Tough to say.
First there was that quote in Newsweek Emily mentioned yesterday.
Then, in an interview aired on 20/20 last night, Madonna tried to play coy. (Unfortunately for Madonna, her “coy” is everybody else’s “ridiculously obvious.”) From the New York Daily News:
Madonna is finally expressing herself on Lady Gaga’s song, “Born This Way.”
Critics had pointed out similarities in the hit 2010 tune and the Material Girl’s 1989 chart-topper, “Express Yourself,” but Madonna herself had been quiet on the subject until Friday night’s interview on ABC’s “20/20.”
“When I heard it on the radio… I said that sounds very familiar,” Madonna told ABC News.
When pressed further, Madonna added that the song “felt reductive.”
Asked what that means, a smiling Madonna added, “Look it up.”
Jeesh. Without looking anything up, I can tell you Madonna thinks Gaga’s music is derivative in an artlessly unnuanced, shallow way. Just a guess.
By the way, this is on the front page of dictionary.com today:
I thought that was funny.
But Madonna sounded comparatively complimentary on last night’s “Graham Norton Show”:
“When I first saw her, I saw her performing at a very small club in Manhattan a couple of years ago, maybe it was like three years ago. I was actually really impressed by her. I thought she was really cool and she did remind me of me back in the day. I liked her rawness and there was something fresh about her and ballsy, and when she spoke to the audience, she sounded like she had a similar sense of humor to me, quite ironic, and I liked her. So I do think she is very talented.”
Wait, what? Gaga is talented because she’s ironic? Oh, no. No. Let’s not overthink the compliment: for all we know, it’s the only compliment Madonna has ever paid anyone.
Sort of well played, Madonna. Sort of well played.