Lady Gaga’s new single “Applause” contains a lyric about pop culture and art and how they’re both in her now. Whatever that means, however theoretically relevant to the lives of pop-music fans, it probably has something to do with the song’s expensive-looking, overwrought new video (which follows last week’s lyric video). Directed by Dutch fashion photographers and past Gaga collaborators Inez & Vinoodh, the clip is clearly designed as a successor to lavish “event” videos by the likes of Madonna, full of conceptual-seeming bizareness, various fantastical costume changes, and a big choreographed dance sequence.
Gaga turns into a goose at one point, spends a bunch of time writhing on a bed, and wears a pair of hands over her breasts. “Some of us just like to read,” she sings, and hey, that includes us. But it’s easier to clap for something that moves or touches you, rather than serves as an advertisement for Gaga as incomprehensible high-end brand. Anyway, there are about 80 million reasons to be in the ARTPOP business (don’t buy it November 11, but don’t leak it or her fans might narc on you) other than the applause.
Gaga is scheduled to perform “Applause” at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25. MTV announced today she will open the show with the performance. Other performers slated for the show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center include Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Miley Cyrus, and Robin Thicke. Not bad for a song Gaga recently said almost didn’t make her new album.