So Happy I Could Die
|"So Happy I Could Die"|
|Song by Lady Gaga from the album The Fame Monster|
|Recorded||2009; Record Plant Studios,
Los Angeles, California
|The Fame Monster track listing|
"So Happy I Could Die" is a song from American recording artist Lady Gaga, taken from her second major released and her third extended play, The Fame Monster (2009). It was written by Gaga, RedOne, and Space Cowboy, with production helmed by RedOne. Inspired by Gaga's "Fear of Alcohol Monster", the song is about the "happy place" people go to when under "the influence". Aside from the prevalent ideas of alcoholism, "So Happy I Could Die" also explores several sexual themes in its lyrics.
Musically, it is a synthpop song that draws elements of Europop. "So Happy I Could Die" received mostly positive reviews, with critics complimenting its sexual nature. The song charted in Hungary, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Performances for the song transpired during The Monster Ball Tour.
Background and composition
Lady Gaga collaborated with RedOne and Space Cowboy in writing "So Happy I Could Die", while RedOne produced the track. An occasional drinker, the song represents Gaga's fear of what she describes as the "Alcohol Monster", as evident of several lyrics in the song, such as the chorus; "Happy in the club with a bottle of red wine, stars in our eyes and we're having a good time." In an interview with MTV, Gaga professed that the song is about the euphoric effects of alcohol—the so-called "happy place"—and explained that her fear is split between two songs. "My fear of alcohol. My fear of drugs... fear of addiction. [...] But alcohol is funny because it takes you down to this very happy place and just like forgetting all your problems and for just a minute you're so happy, and then all of a sudden, [your] stomach turns and go way down... And that's my relationship with consumption and abuse."
"So Happy I Could Die" is a synthpop song that contains elements of Europop. The song is drenched with Auto-Tune, giving it an echoing effect. As Gaga sings the chorus, its melodic structure emulates that of Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine" (2008). Paul Lester of BBC suggested that "So Happy I Could Die" is reflective of the LGBT themes common in Gaga's songs, while Slant Magazine journalist Sal Cinquemani asserted that it telegraphed the "instructive" execution of the singer's rejection of "any and all intimacy with others". "'So Happy I Could Die' is a love song," he remarked, "but the object of her affection is herself—looking at herself, drinking with herself, dancing with herself, touching herself."
According to music sheet published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing on Musicnotes.com, the song is written in the time signature of common time, and is composed in the key of A minor with a tempo of 100 beats per minute. Gaga's voice ranges from the tonal nodes of A3 to A4 and the song follows a basic sequence of F–G–Em–Am as its chord progression.
Describing it as a "pop fluff" song, Simon Price of The Independent wrote that "there's always a suggestion of something interesting going on behind those glitter-encrusted eyes". NME's Ben Patashnik applauded the song's suggestive nature; "'So Happy I Could Die' perfectly evokes the feeling of being alone in a crowded room with its icy beats, suggesting Gaga takes refuge in masturbation as the only way to retain control." "So Happy I Could Die" was declared as the twenty-seventh best Lady Gaga song by Rolling Stone, who concluded: "Gaga exults in the pleasures of club-hopping, drinking and bi-curiosity." Under the Radar columnist Nick Hyman avouched that "So Happy I Could Die" was an uninspiring track, while Evan Sawdey of PopMatters felt that Gaga's vocals were the worst out of any of her songs. "It's a bit of a disappointment, too, because for someone who is so painfully deliberate in crafting their unique visual image, it’s a let down to see that some of that quality control couldn’t be applied to the song selection that will ultimately define their legacy."
Upon release of the album, "So Happy I Could Die" garnered minor commercial success. It attained its highest position in Hungary, where it peaked at number ten on the Hungarian Singles Chart. In Europe, it managed to debut in musical charts in Sweden and the United Kingdom, where it debuted at number fifty-three and eighty-four, respectively.
"So Happy I Could Die" was part of the setlist of The Monster Ball Tour. During the pre-revised version of the tour, Gaga performed the song alongside "Teeth", wearing a black leather corset. After she initiated the revamped version of the tour, Gaga belted the song in the "Living Dress", a white costume that moves on its own accord.
- Digital download
- "So Happy I Could Die" – 3:55
Credits and personnel
- Lady Gaga – vocals, songwriter, producer, keyboards, background vocals
- RedOne – songwriter, producer, programming, keyboards
Credits adapted from The Fame Monster album liner notes.
|Hungarian Singles Chart||10|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||84|
- The Fame Monster (Liner notes). Lady Gaga. Interscope Records. 2009. 2726601.
- What Is The Monster In 'So Happy I Could Die'? (Audio commentaryMTV. May 26, 2012.) (Dialogue).
- Lester, Paul (November 20, 2009). "The Fame Monster Review". BBC. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Weiss, Dan (February 16, 2011). "A Quick Guide to Lady Gaga's (Possible) Plagiarisms, From 'Telephone' to 'Born This Way'". SF Weekly. Village Voice Media. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
- Cinquemani, Sal (November 18, 2009). "The Fame Monster". Slant Magazine. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "So Happy I Could Die - Sheet Music". Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Price, Simon (November 22, 2009). "Album: Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster (Polydor)". The Independent. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Patashnik, Ben (December 3, 2009). "Album review: Lady Gaga - 'The Fame Monster' (Polydor)". NME. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "The Ultimate Ranking of Lady Gaga Songs". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
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- "Lady Gaga" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Stevenson, Jane (November 29, 2009). "Lady Gaga puts on a Monster show". Toronto Sun. Sun Media Corporation. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Farber, Jim (July 6, 2010). "Lady Gaga's concert at Madison Square Garden is a nod to expressionism, 'Oz'". New York Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved June 2, 2012.