After a false alarm announcement of a MTV premiere on Thursday, Lady Gaga has unexpectedly unveiled/leaked the video for “You & I” today, the power ballad and fourth single off of her sophomore studio album, Born This Way. (On Madonna‘s birthday funnily enough, but let’s not get into it. Actually we can, but let’s take that offline.)
Filmed in the rural cornfields of Nebraska, the video dives headfirst into a hay-filled barn full of stripper poles, bathtubs, and medieval machinery. And, for their first ever video debut, “You & I” features two of Germanotta’s newest concoctions/alter-egos in the ever expanding mythology of the Gaga: Jo Calderone and Yuyi the Mermaid.
The video for “You & I” is kind of like the visual equivalent of turducken: A thick, juicy über-meaty treat (that, for many, will lead to higher blood pressure levels.) But like turducken, the video for “You & I” is…well, overstuffed.
As far as I can tell, there’s not a single consistent stream of thought involved in this gargantuan overproduction: She’s wandering down a beaten path. She’s being tortured. She’s dancing. She’s a science experiment. She’s getting married. She’s a mermaid. She’s playing a piano. She’s crying. She’s a forest nymph. She’s a he.
As if to make up for the non-event that was “The Edge of Glory”–a last-minute attempt after a video shoot gone awry–she’s gone ahead and stuffed every single facet of her artistry into the video for “You & I.” Wigs! Dancing! Piano! Sex! Love! Pain! Beauty! Ugly! Couture! Violence! SYMBOLISM!!!
Yes, there are plenty of opportunities to interpret deeper meanings within; to weave your own conclusions and craft your own story about the video for “You & I.” But at the end of the day–underneath the layers of designer wear, the beautifully shot cinematography and the carefully choreographed dance routines–there’s actually nothing happening.
The end result? A breathtakingly gorgeous, visually scrumptious series of avant-garde vignettes. But as for a lasting impression, any take away meaning or emotional connection whatsoever? I’m sorry…I’m left dancing in the dark.
“You & I” will be released in August. (iTunes)