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About The Fame MonsterEdit

The Fame Monster (stylized as The Fame Mons†er) is the second studio album by American recording artist Lady Gaga, released on November 18, 2009. The album's eight songs were initially intended to be part of a re-release of Gaga's debut album The Fame. However, Gaga announced that the new songs would be available as a stand alone album, as she thought the re-release was too expensive and that, as the piece represents a separate conceptual and musical body of work, it does not need the songs of The Fame to support it. A Super Deluxe Fame Monster pack containing the two releases was released on December 15, 2009.

The album deals with the darker side of fame, as experienced by Gaga over the course of 2008–09 while travelling around the world, and are expressed through a monster metaphor. Gaga compared the feel of her debut album and The Fame Monster with the Yin and yang concept. Cover artwork was done by Hedi Slimane and has a gothic look which Gaga had to convince her record company to allow her to shoot. The composition takes its inspiration from Gothic music and fashion shows. Contemporary critics gave a positive review of the album, with the majority of them complimenting the songs "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Dance in the Dark".

In some countries the album charted together with The Fame. In other countries – such as the United States, Canada and Japan – it charted as a separate album. It has reached top ten in most of the major markets. "Bad Romance" was released as the album's first single, topping the Canadian, United Kingdom and Irish charts, while reaching number two in Australia, United States and Sweden. She announced The Monster Ball Tour supporting the album, which started on November 27, 2009 and will continue through April 2011.

Background and DevelopmentEdit

In North America and the United Kingdom, The Fame Monster was released as an eight-track album on November 23, 2009. Gaga's website also confirmed a Deluxe Edition featuring the entirety of her first album, The Fame, as a bonus disc. Solely a deluxe edition had been previously planned, however, Gaga cited cost being an issue in deciding on the additional single disc release.[1]During the collaborative launch of her similarly titled headphones with Dr. Dre, Gaga commented about the re-release: "I think re-releases are unfair, [...] It’s artists sneaking singles onto an already finished piece of work in an effort to keep the album afloat. Originally [my label] only wanted me to put out three songs and now it’s much more than that. It’s a new album’s worth of material. Regarding the title The Fame Monster, Gaga said that it was a coincidence that the name was similar to the headphones she launched. She had already written a song titled "Monster" in March, before she met with Dr. Dre and the Noel Lee, the CEO of Monster Cable Products, to discuss the collaboration.[2]Gaga further explained that she was obsessed with monster movies then and "I’m kind of obsessing over the decay of the celebrity and the way that fame is a monster in society! That’s what my new record is about, so it was kind of a perfect fit. The first single from the re-issue was titled "Bad Romance".[3]Gaga later revealed that the re-release will contain eight new songs, along with her whole original debut album.[4]The Fame Monster deals with the seamier side of fame, as experienced by Gaga over the course of the year 2008–2009. She explains: "On my re-release The Fame Monster, I wrote about everything I didn't write on The Fame. While traveling the world for two years, I've encountered several monsters, each represented by a different song on the new record: my 'Fear of Sex Monster,' my 'Fear of Alcohol Monster,' my 'Fear of Love Monster,' my 'Fear of Death Monster,' my 'Fear of Loneliness Monster,' etc." "I spent a lot of nights in Eastern Europe, and this album is a pop experimentation with industrial/Goth beats, 90's dance melodies, an obsession with the lyrical genius of 80's melancholic pop, and the runway. I wrote while watching muted fashion shows and I am compelled to say my music was scored for them. Among other songs, Gaga confirmed a ballad titled "Speechless", which she dedicated to her father. She also commented that the new songs don't deal with money or fame, rather its about everything in-between and it was for her fans.[5]Gaga compared the mood of The Fame to The Fame Monster as opposites and called them Yin and yang respectively. According to her she felt a dichotomy within herself while developing the album. With MTV she explained that, "I am ready for the future, but I mourn the past, [...] And it's a very real rite of passage—you have to let go of things. You have to mourn them like a death so that you can move on, and that's sort of what the album is about.

CompositionEdit

The Independent felt that the first song from the album, "Bad Romance", set the tone for the album, whose dominant atmosphere and aesthetic, from the monochrome cover shot and the crucifix logo onwards, is gothic. The line "I want your ugly; I want your disease..." in "Bad Romance" refers to Boney M and the music recalls Depeche Mode's fifth studio album Black Celebration (1986).[6]The lyrics contain zombie metaphors in songs like "Monster" ("He ate my heart..."), the Cossack like music in "Teeth" ("Take a bite of my bad-girl meat...") and "Dance in the Dark" ("Silicone, saline, poison, inject me..."). The latter's lyrics also refer to famous people who met a tragic end: Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Sylvia Plath, Princess Diana, Liberace and JonBenét Ramsey.[7]"Monster" consists of stuttering synths and instrumentation from heavy drums.[8]"Speechless" is a 1970s rock-inspired number that touches upon abusive relationships in lyrics upon "I can't believe how you slurred at me with your half-wired broken jaw". It consists of vocal harmonies and guitar riffs, which according to PopMatters is comparable to the work of Freddie Mercury and Queen.[9]Produced by Ron Fair, the song was recorded with all live instruments such as drums, guitars and bass. Gaga plays piano.

The album's fifth track, "Dance in the Dark", depicts a girl being uncomfortable when having sex. Speaking about the song, Gaga said, "She doesn’t want her man to see her naked. She will be free, and she will let her inner animal out, but only when the lights are out. In "So Happy I Could Die", Gaga presents an ode to sexual feeling and actions, stating, "I love that lavender blonde/ The way she moves the way she walks/ I touch myself, can't get enough." Essentially a love song, the object of affection in "So Happy" becomes Gaga herself as she talks looking, drinking, dancing and touching herself. Gaga's voice appears sedated in the song.[10]The song also uses auto-tune in its music.[11]"Alejandro" incorporates elements of the music of ABBA and Ace of Base with the lyrics talking about Gaga fending off a harem of Latino men. "Telephone" talks about the singer preferring the dance floor rather than answer her lover's call.[12]The verses are sung in a rapid-fire way, accompanied by double beats. Gaga explained that the song deals with her fear of suffocation, "fear [of] never being able to enjoy myself. 'Cause I love my work so much, I find it really hard to go out and have a good time." The phone on the song is not just a physical phone, but also the voice of a person in her head telling her to keep working harder and harder.[13]The last song, "Teeth", contains gospel music and the lyrics are written in S&M style, telling that the closest she will get to another human being involves being tied up and bitten.

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