Lady Gaga premiered her "Alejandro" music video (directed by Steven Klein) today and, while its nine-minute runtime is comparable to the video for "Telephone," the similarities end there. Military! Sex! Military Sex! The highly stylish video, and initial reaction, inside.
Here's the video, in which a literal army of mostly naked Adonis-like creatures march (dance?) in unison, flank each other, flank Gaga (who affects several over-the-top costume changes, natch) are flanked by her, and—in the case of one lucky soldier—are dominated in bed by the pop sensation. Initial reaction to the video will follow.
So, what did people think of the video? Let's run through some of the reviews that have so far trickled in.
It appears as though MTV was pleased with Gaga's effort:
Of course, in working with acclaimed fashion photographer (and proud outsider) Steven Klein, Gaga has created a world that, while oppressive, also looks great. There's art in nearly every frame, and Klein's eye brings to mind the work of Tarsem (R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," if you're keeping score), particularly in the way he photographs the still scenes: placing actors just so, moving an elbow here or a chin there, getting the angles and the lighting just right ... there are shots here that look as if they were ripped from the wall of a gallery.
The fashion runs the gamut from Steam Punk-lite (check Gaga's goggles), to S&M, not to mention a few scenes in which LG is dressed as a (sort of) nun. As she told Larry King last week, there's also a "homoerotic military theme" to the thing - though most of said military attire seems to have been influenced (again) by German soldiers, this time from the Nazi era. It's all fabulously decadent, yet in keeping with the feel of the clip, oddly restrained ... well, except for the part where she's wearing a bra with assault-rifle barrels attached to it. (She is, after all, still Lady Gaga.)
Also a fan? Pop culture blogger Jared Eng, who called the video "Epic!!"
In the not-praise-but-not-condemnation category, there's Alex Blagg of Celebuzz, who noted that the video was "really weird and confusing." Blagg also did a nearly frame by frame analysis of the video, which can be found here.
And finally, the dissenters. Well, dissenter (remember, the video's only been out two hours). Vulture blogger Willa Paskin had the following to say:
the video for "Alejandro" plays down the summer in the song, stretching it out, slowing it down, and setting it in the midst of a snow storm. The color palette is black and white, with the occasional flash of red, and most of the time Gaga is wearing light eye makeup. She looks washed out, intentionally.
There were some humorous reviews, too! Dlisted's Michael K lamented the nine-minute length of the video, and offered the following solution to those who didn't want to spend the time required to watch, but were still curious as to the gist of it:
Just picture me on the cement floor of my mother's garage staging a dance-off between my Evil Lyn action figure and my Jeff Andonuts toy while the "Like A Prayer" video plays on an old black and white TV in the corner.
So, what say you, dear readers? Love it? Leave it? Feel free to dish to your heart's content in the comments below.