The shaky cam and lowkey video would be perfectly nice from any other artist - and I know, artists mature - but from such a visual and outrageous artist, it falls a little short of what we have come to expect from her.
Premiering during the season premiere of Fox’s Scream Queens on Tuesday, the video directed by Andrea Gelardin and Ruth Hogben shows Gaga taking a much more low-key approach to her visuals. We see her driving across the desert in a jeep, putting on a surprise show and, as it turns to evening, everything turning into a wild party – featuring Mark Ronson, Kevin Parker from Tame Impala and BloodPop (the coproducers of the song). It’s strobey, it’s rockesque, it’s very unlike previous Lady Gaga work. Would Bad Romance Gaga have had Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme playing guitar on the song? Unlikely.
It is nice to see her adopting a ‘less is more’ style, but is it too simple? She’s the artist with three videos in the millions of views on YouTube, and they didn’t get there by being simplistic. The ‘Bad Romance’ video was quirky and weird and strang: unlike anything else we’d had in pop. That’s what sprung Lady Gaga into widespread popularity – her videos were excessive but in the best way. It’s difficult to see this side of her turning up in a meat dress or even just wearing vibrantly coloured wigs. As artists grow and mature in their styles a change of visuals is understandable but I almost miss the madness and mayhem of her older videos.
But maybe that’s a good thing. Now she seems to be all about the music; it’s raw, stripped back and gives you a chance to focus on the song rather than the overwhelming visuals of past videos.