British music magazine NME—known for their hyperbolic style and overuse of the "______ is BACK!" construction—recently released their 10 Most Pretentious Albums Ever, calling out albums with "a groan-inducing concept, lots of highfalutin waffle and a ridiculous cover." After singling out expected offenders KISS and Lou Reed, the mag gave the top (bottom?) spot to Lady Gaga's Born This Way.
"For a while Gaga was the most exciting pop star on the planet," writes the magazine, presumably in a snobby British accent while listening to Manic Street Preachers b-sides. "Then on Born This Way, she seemed to believe in her own hype, convinced that she had a message to share. Cue an album of unwieldy ‘anthems’ that couldn't mask the fact the fun had left the building."
Gaga, always the indignant underdog (and probably sensing a beautiful PR opp), responded in kind on Twitter.
She's got a point. NME has long relished the role of kingmakers, viewing bands as chess pieces to be moved, elevated and decimated. But at the same time, they have a point calling out "Scheiße," with its German intro and lines like "I don't speak German but I wish I could," as the most pretentious moment on the album.
So it's a draw. In a battle between a pop diva and snobby music mag, nobody wins. Or maybe everybody does?