Lately, I’ve heard a bunch of people trashing Lady Gaga, saying that leather bikinis, electronic soundtracks, and controversial lyrics don’t equal talent.
Well, kids, I highly recommend you listen to the new 30-second sample of Gaga’s duet with Tony Bennett, a cover of the classic “The Lady is a Tramp” (you Gleeks out there might remember Puck and Mercedes covering this on Glee last season, too).
The premier track on an album that features such incredibly gifted musicians as John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, k.d. lang, Andrea Bocelli, and the late, great Amy Winehouse, the lively (and ironic!) “The Lady is a Tramp” doesn’t disappoint.
I think most people have been pretty much in the dark about Gaga’s real vocal talent - at least, they will be until they hear her shine alongside one of America’s favorite crooners. Now, if you’re a fan who’s made a point of ferreting out Gaga’s live acoustic performances, you’re probably not super shocked that girlfriend can sing.
But for the less-dedicated follower, it’s more common knowledge that this outrageous Mother Monster’s voice is accompanied by pounding rhythms and electronic effects. What we now discover is that these really detract from a rich vocal tone and gorgeous, vintage vibrato that a lot of music students would kill for. Even in a 30-second clip, we get to hear her actually sing, and it’s both beautiful and fun. I can't wait to hear the whole track!
With all this in mind, I think there are two lessons we can take from this refreshingly radical change of pace for 2011’s Most Influential Celeb:
First, perhaps we can all take a sheet from Lady Gaga’s music here and, instead of sticking with the usual M.O. (in Gaga’s case, perpetually toeing the line between weird, innovative, and disturbing), not be afraid to jump the groove and surprise people once in a while. The reception might be even warmer than you thought!
Second, I guess this just goes to show you can’t judge an entertainer by her meat dress!
"The Lady is a Tramp" will be featured on Tony Bennett's upcoming release, Tony Bennett: Duets II out on September 20 via RPM/Columbia Records.