As Lady Gaga prepares to release her new album ‘Born This Way’ next week (May 23rd), the entire world is talking about the hotly anticipated opus. This morning (May 18th), the 25-year-old released the project to several streaming sites online and now everyone has gone goo goo-gaga for the music. In fact, some of her new songs started trending on twitter.
The project, which boasts production from longterm producers RedOne and Fernando Garibay, sees the singer exploring techno, rock, electronic, flamenco and acid house sounds all rolled in one. Read my thoughts on the album below!
Marry The Night
Gaga professes her love for the night (freedom) in this rather dark, metallic and techno laced uptempo. Gaga previously mentioned that ‘Marry The Night’ is one of her favourite songs from the album, and cites it as “club-banger” worthy. This is the track she claims was originally planned to be the lead single from the project. I can understand why as it has a very anthemic nature to it. In my opinion, it’s probably one of her worst songs this era after ‘Judas’ and ‘Hair’. And it sounds NOTHING like Whitney Houston during her “pop euphoria” either. That reference is chipping away at me only because during The Grammy’s, Gaga weirdly said ‘Born This Way’ was also inspired by Whitney. In actuality, everyone in the world knew it was a Madonna rip-off. Rating: 1/5
Born This Way
It’s growth! It’s evolution! It’s pop with depth! *sarcasm over* This song annoys me only because it was hyped up to become the best pop song to hit this music decade. It was suppose to be the song to change pop culture and revolutionise itself as this generation’s ‘Thriller’ (Michael Jackson). Far from. The Fernando Garibay produced cut was nothing more than a carbon copy of Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ with 80s inspired influences. This slightly edgy, electronically charged gay anthem is very generic and uninspring, which may have contributed towards the backlash she recieved. It did grow on me after a while though. Rating: 3/5
Gaga’s operatic singing technique introduces the track before imploding full force into a heavy synth production backed by an overpowering sledgehammer bassline. When Gaga premiered the track at the Mugler show this year, I didn’t get it AT ALL. But now, it’s easily one of the standout tracks on the album. Don’t expect the song to feature any preachy political sermon despite Gaga’s metaphorical description: “The humour is that a machine tells me what to do and I happily do it as long as I get f*cked. It relates to how our government f*cks us over, but it makes fun of the plastic popstar – ‘I’ll do anything as long as you fuck me and pay me’” she says. Rating: 4/5
The RedOne produced cut was clearly an obvious attempt to recreate ‘Bad Romance’ especially the chorus. Through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, Gaga tells the story of love and betrayal through biblical times. Although the busy instruments override her vocals, at best it’s a standard pop song with metal-techno overtones and dark influences. The song itself is not exceptionally amazing, and is her worst performing track from the project so far. Rating: 1.5/5
The flamenco-laced, acid house effort can definetely be considered the ‘Alejandro’ of the project. It’s not as radio friendly and the screamy chorus can be a tad bit grating to the ears. Still, the Fernando Garibay helmed Spanish-tinged cut gives you something to think about as it does touch upon a number of political and social issues such as immigration law and gay marriages. Rating: 2.5/5
The heavily processed electro-powered anthem has some interesting sax riffs, much to the credit of Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band. The RedOne produced cut is not one of the strongest contendars on ‘Born This Way’ but everyone should be able to appreciate what the song stands for. The uplifting message about hair defining who you are is rather liberating and fun at the same time! Rating: 2/5
The electronically fueled house cut is partly sung in German and is contagious enough to spill blood on those dancefloors everywhere! Though, if you can speak fluent German, and you end up getting lost in translation, that’s because she’s not fully singing in German. It’s pretty much gibberish, like the song itself. But that beat is rave food at best. Rating 2/5
This subtle electropop ballad could very well be the sequel to ‘Judas’, with its religious touting references. The track is more a celebration of Mary’s “divine” and “human” qualities as a woman. It features some choir-like chanting, the type of chilling and haunting chanting that possesses a funeral. Interestingly, the lyrics are pretty solid. Rating: 3/5
This robotic synth-laced pop anthem pays tribute to all the rebellious kids that have been notorious for giving their parents hell. It’s like she’s reaching out because she’s been in that place.’ Rating: 2.5/5
Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)
Trancy synths plague the feel-good uptempo which celebrates being a free soul, and taking pleasant rides down the highway. Production is quite reminiscent to ‘Poker Face’. Not that that’s a bad thing of course. Rating: 3/5
Heavy Metal Lover
This fetish-loving track is another 80s influenced trancy number with lots of futuristic synths. It’s very cohesive with many of the tracks on ‘Born This Way’ and I was expecting something with much more grit. Think hardcore with some heavy metal overtones. However, this can easily be disregarded as just another anthemic pop cut that blends. Not amazingly hot, but not ear bleedingly bad either. I think it’s a grower. Rating: 2.5/5
Unlike ‘Heavy Metal Lover’, at least this track has some slashing electric guitars, and the production, which is laced with electronic beats is very stellar. It also has a very strong chorus. In the track, Gaga tells the guy not to be a “holy fool” and to meet her at the electric chapel. Very strong album cut. Rating: 4/5
The Edge of Glory
The track is a dancey europop ballad, which was inspired by the death of the singer’s grandfather last year. With it’s catchy middle 8, and souring layers of synths, sax and strings, the Fernando Garibay penned cut is not your typical ballad about the loss of a loved one. Rather, it has a fun element to it too. After a period of mourning, a person’s life can still be celebrated even after they’ve gone. A standout. Rating: 3.5/5
You & I
This piano ballad features some electronic beats, and it’s a song Gaga holds close to her heart. It is even thought that the song is about her on-off boyfriend Luc Carl, said to be the love of her life. The fact that he is a bar owner and there are lots of bar references in the song points to that theory. Gaga finds herself reminiscing the good times when that romance was good. Sentimental Gaga is very promising. Rating 3.5/5
This album is not groundbreaking. Neither is it as radio friendly as ‘The Fame’, which was a pretty good solid pop album. ‘Born This Way’ has it’s good points, as well as its bad ones too. My problem was that, although the album as a whole was very cohesive, the tracks started to sound samey and repetitive. Maybe the odd two or three songs broke that cycle but there was not much variation. Plus, she completely erased the urban friendly cuts that plagued her debut. That said, we’ve already seen for ourselves that her songs have this instant habit of catapulting the charts. Gaga is at that level of domination where she can release whatever the hell she likes and it would still sell BUCKETS.
Overall rating: 2.5/5