Lady Gaga's costumes dazzle but new songs sound familiar
New York singer's new material struggles to match the originality of her gripping stage theatrics
THE costumes and bizarre theatrics didn't disappoint, but the host of new songs were less than spellbinding, say critics who attended Lady Gaga's show at London's Roundhouse last night.
The 70-minute concert, streamed live to a global audience, was the opening shot in this year's iTunes Festival. Staged for a reported £500,000, it was performed in front of 3,000 hardcore fans, many of whom obeyed the star's tweeted requests to wear sea shells, starfish and “bedazzled pig's noses".
Lady Gaga returned the favour with a gig that was “alternately gripping and slightly maddening", writes The Guardian's Alexis Petridis. “For all her lengthy soliloquies about how radical her new material is, you're struck by the creeping sense that it's not that different from the rest of the charts."
Few could argue with the originality of the visuals, which included the singer paying tribute to Botticelli's Venus by wearing a tiny G-string decorated with sea shells. Later, she sang from inside a large, illuminated egg and joined a group of dancers wearing pig's heads who wielded guns that sprayed coloured paint over the stage.
The porcine element of the show turned out to be in honour of a new song called Swine. It was one of several new compositions from Gaga's upcoming third album Artpop which dominated the show.
Sadly, writes India Ross in The Independent, the new material often sounded “just like everything else in the charts. Gaga has sparked a movement which cheapens and commodifies the very boundary-pushing she stands for; she has diluted herself as both an artist and a brand."
Writing in the Daily Mail, Adrian Thrills says the 27-year-old singer's “artistry and impressive vocal-range" were highlighted by the songs she played solo at the piano. These moments were far more effective than heavily produced songs such as the new single Applause, which “strayed too close to the throbbing, Madonna-style electronic dance of [Lady Gaga's] debut album The Fame."
For the London Evening Standard's Andre Paine, the show was a “dizzying, sometimes arduous, comeback".