My blog is my space to highlight academic work outside of my formal publications. Posts vary from short essays to album reviews to exemplary student work to small sample-digs that I use as warm-ups for my courses. This blog also contains the burgeoning archive of artist interviews that I am collecting for my dissertation, "Writing in the Break."

  • Tyler Bunzey

New Music Friday: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper "Shallow" from "A Star is Born"

Yesterday Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga released their single and its video for their upcoming film A Star is Born. The remake of the 1937 film which was remade into a 1954 musical which was remade into a 1976 rock musical featuring Barbara Streisand follows the story of a hard-drinking rock star (Bradley Cooper) who discovers a young talented singer (Lady Gaga) and falls in love with her.

What my students think:

My students universally liked this track. Nobody was willing to say that they didn't like it. One student said it was a "cute little love song" and that aspect was very appealing. Another really loved the track's build, especially how the strings slowly compounded in the beginning to create a dynamic crescendo towards the end. All of the students liked that Bradley Cooper could sing (who knew!) and that the video seemed well-acted out. The only criticisms came from students who felt it was repetitive and monotonous.

What I think:

At the risk of sounding too much like an erudite critic, I'm completely bored by the piece. It seems like the same old narrative--the handsome (male) superstar is brilliant but can't get over his fatal flaw of drinking too much; the beautiful and comely (female) local talent doesn't recognize her worth; the superstar discovers her and raises her self esteem while she therapeuts him right out of his trouble (I know therapeut isn't a word, but why not??). The music is also unoffensive--country roots, 70s/80s balladeer style, and the duet makes it appealing to all, except me I guess. It just seems tired to me (and maybe a little sexist?). But hey, this is the first time I've really disagreed with my students, so I could be wrong. I'm not going to see the film based on this though.

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