Of course today poor production from a hitmaking artist is unheard of. Production is its own artform now, an end in itself. To be used for good or for evil. I’ll just use Lady Gaga as an example of how to use the latest, greatest, cutting-edge-est production values without getting drowned in it. Because she really knows what she’s going for. Born This Way is impeccable all through and through. I thin she said she “licked and made love to every note” or something, which is an icky way of putting it but about on target. Bloody Mary has to be my favorite BTW track. Gaga sprang to fame for making club songs, and she’s still clinging to her comfort zone of chest-thumping beats and mega-choruses. I like it more when she allows new elements to enter the picture, like the cabaret inflections here. She’s going in the right direction, and hopefully will carry on an evolution that allows her to ditch the tired comparisons to Madonna, and walk on some fresh musical ground. I’d say what Gaga is missing in her career so far is a partner. She’s got the voice and she’s got the tunes, but her lyrics are frankly idiotic. Words aren’t her forte, and that’s where a collaborator should come in. She needs to find her Bernie.