The Fame is Lady Gaga’s debut album and it was released on August 19, 2008. As of June 2009, it has sold 1,160,000 copies in the United States.
1. Just Dance feat. Colby O’ Donis♠♠♠
4. Poker Face♠♠♠♠
5. I Like It Rough
6. Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)♠
7. Starstruck feat. Space Cowboy & Flor Rida
8. Beautiful, Dirty, Rich♠♠
9. The Fame
10. Money Honey
11. Boys Boys Boys
12. Paper Gangsta
13. Brown Eyes
15. Disco Heaven [International Bonus Track]
16. Again Again [Japanese Bonus Track]
17. Retro, Dance, Freak [Japanese Bonus Track]
Starting off this wonderful album is non other than Gaga’s infamous hit Just Dance. Just those first few seconds of synth alone are enough to draw you into the song and get caught in its infectious melody. Gaga’s vocals are perfect in this song, mixing nicely with the instrumental and layering themselves just where they need to in the wild chorus. There’s really not a part of the song that I don’t enjoy, including Colby O’ Donis’ rap bit some halfway through the song(it kind of passes on by unnoticed). No surprise this was chosen as the first single.
“I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.” Ah, those unforgettable lyrics from LoveGame. Compared to the first song, this one is a bit more structured and centers around hyping up until the chorus comes in(the which the bridge does a great job at doing). The vocals are full of attitude and completely under control from Gaga, which is nice as a good song doesn’t rely only on its instrumental.
Strangely enough, Paparazzi may actually be the only real ballad on the album. Yes, a Lady Gaga ballad. Even so, it fits in so perfectly with everything else(and it flows from the last two tracks, which is something I don’t see often in American albums) and manages to outshine them as well. I’m sure the lyrics have some deep meaning behind them(which I won’t try to decode) and the way Gaga sings them just make the song that much better. I’m so insanely in love with the melody of this song that even if it does have an awesome instrumental line, it still gets my recognition as best song on the album.
Oh look, it’s Poker Face. So far Gaga hasn’t changed upon that American curse to bunch up all future singles(a.k.a. best songs) at the beginning of the album. Anyway, the music in here is just excellent and if I could think of something that anyone would find annoying, it would be Gaga’s vocals during the verses. Their a bit… flat, emotionless but are listenable either way. The chorus is an absolute treat though especially with the repeated “p-p-p-poker face” lines.
The first non-single track on the album is I Like It Rough. It takes a different turn from the aggressive songs before it and instead has a mid-tempo beat with a very heavy electronic 80’s sound. Honestly, I’m not a fan of 80’s music(in fact, I hate it) and it doesn’t help that the chorus is just very unoriginal and annoying.
And now totally breaking the flow is Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say). Even though it’s void of any of the electronic elements found in the prior songs, the synth and reggae style of the song definitely make it a must listen. It’s a very relaxing, smooth track that is just perfect for the Summer season. I really enjoy this track and it’s definitely thanks to Gaga’s vocals. They sound a lot more natural and untouched.
Featuring Space Cowboy and Flor Rida, Starstruck is up next. The intro to this song really draws you into this darker, beat driven song. The verses are a bit weak but the chorus is nice, although it does lack a certain something to make it more prominent. The two featured artists are only really present in the chorus and their own rapping beats. To me, it was an unnecessary addition.
Ack, that sensual intro to Beautiful, Dirty, Rich gets me every single time. It’s so insanely addictive that you find yourself listening to the song even if you don’t want to. The beat this time is faster and really prominent(usually the only instrument present) and Gaga’s vocals just guide you perfectly through the verses before a slur of instruments kick in on the chorus and that repeated intro line. Let me not forget to mention Gaga’s sexy inhaling(and exhaling) just after the second chorus. I really love this track.
The Fame(oh title track?) is in a way similar to the last track but this one depends on a constant guitar riff and Gaga’s stylish vocals. The verses are okay at best, the guitar riff can get a bit repetitive even though it’s gone in the synth heavy chorus. It’s not a bad track, just that it’s needs work done here and there.
Money Honey has some insanely gritty synth which is present just about the entire time so if you don’t like the intro, you may not like this song much. Gaga’s vocals are great here again but I’m just not a fan of an obnoxious chorus. As much as this song has potential, the melody just doesn’t manage to drag me in like the earlier songs on the album.
Boys Boys Boys would be on the same boat as Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) in terms of musical style(synth heavy, not so much beats) but instead more upbeat. In a way, the chorus is very Summer friendly but the verse really doesn’t sound like it’s from the same song. Eitherway, a catchy melody, strong chorus, Gaga’s unconditionally unique vocals and an overall good arrangement make this one of the better songs on the second half of the album, if not the best.
Bringing a darker atmosphere is Paper Gangsta. An awesome sounding piano plays in the background against a simple beat, leaving the attention at Gaga’s vocals. In fact, this song isn’t at all bad(minus that title). Verse or chorus, it all sounds great especially since the song doesn’t rely on a hook or chorus to make it listenable. Oh, it’s also the longest song on the album(4:23) giving it enough space for a more organized arrangement..
Slowing things down is Brown Eyes. I guess this could be labeled as an R&B ballad. As risky as that sounds, it’s a great song. Only a piano and beats are used in the verses, along with random guitar riffs. Gaga’s vocals are really emotional and the song only gets better during the chorus. While simple, it really captures what the vocals try to say. It’s nice to see that Gaga has enough creativity to make a slow paced song like this while still allowing it to fit in with the rest of the album’s sound.
Summerboy spices things up with its soft rock ‘n’ roll sound along with that Summer twist seen in other tracks. Gaga’s vocals are fun and wild, setting the songs mood just perfectly. The verses are great and the chorus is really fulfilling. I guess not all of Gaga’s songs need that electronic sound to sound great. It’s songs like these that best represent Gaga’s style of music from non-single songs.
Being an international bonus track, Disco Heaven would be the last song on the album. Gaga turns things around with this song as it’s more electro influenced while still containing elements like guitar and synth. I like the way the song start sup so abruptly and the first verse kicks in. It’s an enjoyable track that I think deserves a lot more mention.
Next we have two Japanese bonus tracks. First is Again Again, a soulful, piano driven moody song similar to the rest of the songs on the second half of the album. I like the melody during the chorus as it goes up and down constantly, really giving off that mood the verses had set in. Gaga’s vocals are also a lot stronger here since their without touches.
Finally we arrive at Retro, Dance, Freak. Which I would probably consider one of the top songs from the second half of the album. It’s the typical synth+guitar+beats but the melody this time around is so much better and Gaga’s vocals(although she sounds really different for some reason) are really expressive and just plain awesome. It may be this song’s bizarre arrangement that make it stand out so much from everything else.
In case you were wondering about the amount of tracks I reviewed, it’s because I chose the UK/Ireland edition which contains just about everything from the other editions. There’s really a lot of things that I both liked and dislike about the album. First of all, it didn’t manage to be different in the sense that all the “good” tracks are bunched up in the beginning of the album while everything else was put after. However, the tracks in the second half of the album managed to stand up on their own and actually flowed with each other quite well. I would have liked if she had maintained the sound she had in tracks such as Poker Face and Paparazzi with the rest of the album but then again, it might have gotten a bit too repetitive. Thus, because of its amazing singles, album tracks that can stand on their own(not all of them however) and the variety that exists on the album, I consider “The Fame” approved.