When Lady Gaga dropped the video for “Edge of Glory” a few months back, it looked like she’d finally decided to mail one in. The clip fully consisted of shots her and the late, great Clarence Clemons twirling around a dimly lit backlot, and was like Gaga saying, “By the way, I’m not always going to try so hard.” Shortly thereafter, though, it was revealed via Twitter fighting, that the video’s dullness was the result of a creative dispute between Gaga and “Edge” director Joseph Kahn. Originally, “Edge” was supposed to have multiple sets and mermaids and all the traditional pyrotechnics, but that was all scotched at the last minute when tempers flared on set. So now, in the form of her new video, “You and I,” comes the apology and the promise that Lady Gaga will probably never willingly mail one in. Also, a mermaid.
Lady Gaga’s commitment to perma-spectacle, it has been noted, should be exhausting by now. But “You and I” isn’t yet the breaking point. Maybe that’s because there’s actually sort of a narrative here. The song is about her quasi-boyfriend, a Nebraskan fellow named Luc Carl. In the video, Gaga has explained, “I’ve walked all the way from New York City to Nebraska to get him back. I’m walking with no luggage and no nothing and it’s just me and my ankles are bleeding a little bit and there’s grass stuck in my shoes and I’ve got this outfit on and it’s real sort of New York clothing and I’m sprinting.” That doesn’t not make sense, right? (Don’t think too hard about all the other random imagery) More importantly: Gaga dresses up as her male alter-ego Jo Calderone in order to, as herself, aggressively make out with him. Yes, there is butt squeezing. Split-personality make-outs: that is certainly a new one.