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Artistic disco-pop smart enough to mix the rough with the smooth

Artistic disco-pop smart enough to mix the rough with the smooth. Stefani Germanotta pulls off a pop star’s greatest balancing act: giving off a whiff of the alien and dangerous while making acutely approachable songs. Opener “Just Dance” begins as buzzing synth pop about losing your mind to drink but resolves into a glorious chorus prescribing a quick boogie to help you see straight again. That contrast drives The Fame: whether Gaga is explicitly libidinous (“Love Game”) or infatuated and deranged (“Paparazzi”), her hooks are always as pure and refreshing as spring water.

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