Monday, June 6, 2011

The Edge Of Glory by Lady Gaga

“It’s a meditation on where you are going to stand, with who and where you are going to stand.”

Bruce Springsteen said this to describe his masterpiece album Darkness On The Edge Of Town. The same words apply to Lady Gaga’s newest single “The Edge Of Glory.”

Does it seem crazy to compare Lady Gaga and Bruce?

Well take these things into consideration: Lady Gaga has called “The Edge Of Glory,” her “Born To Run” and wrote it as a throwback to Springsteen and his music. She was so inspired by Bruce that she featured Springsteen’s saxophone player Clarence Clemons in the middle of the song.  If you strip away the dance beat the echoes of Springsteen come across more clearly.

To me Lady Gaga isn’t the crazy outfits or the provocative music videos. Lots of artists have done similar things to Gaga like Madonna and David Bowie and while these images make an impression in pop culture what is truly meaningful, what truly lasts is their most heartfelt music.

Lady Gaga’s best work has been a combination embracing her influences and mixing them with deep personal feelings like “Speechless” an Elton John-inspired song about her father, which she sang with the Rocket Man himself in a loving tribute to her father and Elton.

“The Edge Of Glory” is similar, taking the memory of her grandfather and mixing in some Springsteen creating the same hopefulness and longing that Springsteen so often expresses.

The title itself expresses a feeling of being at cusp of something great and needing someone else to help you get there. Lines like “Right on the limits where we know we both belong,” and “I’m on the edge of something final we call life” are so much deeper than they seem. For Lady Gaga to push her music beyond the provocative to the emotions shows great growth as an artist.

Gaga described the “Edge Of Glory” as someone’s last moment of earth. The bravery, the optimism, the pure celebratory euphoria expressed in this song makes a powerful statement on the way that we should not only face death, but the challenges we face every single day.

The creation of music is a conversation.  One artists writes a song and another responds.  Just like in a spoken conversation the comments that keep the discussion evolving are the statements that build off of what has been said before and add something personal and meaningful.

Lady Gaga embraces music in this way and responding to things other artists have said previously doesn't make her unoriginal but it makes her a real artist and get her closer to the edge of her musical glory than ever before.

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