WATCH: Lady Gaga’s Video For “Applause” References Both German Expressionism And Janet Jackson’s Breasts

Well folks, here it is: The long-awaited music video for Lady Gaga’s “Applause”!

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video

  • Lady Gaga Applause Video


Immediately of the gate, the “Applause” single suffered after being rushed to market early last week. A few low quality leaks and some early bad buzz forced the hand of Lady Gaga and her camp—she stated on Good Morning America today that her intent was for the single and video to drop simultaneously—and put her squarely in a competition she couldn’t win: A showdown with the reigning Queen of Pop, Miss Katy Perry. Not surprisingly, Perry’s anthemic “Roar” trounced Gaga out of the gate in terms of sales, leading more than a few cultural critics to label Gaga as being yesterday’s news.

With the benefit of a little bit of hindsight, though, it appears as if the events of last week—which also includes a very public, increasingly nasty fight with Perez Hilton—have returned Gaga to her most familiar and comfortable position: The underdog. Gaga and her unwaveringly loyal band of Little Monsters originally drew their strength from being perceived as outcasts, and now that the Katycats have asserted their (temporary?) dominance, one could argue that a sense of balance has been restored to the pop culture universe. No longer saddled with such a tremendous burden of expectations, things now seem to be primed for this to be the big week for “Applause.”

Gaga will be opening the 2013 VMAs this Sunday, August 25, with a performance of “Applause,” and the Mother Monster herself also debuted her latest music video for the track this morning. Directed by the Dutch photographers Inez And Vinoodh, it is the first official video statement of her ARTPOP project. And arty, it most certainly is!

First off, the video doesn’t have much in the way of a narrative or “plot”; rather, it exists to show off two major things: The visual imagination of the Gaga/Inez/Vinoodh triumvirate, as well as Gaga’s revitalized bod. Regarding the latter, it’s no secret that Gaga put on a few lbs last year, but right out of the gate in the “Applause” video, the sight of a very toned Miss Germanotta writhing around on a mattress wearing nothing but skimpy black lingerie certainly merits a round of applause for her team of trainers. For someone who usually places more value on shock appeal than sensuality, this is an interesting turn for Gaga.

Now, that is not to say this video is purely a sexy romp in the vein of Billy Idol’s “Cradle Of Love” or anything. Gaga puts 10 different, highly artistic looks on display in this video, styles that run the gamut from Zombie Marilyn Monroe to Literal Black Swan, from The Birth Of Venus meets Little Mermaid to Heath Ledger’s Joker after being attacked by a bunch of Crayola wielding rapscallions. The entire three minutes and 34 seconds of the video are in service of the concepts of ART and POP, as references to German expressionism (there’s a distinct Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari vibe present) sit comfortably alongside an outfit that pays homage Janet Jackson’s infamous Rolling Stone cover. And speaking of Janet Jackson, how about THIS?

Just us?

While this video isn’t as immediately iconic as, say, “Bad Romance” or “Telephone,” it would be a shoo-in for a nomination in for this year’s VMA Video Of The Year category had it come out a month or two ago. It’s a worthy addition to the Gaga canon, and damn if “Applause” doesn’t continue to grow more and more on us each time we hear it. It may have lost the battle to “Roar,” but there’s still a decent chance it could win the war.

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SEE ALSO: Lady Gaga’s 100 Most Outrageous Outfits Of All Time