Full disclosure: I was one of the few homosexuals who did not listen to "Stupid Love" when it leaked last month—not necessarily out of some respect for artistic integrity but probably because I was too lazy and/or tired. Plus everyone kept saying how good it was, and I just took their word for it. So I went into Lady Gaga's new era with relatively fresh ears and eyes.
But if this is what we can expect from LG6… maybe Gaga should just stick to acting.
I'm aware voicing this opinion will no doubt result in the revocation of my Gay Card™️, but, really, this is coming from a good place. A place that believes The Fame Monster was and is Gaga's best album (thought technically it's an EP). A place that genuinely loves Cheek to Cheek. A place that will even make a case for Artpop and Joanne. While those albums had their flaws, doggone it, did Gaga commit to them—to their aesthetic and to their sound. "Stupid Love," however, feels like an afterthought.
First, there's the track itself. It's fine. A collaboration with BloodPop, Tchami, and pop maestro Max Martin, with Gaga contributing lyrics, "Stupid Love" resembles vintage Gaga, but not in a good way. More like a rehashed, reductive way. It's 2020; this song sounds like we're still in 2008.
Meanwhile, the quality of the video makes you kind of feel like Gaga didn't really want to do this at all—that the online uproar about "Stupid Love" forced her hand. She's known for being a fashion-forward style icon, but the costumes look cheap, ill-fitting, and sometimes comically bad, like the wardrobe from an old episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The category is: Rita Repulsa Realness?
Then there's the choreography, which is about some of the worst I've seen from a major pop star. Gaga has never been a dancer—any number of our girls are offering that in spades—but she's always incorporated choreography into the diva package she's been selling since day one. Sometimes the attempt is fun; other times it's baffling. For "Stupid Love," we're leaning hard into the latter, dusting off some leftover "Born This Way" moves and then mixing it with a bit of herky and a lotta jerky.
The video's slapdash concept is rife with clichés (a dystopian future, warring factions), we get something called "chromatica," and apparently Gaga has telekinetic powers.
Ultimately, the clip is about love conquering all, and there is an undeniable spirit of joy to the whole thing, which is always appreciated in these dark-ass times. And Gaga actually looks like she's having fun, at least some of the time. I guess I'm just disappointed. I thought Gaga would have more to say with her return to music—or that she would at least say it in a better way. Is the Lady a little burnt out? It looks like it.
Pop music can be innovative and groundbreaking. Gaga is one of the preeminent pop stars in the world, but "Stupid Love" is neither of those things—it's just kinda fun.
"I want people to dance and feel happy,” Gaga said of her new album. And maybe there's nothing wrong with that.
Check out the video for "Stupid Love" below.