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Album Review

A little Madonna, a little Gwen Stefani, a little Depeche Mode. A little R&B, a little rock and a whole lot electronica-infused dance pop. Shove all these influences together, and you get Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka, Lady Gaga.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

On "Paper Gangsta," the singer briefly wants something substantive when it comes to romance ("I'm lookin' for love/Not an empty page full of stuff that means nothing"). "Brown Eyes" finds a woman pondering where a relationship went wrong.

Objectionable Content

"Just Dance" chronicles the efforts of a severely intoxicated woman ("I've had a little bit too much/ ... Can't find my drink or man/Where are my keys?") simply to stay upright on the dance floor. "Lovegame" not-so-subtly articulates Lady Gaga's desire for intercourse ("I'm educated in sex, yes/And now I want it bad/ ... Let's have some fun, this beat is sick/I wanna take a ride on your disco stick"). The suggestive "Poker Face" mingles gambling metaphors with even more crude sexual euphemisms. "The Fame" imagines living like the rich and the famous as a young woman coolly considers a career in the porn industry if that's what it takes ("I can see myself in the movies/ ... Photograph my mind and whatever else you'd like to shoot/ ... All we care about is pornographic girls on film and body plastic"). Similar sentiments pop up on "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" ("We've got a redlight pornographic dance fight"). On "Money Honey," a woman having an affair ("I'm your lover and your mistress") says that a rich man's wealth is all that matters. "Summerboy" celebrates a summer romp ("Get your a-- in my bed/Maybe you'll be my summer boyfriend"). And so it goes on track after track that celebrates a nonstop sensual party. A half-dozen vulgarities turn up along the way, too, including three s-words.

Summary Advisory

Musically speaking, this New York-born singer's debut is a state-of-the-art tour de force as it seamlessly molds so many sonic influences. It's a shame, then, that the Lady's lyrical content is as shallow and coarse as her beats are infectious. Miss Gaga is ready to give any rapper a run for his money when it comes to celebrating the charms of mindless materialism and casual sex. "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" aptly encapsulates The Fame's vacuous hedonism.

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Readability Age Range







Album peaked at No. 4. "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" both topped the Hot 100 singles chart.

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Adam R. Holz

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