The new Lady Gaga “Applause” video has arrived, a series of editorials-in-motion directed by lens luminaries Inez + Vinoodh. It’s gorgeous, not unlike Gaga’s recent series of 4 covers for V magazine, a perfect if not painstaking appeal to fashion that has been scrubbed fresh of any previous garishness or ill-advised theatrics. “ARTPOP” is exactly what this is, the title (of her upcoming album) a testament to the increasing dexterity with which her team does the press’ job for it. Everyone knows who the real Queen of All Media is.
The song reduces the listener to a pair of clapping hands in a world that exists to give Gaga the vindication she so patently craves, making her latest plea for fame feel slightly more icy and elitist. It’s a magazine come to life, with every frame a statement of genetic and artistic superiority and a zero tolerance policy for imperfection—hardly monstrous.