MUSIC

Video Premiere: "Million Reasons"- A Quick Analysis

The video picks up right where "Perfect Illusion" left Off.

Yesterday, Gaga announced the premiere for "Million Reasons" and the singer certainly wasted little time in living up to her promise. The visual was released moments ago and the punchy ballad picks up right where "Perfect Illusion" left off, the singer laying in a desert in a state of reflection. As with most things Gaga, the video is layered with meaning and ripe for analysis. So check out the brand new video for yourself and read our thoughts below:

First Thoughts:

Simplicity- This may be one of the most simple, stripped-back visuals we've ever seen from Gaga. This is not a gripe. If anything, it's testament to how much she has expanded the boundaries of what kind of artist she can be. Way-era. It would be hard to forget the furor Gaga faced from fans when the "Edge of Glory" video was released. At the time, it was a simplistic visual for the singer and fans demanded a re-shoot. If she had released something like "A Million Reasons" five years ago, who knows what kind of hell and confusion would have broken loose.

Visual Album?: "Million Reasons" begins where "Perfect Illusion" ended, suggesting a possible link to all the videos we'll get this era. "Million Reasons" ends on an airy, ambiguous note, Gaga holding her guitar. Will Gaga's next single continue the story? As far as we can tell the current narrative is Gaga running away to the desert (i.e. running away from society, fame, the music industry, etc.), hallucinating an epic rock concert where she is finally able to be herself, exhausting herself and passing out, and then being bought back to life by fans. From there it appears that she gets in the van and willingly returns to the artifice of fame, allowing her team to put long blonde extensions and heavy makeup on her. But there's something more authentic about this go-around, as we see Gaga receive a gift from her sister, Natalie, and simply sitting dow and performing with a guitar. Yes, she's given over to the machine again, but she's doing things in a less chaotic, more authentic form now.

Family and Religion: Gaga named her newest album after her late aunt, Joanne, who passed away from lupus before the singer was even born. Joanne, the album, is said to be exploration of the wounds and fractures Joanne's death left with her family, showing up in Gaga's relationship with her father. There's a powerful moment in the video for "Marry the Night" where Gaga, dressed up in her early David Bowie-like garb, is attempting to haul her keyboard downstairs by herself. Repeatedly we see her refuse help from an older male, presumably her father, before tripping and giving in to the help. In "Million Reasons," Gaga seems to be bought back to life by the gift her sister sends her: a rosary. It seems that the "Marry the Night" Gaga is long gone and Gaga has accepted that she can't handle everything that the fame requires alone.

What are your thoughts on the new video? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below?

Arts

Lady Gaga to Sit Down With and Convince Piers Morgan She Has PTSD

The singer responded to Piers' patronizing tweets.

It seems like Lady Gaga is about to make Piers Morgan eat crow.

Only a few days after going on Twitter and criticizing Madonna and Lady Gaga for bravely sharing their stories on being raped and abused, Morgan has agreed to publicly sit down with Gaga and talk with her on the issue. The conversation, if it ever materializes, is likely to be a highly awkward one. Morgan questioned the females' claims of PTSD by calling it the latest "trend" among female pop stars. "I would take anything Gaga says with a grain of PR salt," Morgan told one Twitter user.

There was a variety of ways that Gaga could have responded, but the starlet simply offered to share her research on PTSD with Morgan. It's been an issue that she has spent a lot of time researching and advocating. Earlier this year, Gaga and Vice-President Joe Biden visited University of Nevada to speak on campus rape and sexual assault. Gaga even sat at the piano to perform her Oscar-nominated song "Till It Happens to You".

Gaga has revealed on Instagram that a number of her family members learned of her assault at 19 through the release of the powerful song. When Gaga performed the song at the Oscars, it was the first time the singer's grandmother learning about the tragic event. She called her granddaughter the next day and said, "My darling granddaughter, I've never been more proud of you than I am today."

When Morgan agreed to the interview he later quipped that he would be sure to press his meat suit. Gaga swiftly chastised him for the mockery and threatened to conduct the interview with someone else, prompting to Morgan to quickly lower his guns and promise to play a fair game.

If this interview does take place, it's sure to be a must-watch moment and create an important dialogue on respecting and validating sexual abuse victims and their trauma.

If this interview does take place, it's sure to be a must-watch moment and create an important dialogue on respecting and validating sexual abuse victims and their trauma.

MUSIC

The Best Naughty Holiday Songs

"Are you down for some of these milk and cookies?"

For some reason, almost every pop star out there has released a Christmas album at some point in their career. Heck, the holiday season seems to be when Mariah Carey achieves peak relevancy. But singing innocent songs about drinking hot chocolate and riding sleighs can get a little boring. Thankfully, pop stars have found a way to turn Christmas into an affair that will definitely get you put on Santa's naughty list. For example, Ariana Grande's track "December", from last year's surprise EP Christmas and Chill, is as much an R&B banger as it is holiday cheer. Check out our favorite bangers to cuddle up to under the misletoe below:


5. "Merry Christmas, Baby" by Christina Aguilera

Best Naughty Lyric: "Santa Came Down the Chimney"

There's just something about this candle-lit performance, filled with Christina crooning, that screams sultry and inappropriate. Everything is made even creepier with footage of Xtina as a child thrown throughout the video.

4. "Christmas Eve" by Justin Bieber

Best naughty lyric: "I'm the one that wants to take you on a sleigh ride now"

This XXXmas tune is more of a sweet slow-love song than it is something to sing around the fireplace. It gives tons of 90s Usher feels and almost impossible to believe Justin was only 17-years-old when he released this track. He was always fast for his age...



3. "Christmas Tree" by Lady Gaga

Best Naughty Lyric: "Let's fa la la la"

Who knew "Christmas tree" could be turned into such a naughty euphemism? This oft-forgotten about track was released in the early stages of Gaga's career, when she worked extensively with Space Cowboy and chugged out delicious, catchy LES-ready pop tracks.


2. "8 Days of Christmas" by Destiny's Child

Best Naughty Lyric: "On the 7th day of Christmas my baby gave to me/ A nice back rub and he massaged my feet"

This 2002 Destiny's Child song is a shameless ode to materialism and being pampered. While the shameless consumerist lyrics are naughty enough, the really XXXmas part are the girls risqué Santa outfits. Ho, ho, ho!

1. "December" by Ariana Grande

This is the greatest Christmas song ever recorded and I am willing to go to battle with anyone and everyone over this battle. Ariana used her husky vibrato and cute girl image to give us a tune that makes us yearn for a winter cuddle buddy and want to hit the dance floor. In fact, the entire "Christmas and Chill" EP was slept on, in my opinion. The Grammy's should create a "holiday album" category just to give a award for this release. Mic drop.

Madonna has always been a decisive figure in the music industry. Her storied career has been built on expanding the boundaries of female sexuality and chipping away at America's puritanical set of beliefs. Let's face it-- we would not have bold, controversial female pop stars like Rihanna and Lady Gaga today without Madonna's iconic "Like A Virgin" VMAs performance. But forget all the girl-on-girl kissing and cone bras. Because the current phase of Madonna's career might be her most groundbreaking. The 58-year-old appears persistent on undoing the industry's notion female pop stars have a limited batch of good years in them.

She's fighting a hard battle. Pop divas who came long after Madonna's rise have already been ushered off the main stage. Like, Britney Spears, 35, who has already entered her "legacy" phase and been delegated to a Las Vegas residency that primarily serves as a bittersweet ode to the mega-act the singer once was.

In an emotional speech Friday night, Madonna spoke bluntly and passionately on the misogyny and ageism she has faced-- and continues to face-- in the music industry. The powerful speech was during the singer's accepting the honor of "Woman of the Year" at Billboard's Women in Music ceremony.

"If you're a girl, you have to play the game. You're allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don't act too smart. Don't have an opinion that's out of line with the status quo. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don't own your sluttiness. And do not, I repeat do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world. Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized and vilified and definitely not played on the radio."


It did not take long for Madonna's points to be proven true. During the speech, she talked on being held at knifepoint and raped on a rooftop during her early years in New York City. Piers Morgan quickly went on Twitter to criticize and question Madonna's claims, saying that post traumatic stress disorder appeared to be the new trend among pop stars.

Just... sigh.

Yesterday, Donald Trump was announced as Time's Person of the Year. As it has been pointed out, the criteria for the magazine's selection is "the person who has the greatest influence that year, whether good or bad." With the tsunami of working-class support Trump was able to drum up, the plethora of media coverage he has received, and executing one of the most surprising presidential victories in modern American history, it becomes hard to deny that 2016 indeed was the President-Elect's year.

Past recipients of the title include Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), and Nikita Khrushchev (1957). So maybe Trump should not be jumping for joy over the honor...

Global Citizen made the sobering point that only 5% of Time's Person of the Year choices have gone to women. Past female recipients include Angela Merkel (2015) and Queen Elizabeth II (1952).

There is was some cheer to come out of the worrisome selection. Good ole' social media had a number of alternative suggestions to Time's buzz-inducing choice. If the internet had its way, it looks like meme-sensation Gavin would be the true Person of the Year.

We've collected the suggestions that made us giggle the most amongst the dumpster-fire of a year and wish that toddlers (and not overgrown man-childs) could rule the world.


It also did not take the internet long to point out a subconscious design choice by the magazine, placing the M in Time title suspiciously above Trump's head to look like devil's horns.

There might be a lot wrong in the world, but at least we can all come together in the names of memes. Amen.

Trending

Decoding This Year's Grammy Nominations

Why Beyonce made history with her 9 nominations.

Yesterday, the Grammy Academy released their nominations for the 2017 Grammy Awards. A fickle and unpredictable academy, the list is always a toss-up. There is typically one killer pop album of the year bestowed with love (this year, Lemonade) and another one being completely snubbed (this year, ANTI). But the biggest surprise this year? All of the top nominees were artists of color. Beyonce leads the pack with 9 nominations, Drake, Kanye, and Rihanna hold 8 noms each, and the newly soaring Chance the Rapper nabbed 7. Simply the announcement of the nominees saw a lot of boundaries broken, reflecting the changing music landscape and reign of diverse artists and new sounds. Which means the ceremony is guaranteed to be an even bigger event. As always, we're here to take a deep look into the this year's Grammy nominations for you pop lovers.

With her 9 nominations, Beyoncé has officially become the most nominated female ever, receiving 62 nominations. Dolly Parton previously held the title, holding forty-six nominations. It's a boundary-breaking moment not just for black women, but all women. Beyoncé made history in the beginning of the year after the release of the album by having every song chart on the Billboard Hot 100 the week after the album's release.

Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper is the first artist to receive a Rap Album of the Year nomination off of a streaming-only album. The Chicago rapper had to publicly petition to get the Grammys to change their archaic rules, in order to get Coloring Book nominated. He even so far as to pay for an ad in Billboard Magazine asking the Grammys, "Why not me?"

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Rihanna's ANTI, largely regarded as a pivotal change in sound and artistic direction for the hitmaker, received no nominations for it as a body of work. The only nominations Rihanna received were for singles from the album and her appearance on Kanye West's "Famous". It comes as a slight to the Barbadian singer, who is frequently criticized for only being able to move pop hits like no other, but not cohesive, well-crafted albums.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest songs of the year was not nominated. Drake received nominations for "Hotline Bling", but his dancehall inspired track of the year "One Dance" was completely ignored by the committees.

Kanye appears to be able to call the Grammys every name in the book and still receive nominations from them. The rapper has repeatedly criticized its decisions and skipped out on shows, crashed the stage, and ranted after the ceremonies. But, somehow, someway, he made the top list of nominees. It'll be interesting to see if West decides to attend the show or not-- or if he has recovered from his recent psychiatric hospitalization in time.

So what can we expect from the actual ceremony? Adele will walk away with awards a plenty, Beyoncé will most likely win in one of the major categories (the question is… which one?), and there will be some love thrown to newcomer Chance the Rapper for sure. Perhaps the most nail-biting category this go around is Album of the Year. There was a collective upset from the public last time Beyoncé lost the award to surprise winner Beck. Will this finally be Queen Bey's year?


We'll just have to wait and see.