The Cherrytree Sessions (Lady Gaga EP)

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The Cherrytree Sessions
Lady Gaga's face, in black and white, against a colorful background of pink, yellow, red and green shapes. She wears a white jacket and white gloves and holds her hands in fists near her ears. A translucent pink streak covers the woman's eyes and part of her hair. At the top of the image, "Lady Gaga" is written in all capital white letters, with a white line separating the two words. Below this, "The Cherrytree Sessions" is written in all lowercase orange letters.
EP by Lady Gaga
Released February 3, 2009 (2009-02-03)
Recorded 2009; The Cherrytree House[1]
Length 8:48
Label
Producer
Lady Gaga chronology
The Fame
(2008)
The Cherrytree Sessions
(2009)
Hitmixes
(2009)

The Cherrytree Sessions is the first extended play (EP) by American recording artist Lady Gaga, released on February 3, 2009. Consisting of three acoustic versions of "Poker Face", "Just Dance", and "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)". The Cherrytree Sessions was initially released only through Borders stores and via digital download.[2][3] It was later reissued on CD in August 2010.[4] The EP received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Gaga's vocal abilities and the instrumentation of the three tracks, including their unusual incorporation of styles such as cabaret and beatboxing. The Cherrytree Sessions reached number 32 on the Mexican Albums Chart.

Background and composition[edit]

The Cherrytree Sessions is a series of EPs first envisaged by Cherrytree Records label head and producer Martin Kierszenbaum in order to promote his artists.[5] With the assistance of Tony Ugval, Kierszenbaum was able to secure footage and music recordings of several performances from artists on the label's roster. Following requests from fans of the label's music, Kierszenbaum decided to release them commercially, and stated that "before long, we found ourselves with an extraordinary collection of recordings: intimate at times, unexpected at others."[5]

Gaga's performances for The Cherrytree Sessions was first released as a video posted to the label's website. It begins with Gaga and producer Space Cowboy surprising Kierszenbaum in his office, known as The Cherrytree House.[2] After discussing her international travels, Gaga performed an acoustic version of "Brown Eyes" at the piano where she had sung for Kierszenbaum the first time they met. She and Space Cowboy then performed a stripped down version of "Just Dance" on their keyboards, before Gaga returned to the piano for an acoustic version of "Poker Face".[6] The performance coincided with Gaga reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart with "Just Dance" in 2008, and was available for streaming as a webisode on the Cherrytree Records website.[1]

The EP itself consists of three tracks recorded live from the event, all of which had previously been successful singles released from Gaga's first studio album, The Fame (2008). Allmusic compared the "solo piano rendition" of "Poker Face" to the style of cabaret, while "Just Dance" had only synths as its instrumentation.[7] The final song, "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" makes use of keyboards and beatboxing,[7] which is performed by Space Cowboy.[8]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
Bloomberg L.P. 3/4 stars[9]
Daily Express 3/5 stars[10]

The Cherrytree Sessions was released on February 3, 2009, in the United States and was an import in European nations, including France.[11][12] Mark Beech of Bloomberg L.P. gave The Cherrytree Sessions a positive review, awarding it three out of four stars. He praised Gaga's singing abilities and noting that the EP "shows Lady Gaga isn't all combustible miniskirts and flame-throwing bras."[9] Simon Gage of the Daily Express gave the album three out of five stars, expressing surprise at Gaga's singing abilities. "Often hidden under those dastardly catchy Eurobeats," he noted, "on these earlier, simpler versions of tracks such as Poker Face and Just Dance, her voice gets a bit more of a chance to shine, as do the songs."[10] This sentiment was echoed by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, awarding three stars out of five, who felt that the performances were "effective showcases for Gaga’s charisma and songwriting." Erlewine praised the music of "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" in particular, noting that its "bare-bones mix" was complementary to the release's aesthetic.[7]

The Cherrytree Sessions debuted at 45 on the Mexican Albums Chart on August 20, 2010, and moved to 32 the next week.[13] Although it failed to enter any of the Billboard album charts, according to Nielsen Soundscan, the EP had sold 9,000 copies in the United States by September 2010.[14]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Poker Face" (Piano & Voice Version) Lady Gaga, RedOne Martin Kierszenbaum 3:39
2. "Just Dance" (Stripped Down Version) Lady Gaga, RedOne, Aliaune Thiam RedOne, Kierszenbaum 2:06
3. "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" (Electric Piano & Human Beat Box Version) Lady Gaga, Kierszenbaum Kierszenbaum 3:03

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for The Cherrytree Sessions per Allmusic[15] and liner notes.[8]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Canada February 3, 2009[3][16] Digital download Universal Music
United States Streamline, Kon Live, Cherrytree, Interscope
United States (Borders only) March 3, 2009[2] CD
United States August 3, 2010[4]
France[17]
Germany[18]
United Kingdom[19]
Canada August 10, 2010[20][21][22] Universal Music
Mexico CD, digital download

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Live at The Cherrytree House". Universal Music. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Phoenix, Helia (2010). Lady Gaga: Just Dance: The Biography. Hachette UK. p. 42. ISBN 9781409115700. 
  3. ^ a b "The Cherrytree Sessions (Live) – EP". Canada: iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "The Cherrytree Sessions: Lady Gaga". Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Kierszenbaum, Martin (March 22, 2011). "The Cherrytree House Sessions, Volume 1 - Available in the US April 12th". Cherrytree Records. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Live at The Cherrytree House". Vevo. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d Thomas Erlewine, Stephen (2012). "The Cherrytree Sessions". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b The Cherrytree Sessions (Media notes). Lady Gaga. Santa Monica, California: Streamline Records, KonLive Records, Cherrytree Records, Interscope Records. 2009. p. 2, Special thank you. B0012675-32IN02. 
  9. ^ a b Beech, Mark (August 3, 2010). "Lady Gaga Strips Down, M.I.A. Stomps, Tom Jones Gets Religion". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Gage, Simon (July 30, 2010). "Lady Gaga: The Cherrytree Sessions Review". Daily Express (Northern and Shell Media Publications). Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  11. ^ Commins, Linda (July 5, 2009). "Pop Star Lady Gaga Has Roots in Ohio Valley". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register (Ogden Newspapers). Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Lady GaGa : l'EP "The Cherrytree Sessions" enfin dans les bacs français" (in French). PureCharts. Charts In France. August 13, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Lady Gaga – The Cherrytree Sessions (album)" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ Grein, Paul (September 8, 2010). "Week Ending Sept. 5, 2010: Rihanna Leads The Pack". Yahoo!. p. 2. Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  15. ^ "The Cherrytree Sessions > Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Cherrytree Sessions (Live) – EP". United States: iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  17. ^ "The Cherrytree Sessions: Lady Gaga". Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2010. 
  18. ^ "The Cherrytree Sessions: Lady Gaga". Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Cherrytree Sessions (EP)". Amazon.co.uk, Inc. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Cherrytree Sessions: Lady Gaga". Amazon.ca. Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Cherrytree Sessions: Lady Gaga". Mixup.com, Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Cherrytree Sessions: Lady Gaga". Saharis.com, Inc. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]