lady Gaga is tremendous. You can’t take your eyes off of her. She’s definitely a reason to come out early to our shows. I can’t tell you how much I’m impressed by her. I’m a huge fan. She’s going to be really big.” Wood was on the money. Gaga is about as big as it gets right now. Odds are that she’s not a flash in the pan either since she has substance. One of Gaga’s collaborators, singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, lauds his new writing mate. Gaga co-wrote some songs, which will appear on the formerly hirsute singer’s forthcoming disc. “When I heard her advance tracks, ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ well before they were released, I was blown away,” Bolton said. “I just knew those songs would be big and they exploded four months after we started working together. Gaga is the new Madonna. She has incredible talent. Unlike a lot of singers, who have had some success, she can do it all. She is an incredibly talented songwriter. Not many young recording artists are in her league. Just think how young she is. She’s only in her early twenties. I wish I could buy some stock in her career. It’s only going to keep going up. It was such a great experience working with her. She’s a total professional, who is a monster talent.” Sure, Gaga, who impressed during the MTV Video Music Awards with a dramatic performance, has earned a myriad of accolades and has come a long way from her days on the New York club scene. However, the glamorous sensation is not a finished product yet. Her December show at Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center proved that she has a way to go in terms of pulling off a two-hour set. First off, it’s surprising that Gaga would perform for 120 minutes when her canon checks in at an hour –and-a-half. Her show lagged at points thanks to the myriad of costume changes. The new sex kitten’s patter was predictable as she spoke of her over-active libido throughout the event. Sure, it roused the stoked crowd initially, but it was clearly time to move on. All of the invitations to ravish her were a bit much. But odds are that she’ll learn that what works on a video shoot may not produce winning results during an entire concert. Any time Gaga’s show started to groove, poof — the star popped off the stage. Gaga doesn’t completely live up to the hype, but she’s the most intriguing music star on the circuit and that will probably remain the same unless star-crossed chanteuse Amy Winehouse ever gets her act together. Her flaws are outweighed by her considerable assets, many of which are sonic. The former in-house songwriter for Interscope writes tunes filled with memorable melodies and her songs pack club-friendly production. Her material is salacious, but she doesn’t go over the top ala Peaches, who isn’t happy until she’s crossed the X-rated line. Gaga is crazy savvy for someone who hasn’t hit the quarter-century mark. She knows what the public wants and she delivers. How crazy is it that both Weezer and Daughtry have covered “Poker Face?” “Paparazzi” is perhaps her most inspired cut since Gaga doesn’t play the predictable role of star, but she sings from the perspective of the parasitic photographer. It’s never easy following up a multi-platinum breakthrough release, but Gaga fares well with The Fame Monster. The cuts “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro” are brilliant, catchy pieces of pop. Any of Gaga’s detractors can’t say much since Gaga proves that she is not a flash in the pan with her latest album. It won’t be long before Gaga headlines arenas and tickets will be just as difficult to score as ducats for this intimate Borgata show, which also features Semi Precious Weapons and Jason Derulo. Ed Conran, Atlantic City Weekly

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