Over the weekend, i'd heard the rumors that Lady Gaga had done an odd sort of collaboration with Michael Bolton. Now, we have the evidence: Lady Gaga is dead set on conquering the world of adult contemporary. She will force feed her pop art aesthetic to your dentist's offices and elevators. She will succeed. The song, called "Murder my Heart", was supposedly all Gaga's idea. It was her camp who approached Bolton's manager and suggested they work together. If MTV is to be believed, Bolton had never heard of the now unavoidable pop sensation.
Now, we have to ask some follow-up questions. Namely, why is this happening? For some, this is most certainly a sign of the apocalypse and suggests the music of eternal damnation. While i'll admit it's a tad more palatable than expected, i'm not going to completely disagree. I will say, however, that this is less about a Michael Bolton resurgence and more about Lady Gaga testing the limits of her power. The woman has lately been written up and debated on all sides of the press. She's a tastemaker, an overnight icon, a shooting star of mainstream weird. She can wear suits made of Muppets and sound dazed and confused in interviews without consequence. Basically: she's untouchable. Even public obscenity laws can't hold her down. If we're told that she contacted Michael Bolton, i feel that she has an ulterior motive. She doesn't necessarily want to work with Bolton, she wants to work with the idea of someone like Bolton. She wants to take an entertainer with a specified, generally unhip audience and bring them up to her level. She's doubling Michael Bolton's 15-minutes and altering his reputation. Now, when a 13-year old turns her nose up at her mother's album of Bolton covering Sinatra, the mother can retort, "well, Lady Gaga appreciates him". Argument over. 85% of the under 17 population are too floored by Lady Gaga's hijinks to effectively interpret her as anything other than the most ridiculously awesome individual on the planet. * I think she has a bet going with Grizzly Bear to see who can make elevator music cool first. If you didn't know, Grizzly Bear released their single "While You Wait for the Others" on iTunes with a B-Side that includes the same track with vocals recorded by Michael McDonald. Yes, the Michael McDonald who's concert they play on repeat and mock without rest in 40-Year Old Virgin. True story. Who will win the bet? Gaga with the Top 40 crowd, Grizzly Bear with the college radio elitists. Nice divide.
*I have no evidence that this is true. That doesn't mean it isn't.