You know, there’s a fine line when artists/studios/labels balance when promoting a piece of work.
Too little publicity and your product will disappear among the masses, destined to either fade into obscurity or (if they’re very, very lucky) become a cult classic. Too much publicity and you over-stimulate your audience to the point where no matter how amazing your film/song/novel is, somebody else expected it to be better.
To me, this is what’s happened to Lady Gaga’s video for Judas. For weeks and weeks we’ve heard Gaga talk about how it was the most exciting artistic moment of her career. We’ve heard hype from her creative partner, seen leaked details splashed all over the media and then, of course, the controversy surrounding the track itself. And then, she premiered the video – which you can watch below. My 2c and the video itself after the jump…
There’s been a lot of controversy over the nature of the track and video, and Gaga’s use of Christian iconography. In the video, Jesus and his disciples feature as a Hells Angels-esque biker gang, and Gaga is, of course, Mary Magdalene.
Controversial premise, to be sure, but compared to some of her other videos, Gaga actually plays it pretty safe in Judas. It’s a modernised retelling, largely, of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus with dance moves, awesome fashion and kick-ass biker jackets. It’s hardly daring or blasphemous – it’s just a modernised, sexualised look at the biblical narrative – and Gaga’s right when she calls it a cultural statement rather than a religious one.
Best thing – hands down – about this video is the fashion. Gaga’s outfits, make-up wigs and nails are superbly over-the-top while only being minimally slutty. The whole video – including Jesus (who is *gasp*! Not white! Oh no, whatever shall we do…!) is overtly sexual but it’s more sensual as opposed to pornographic. The foot-washing scene especially is extremely sensual while being oddly pious at the same time.
It’s great to see Gaga dance in a video again, but the choreography is extraordinarily simple and very repetitive. I can pretty much hear the choreographer going “Aaaaand… step ball change, step ball change”.
Other than that, I think E! Online had it pretty much on the nail – sometimes all you need from a music video is a hot track, fantastic outfits and a dance routine with easy moves to copy.