Lady Gaga: The Edge of Glory
Living on the edge looks a bore in “Edge” music video, but Gaga (somehow) transforms simpilicity into borderline fierce
Buzz the size of a hurricane warning quickly hit networking websites when the world premiere of Lady Gaga’s music video for “The Edge of Glory,” her third single off of Born This Way, landed on YouTube. It wasn’t really because they wanted to see what set of crazy tricks she had up her sleeve or to see how many millions she spent on visuals. The buzz wasn’t even about how many crucifixs she could deep throat at one time. Nah, the buzz surrounded the last public appearance of legendary sax player Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons. Hard to believe that the E Street Band card carrier actually decided to hook up with Gaga for a music video, but it’s all true. And it was one of his last visual performances before he passed away on Saturday at the age of 69 from stroke complications. For ever person who quickly moved their finger to the “dislike” button to protest their angst at Gaga on her latest goth-art masterpiece, two more moved their fingers to the “like” button to either pay their respects to the late horn player or to express their satisfaction over Gaga doing a simple music video, without gimmicks or controversial visuals.
The video is shot on a very dark grimy avenue, a la New York City, and finds Gaga making love to herself and doing pretty much what Madonna did in her “Open Your Heart” video. Although she’s dressed to invade the closest biker’s club (hey, the theme goes well with her human-meets-Harley album cover), she never arrives to her destination. She merrily prances up and down the street, kicking and twirling with a seated Clarence Clemons seldomly blowing his horn on que. At the end, she arrives back at her apartment after a stroll around the block. The lyrical freedom of the song matches Gaga’s sexually-liberated spunky attitude, even if her surroundings are loaded with scenes of urban depression. There’s no by-standers, no traffic and no sign of a video lover to make out with. Just Gaga and Clemons. So what do we make of this? Well, Gaga has a pretty good choreographer on her hands and she pulls off one of her best G-rated videos of all time. For probably the first time in a long time, Gaga doesn’t go overboard with the shock value. It’s also a pleasant surprise to see Gaga, now 22, paying tribute to a guy who lived on “the edge of glory” playing “Born to Run” and “Jungle Land.”
J MATTHEW COBB