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Monster (album)
Released December 28, 2009
Length 00:36:43
Producers RedOne, Rob Fusari,Martin Kierszenbaum, Space Cowboy,KNS Productions
Label Streamline Records, KonLive, Interscope Records
Discography
  • The Fame (2008)Go to The Fame (album)
  • Monster (2009)Go to Monster (album)
  • Born This Way (2011)Go to Born This Way (album)
Singles from
Monster
Bad Romance
Telephone
Alejandro
Promotion singles from
Monster
Dance In The Dark

The Fame Monster (stylized as The Fame Mons†er) is the sophomore album of American recording artist Lady GaGa, released on December 28, 2009. The album's eight songs were initially intended to be part of a re-release of Gaga's debut album The Fame. However, Gaga announced that the new songs would be available as a stand alone album, as she thought the re-release was too expensive and that, as the piece represents a separate conceptual and musical body of work, it did not need the songs of The Fame to support it. The album received overall positive reviews, although many noted that it was not a significant step forward for Gaga. The album was first announced on June 14 of 2009 at Singtel AMPed launch in Singapore. The album has sold 4,000,000 copies in the United States. The Fame Monster re-release was the best-selling EP in history, with 12.5 million albums sold worldwide.

Writing and DevelopmentEdit

The new monster theme started when Gaga released a tweet saying only one word: Monster, on May 22, 2009. For an interview with The Daily Star, Gaga explained the concept of Monster:

“I have an obsession with death and sex.” Gaga says. “Those two things are also the nexus of horror films, which I’ve been obsessing over lately. I’ve been watching horror movies and 1950s science fiction movies. My re-release is called The Fame Monster so I’ve just been sort of bulimically eating and regurgitating monster movies and all things scary. I’ve just been noticing a resurgence of this idea of monster, of fantasy, but in a very real way.” Gaga adds to the Daily Star. “If you notice in those films, there’s always a juxtaposition of sex with death. That’s what makes it so scary. Body and mind are primed for orgasm and instead somebody gets killed. That’s the sort of sick, twisted psychological circumstance.”

Regarding the title The Fame Monster and the similarly named brand of headphones for which she had launched, Gaga said that it was a coincidence that the name was similar. She had already written a song titled "Monster" in March, before she met with Dr. Dre and the Noel Lee, the head of BSM Records, to discuss the collaboration. Gaga further explained that she was obsessed with monster movies then and "I’m kind of obsessing over the decay of the celebrity and the way that fame is a monster in society! That’s what my new record is about, so it was kind of a perfect fit." The first single from the re-issue was titled "Bad Romance". Gaga later revealed that the re-release would contain eight new songs, along with her whole original debut album. The Fame Monster deals with the seamier, darker side of fame, as experienced by Gaga over the course of the year 2008–2009, especially as she traveled the world for her first tour. She explained:

Gaga compared the mood of The Fame to The Fame Monster as opposites and called them Yin and yang respectively. According to her she felt a dichotomy within herself while developing the album. With MTV she explained that, "I am ready for the future, but I mourn the past, And it's a very real rite of passage — you have to let go of things. You have to mourn them like a death so that you can move on, and that's sort of what the album is about."

Critical ReceptionEdit

Evaluation by Digital Spy:

This is already the year of Lady Gaga – and she's not ready to pack up her disco stick yet. Originally conceived as a bonus disc to accompany a reissue of The Fame, her four million-selling debut album, Monster is now being released as a record in its own right. "In the midst of my creative journey composing The Fame Monster, there came an exciting revelation that this was in fact my sophomore album," the Lady herself explains. "It's a complete conceptual and musical body of work that can stand on its own two feet."

She may have couched her decision in typically preposterous and pretentious terms, but there's no quibbling with Gaga's logic here. The Fame Monster does work as a standalone album and, what's more, it's a far more enjoyable listen than The Fame ever was. At just eight tracks and 35 minutes, there's no fat, no chance for Gaga's schtick to grate and, crucially, just the one ballad. Half of the songs are RedOne productions, and the other half are split evenly between Teddy Riley, Ron Fair, Fernando Garibay and Rodney Jerkins. Lead single "Bad Romance" nearly equals "Poker Face" for wow factor, "Alejandro" channels Ace of Base and "La Isla Bonita" to deliriously catchy effect, and "Dance in the Dark" is the sort of song that, well, makes you want to dance with your top off in a grotty German bondage basement. "Teeth", meanwhile, is the most sonically intriguing thing Gaga's put her name to, an ode to rough sex conducted over an intense, tribal production that recalls Cher's "Half Breed" and Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk". Oh, and the ballad? It's called "Speechless" and it's her best one yet.

Of course, The Fame had already told us that Gaga can find her way to a tune with a gimp mask on. What The Fame Monster proves – as if the last 12 months hadn't already made it abundantly clear – is what an exhilarating popstar she is. She can be titillating, "touching herself" at the sight of a "lavender blonde" on "So Happy I Could Die", tremendous fun – her Beyoncé collaboration, "Telephone", could make Ann Widdecombe fancy a night on the tiles – and utterly startling, interrupting the '80s club rush of "Dance in the Dark" to name-check a list of dead female icons: Marilyn (Monroe), Judy (Garland), Sylvia (Plath), (Princess) Diana, and JonBenet; yes, that is JonBenet Ramsey, in case you were wondering.

Best of all, there's a certain fearlessness to Gaga here – specifically, an I-don't-give-a-s**t-if-look-ridiculous sort of fearlessness. Her vocal performances, as anyone who's heard "Bad Romance" will know, can err towards the deranged. When she tries to sound Spanish on "Alejandro"'s spoken word intro, the result is more Dolmio ad than Almodovar. Oh, and barely a year since she scored her first hit, she's already self-referencing ("I wanna Just Dance / But he took me home instead"). Getting to the bottom of the Gaga phenomenon is going to take a hell of a lot longer than 12 months, but she offers a temporary fix here with her latest catchy motto: "I'm a free bitch baby." We wouldn't have her any other way.

Upon the release of the album, many fans were outraged to find that "Bad Romance", "Monster", "Dance In The Dark" and "Teeth" were censored, even on versions with parental advisory notices. The official Cherrytree Records Twitter stated that uncensored versions of the song would be available as soon as possible. Currently, explicit versions of the songs can be bought on iTunes.

PromotionEdit

Promotion first began for The Fame Monster through a performance on Saturday Night Live, which contained segments of a piano version of "Bad Romance". Gaga has also appeared on various talk shows, such as, It's On with Alexa Chung and Germany's Wetten, dass..? (on which she had shown a segment of her then-upcoming music video to "Bad Romance"). On November 16, 2009, Gaga performed the song "Speechless" at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's 30th Anniversary celebration. She collaborated with artist Francesco Vezzolli and members of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Previously, Gaga announced that she was going to tour with Kanye West. The tour was titled Fame Kills Starring: Lady Gaga and Kanye West. However, after the incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards with Taylor Swift, West announced that he was taking a break from music. Following the announcement, all of the tour dates were immediately cancelled. Later, Gaga confirmed that she was going to tour by herself for the upcoming project. The show, called The Monster Ball Tour, began late November 2009 and was set to finish early April 2010, however, Gaga has continuously been adding additional show dates. The tour is expected to end in 2011.

On November 16, 2009, Gaga appeared on an episode of the CW's Gossip Girl in an episode titled "The Last Days of Disco Stick". She performed the lead single from The Fame Monster, "Bad Romance." Other songs that were referenced and played throughout the episode were "Alejandro", "Dance in the Dark", and "Telephone".

On November 22, 2009, Gaga made an appearance at the American Music Awards. She performed "Bad Romance" with the dance routine seen in the music video. She then took the mic stand and swung it into a glass cage containing a grand piano. She proceeded to perform "Speechless" on the grand piano, which had flames bursting from it, while smashing glass bottles on the piano as she sang. She later announced The Monster Ball Tour, which supports the album. It started November 27, 2009 and will continue through 2011, which, by then, should see release of her third studio album.

ArtworkEdit

The cover artwork for the album was done by Hedi Slimane and has a gothic look which Gaga had to convince her record company to allow her to shoot. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Gaga talked about the album cover:

My record label didn't want to put out that photo that's my album cover, with the brown hair. They were like, "It's confusing, it's too dark, you look gothic, it's not pop," and I said, "You don't know what pop is, because everyone was telling me I wasn't pop last year, and now look — so don't tell me what pop is, I know what pop is." It's funny, because I fought and fought and fought, and I actually ended up having two covers, because I wanted to do this yin and yang presentation with the covers. When I go to see what my fans are saying, I go onto GagaDaily — they see the cover and say, "I don't really like the blonde one, but the brown one is fucking sick. They love it, and I know what they love, so I make it for them, I don't care what anybody else wants.

Originally the blonde cover of The Fame Monster was to be the standard version and the brunette cover was to be the deluxe edition, however, it was reversed, and the blonde cover is now the deluxe edition, while the brunette cover is the standard stand-alone version.

Track ListingEdit

track list LENGTH
1. "Bad Romance" (Produced by RedOne) 04:55
2. "Alejandro" (Produced by RedOne) 04:37
3. "Monster" (Produced by RedOne) 04:33
4. "Speechless" (Produced by Ron Fair) 04:30
5. "Dance in the Dark" (Produced by Fernando Garibay) 04:48
6. "Telephone" (Produced by Rodney Jerkins) 03:50
7. "So Happy I Could Die" (Produced by RedOne) 04:25
8. "Reloaded" (Produced by Teddy Riley) 04:38

Charts, certifications and processionEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (2010–11) Peak
position
Australian Album Charts 1
Austrian Albums Chart 1
Belgian Album Charts (Flanders) 1
Belgian Album Charts (Wallonia) 1
Brazilian Album Charts 1
Canadian Album Charts 1
Czesh Album Charts 1
Danish Albums Chart 1
Dutch Album Charts 1
European Top 100 Album Charts 1
Finnish Album Charts 1
French Album Charts 1
German Album Charts 1
Greek Album Charts 1
Hungarian Album Charts 1
Irish Album Charts 1
Italian Album Charts 1
Japanese Album Charts 1
Mexician Album Charts 1
New Zeland Album Charts 1
Nowergian Album Charts 1
Polish Album Charts 1
Portuguese Albums Chart 1
Russian Albums Chart 1
Spanish Album Charts 1
Swedish Album Charts 1
Swiss Album Charts 1
UK Album Top 100 Charts 1
US Bilbord Top 1000 1
US Dance/Electronic Top 100 1

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2010) Position
Australian Albums Chart 1
Austrian Albums Chart 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia) 1
Canadian Albums Chart 1
Danish Albums Chart 1
Dutch Albums Chart 1
European Top 100 Albums 1
French Albums Chart 1
German Albums Chart 1
Hungarian Albums Chart 1
Irish Albums Chart 1
Mexican Albums Chart 1
New Zealand Albums Chart 1
Swedish Albums Chart 1
Swiss Albums Chart 1
UK Albums Chart 1
US Billboard 200 1
US Dance/Electronic Albums 1
Chart (2010) Position
Austrian Albums Chart 1
Canadian Albums Chart 1
European Top 100 Albums 2
German Albums Charts 1
Japan Oricon Album Charts 2
Swiss Albums Chart 1
UK Albums Chart 1
US Billboard 200 2
US Dance/Electronic Albums 1

CertificationsEdit

Country Cerifications
Australia 12× Platinum
Austria 15× Platinum
Belgium 10× Platinum
Brazil 12× Platinum
Canada 14× Platinum
Denmark 15× Platinum
Europe 12× Platinum
Finland 13× Platinum
France 14× Platinum
Greece 15× Platinum
Germany 12× Platinum
Hungary 10× Platinum
Ireland 15× Platinum
Italy 14× Platinum
Japan 10× Platinum
Mexico 15× Platinum
New Zeland 14× Platinum
Noway 16× Platinum
Poland 14× Platinum
Portugal 15× Platinum
Russia 11× Platinum
Spain 12× Platinum
Sweden 18× Platinum
Switzeland 12× Platinum
United Kindom 11× Platinum
United States 13× Platinum

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