Lady Gaga goes minimalist for her latest video, jettisoning the interstellar travel, polysexual backing dancers and other High Rococo Gaga excesses. Instead, we get a dusky streetscape stage set: pink neon light, Clarence Clemons regally enthroned on a tenement stoop and enough billowing dry-ice smoke to supply a Newfoundland fog bank. Gaga struts on the rain-slicked street, dressed in what looks like a dominatrix’s swimsuit. Gaga writhes on the sidewalk. Gaga undulates while Clemons solos. Gaga tries out some comically awkward stripper-pole moves on a fire escape. It’s an exercise in Eighties kitsch – a love letter to Pat Benatar and Bonnie Tyler videos – which makes sense, given the song’s note-perfect period bombast. But nothing . . . much . . . happens. It’s Gaga’s tamest video to date; it’s also her bravest. For once in her life, she flirts with the edge of boring.
This story is from the July 7th, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.