Just to preface things, this review will be pretty short, but I wanted something to bridge the rather sizable gap between Born This Way and the recently-released ARTPOP. Sorry it took me so long, so let's get on with it!
While Lady Gaga has countless unreleased songs that can be found all over the internet these days, there are the odd few that saw an official release without actually being part of an album or collection. These will be the subject of this review.
Earlier in her career, during the Fame days, she released a few songs digitally to promote the then-new album. "Vanity", one of her older songs with an interesting feel to it, came out around that time, as did "Fashion" (not to be confused with her brand-new song of the same title with an exclamation mark added), a simple-yet-catchy tune recorded for the popular TV shows, Sex and the City and Ugly Betty. Gaga originally wrote it for Heidi Montag, and they actually ended up both singing their own versions.
Also noteworthy was "Future Love", a charming, lighthearted piano love ballad that Gaga sang during her Fame Ball tour. It contains humorous lyrics alluding to space and related sciences, and even a Star Wars reference, of all things. There does not exist a studio version of this song, as Gaga says she believes that the fans make this song what it is.
During the 2008 Holiday season, she also released the double entendre-laden "Christmas Tree", featuring the DJ Space Cowboy, who worked with her a lot on The Fame. It contains a lot of sexual puns based on Christmas-related things. This was one of the first songs Gaga made as a "joke", and many people took it far too seriously. It was even made free on Amazon as a part of some Christmas music promo, and needless to say, it didn't blend in well with the traditional Holiday tunes.
Quite a few of these songs were released in 2012, probably to tide the fans over during the "down-time" between albums. This gave her more of an opportunity to "play around", so to speak. A lot of the songs released at this time were made with humor in mind and not meant to be taken seriously. 2012 saw songs about odd or inane things such as "Tea" (exactly what it says on the cup), or "Stache (Princess High)" (weed, if the title flew over your head).
Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch was "Cake Like Lady Gaga", the cover of which I used as the picture for this post. The entire song was one elaborate joke, starting as a supposed 'contest' held by DJ White Shadow, who made a hip-hop instrumental and posted it to twitter, saying that whoever made the best rap over the beat would have the song produced and published. Not soon after, the 'winner' was announced, though it was just Gaga herself, originally with her voice lowered to sound like a man(though the final product has her normal voice). The entire thing is, as you might have guessed, a rap song, which surprised fans who hadn't heard songs such as "Paper Gangsta" before. It is a very clear style parody of modern mainstream rap, featuring boasts of riches and success, and multiple uses of the word "swag". You may think otherwise on your first listen, but when she informs her critics that they "can suck her dick" in the final verse, it's plain to see that she's thrown all sincerity out the window in favor of humor and hyperbolic exaggeration. Despite it not being a "serious" song, she flows rather well and adds a sense of her signature sex appeal to the mix, proving that she can occasionally transcend genres.
Not much to say on the closing thoughts here. These are all enjoyable songs for what they are. I already know I missed a few in this category; I simply picked the ones that stuck out to me the most. I do hope that Lady Gaga continues to produce these types of songs, if only for their playful, non-serious nature. I can't really say anything negative here because these songs aren't all over the place and therefore aren't "forced" on those who might dislike them. Check them out on YouTube or other media sites if you get the time.
Favorite track: Future Love, or Cake
Least favorite track: Tea
Overall rating: Unclassifiable
Overall rating: Unclassifiable