On that song: Poker Face


This post I will take on a mammoth challenge to blog entirely about a single song and its various “covers”. I haven’t done it before (probably because no one other than blogging101 and this blogger asked me to) and I’m super excited to take a shot at it.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a decade, you know who Lady Gaga is and what Poker Face is; if you were under a rock for a decade, I reckon you won’t really bother yourself with her and would rather reacquaint yourself with Subway (or McDonalds or Starbucks).

When Gaga’s song first came out in late 2008, it was a craze – the weird (at first) lyrics, the overwhelming video and her outrageous outfits! Then she performed the song live on her tour (she performed only once in India and I was unfortunate to miss out on it, but that was years later) and when we saw them many months later, we were blown away. I remember watching the stripped-down piano version of the song on loop for days and battling with myself about which version was better (the original one. duh.), because both versions were so different from one another and still so Gaga. My friends will also remember that the hook was in my head for days and they were constantly subjected to my (in tune!) hummed rendition of the hook for hours on end; my neighbours, however, may only remember my (rather pitiful) attempts to recreate the sounds on my Casio.

And then I discovered Daughtry’s take on the number to realise that the song can be re-interpreted yet again. To be fair, it’s very similar (musically) to the piano version, in that it’s purely acoustic, but the song fits so well into his wheelhouse that you think its another track altogether; I’m super surprised he didn’t tidy it up a bit and release a version, but then I think “he’s a musician and he must know his business quite well so let’s not get into matters we don’t understand”. I was a lot more successful with the guitar on this version (partially I think because it was simple chords and just a strumming pattern to muster, but hey! I got it right!!), but it was still a rather noisy learning curve, so me thinks my neighbours would remember this one as well.

And the last version of the song I heard, which was to be fair a cover of the piano version, was on Glee. I’ve written about how I completely loved Glee in the past (I mean before it got completely out of control and became just a show with singing kids; when it was ending it unbearable enough that I only looked up the weekly songs), so you know that I completely enjoy their interpretation of songs. When Idina Menzela and Lea Michele did a cover of this song, it reminded me of the reason why I signed up to watch Glee in the first place – because it had access to people who could actually sing the crap out of songs. Their version was a soft, demure interpretation of the track – one that I think Gaga’s piano version got damn near close to; but I think her overwhelming personality never allowed the song to be perceived as “soft”. (On a side note, Gaga has since paired up with Tony Bennett for a delightful jazz album, where she sounded as soft and wonderful as any other jazz singer – to a point where you would wonder if she’s the same person who sang Poker Face and Bad Romance.)

Years later as I look (listen?) over all the versions of the song (there was a fairly hilarious Southpark version as well!!), I want to commend Lady Gaga (not that she needs it from a ‘lowling’ like me) on creating a tune that has been (almost equally) loved by people with varied musical tastes and survived the onslaught of many many party tracks to make it to Spotify’s Epic Party Playlist (THAT is not my only benchmark of an achievement for any track – but it’s still pretty awesome right?!). I can still hear the hook each time and be pulled back in time to when it first played on my computer and how my head bobbed in perfect rhythm. Any song that can have that impact on you deserves a mention on your blog.

Tell me about what song(s) you would highlight on your blog. Maybe I like ’em too… 

P. S. Thanks to Sameen for reminding me that the links were missing. I was lazy. But now the hyperlinks are functional so you can all enjoy the song(s) I blogged so much about!!

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10 thoughts on “On that song: Poker Face”

  1. An insightful post. About the clipping of content. Try this. Settings>Reading>For each Article in the Feed: Select “Summary.”
    I think this must be what you are looking for.
    Anand.

    1. Fan – frigging – tastic!! Thanks so very much! It is so awesome to be nominated for a blogging award!!
      I’m going to get at this asap 🙂

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