Sunday, September 11, 2011

Review: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"

Lady Gaga - Born This Way (2011, U.S.) Rating: 2.5/5
Favorite Tracks: Government Hooker, Scheiße, Heavy Metal Lover

I've been wanting to do a one-on-one review on a CD and Gaga gets to be the first victim. Honestly, as a Gaga fan, I was a little hesitant to see how this album would go and my hesitation was kinda right on this one.

"Marry the Night" opens up this album with a organesque/vocal combo. It has a generic dance sound and the lyrics are kinda bland. "Born This Way" was the promotion song for this album and when I first heard it, I couldn't believe this was a Gaga song. It doesn't sound like her at all. I later found out that the music was possibly borrowed from a popular female Korean pop group. The song is one of those inspiration pieces along with Katy Perry's "Firework" and Pink's "Raise Your Glass". "Government Hooker" has a dramatic and mysterious intro that makes you curious what direction Gaga's gonna go. The music kicks in and it fuses electronic dance elements from the present and past. This is the first track I actually enjoyed! The vocal arrangement is kinda tamely wild and it remains catchy in a good way. Before I heard the album, I saw the video to "Judas" and it definitely pulled some religious nerve inside that felt a little offended. When you think about it, it has nothing to do with religion, she's only using it as a metaphor in the lyrics. The song's not that bad, but the chorus is a bit weak in my opinion. "Americano" gives a historical aire and mixes Latin culture with American or even European sounds together. It's interesting marriage for sure. Well, she already has a song called "Teeth", so why not have a song called "Hair". It's a bit of a melodramatic song and I honestly can't focus too much into the song as I quickly lose interest in the first 40 seconds. "Scheiße" is an odd track featuring some German words and a familiar dance sound that's super catchy. Sometimes you forget that there's German in there because the music is very easy to lose yourself in. "Bloody Mary" opens up with a classical sound, then combines it with the dance sound. It has an interesting transition and can be a bit hit or miss at times. With "Black Jesus†Amen Fashion", I honestly can't tell where this song is going and I really have no interest in finding out really. I can see it for the runway, but not my iPod. Let's add a little rock with "Bad Kid". I guess this is where Gaga is suppose to bring out her rebel side, but it's soft and has an alright music track. I guess we don't have enough tracks about fashion, so here's another reference to clothing in some way song called "Fashion of His Love". It has a retro pop feel like "Like A Virgin" Madonna or Cyndi Lauper. "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)" has an uplifting sound in the beginning, but drops down a few levels musically. The arrangement is pretty much everywhere, but it's no surprise with a title like that. After several unappealing tracks, "Heavy Metal Lover" pops up and pulls me back in. Sure, it sticks with that semi-generic dance sound, but the lyrics are so...rock and wrong. *adds to the Miko anthem list* "Electric Chapel" is a bit of a hit or miss, depending on my mood. The old school rock guitar and new wave "Flashdance" sound can be appealing. "The Queen" has a lighter sound and goes a different direction than what I would expect from Gaga. "You and I" is like an electro-country song. Yes, you read that right. It sounds very country. At the moment, "The Edge of Glory" is the song floating around the radio and TV. Oh. My. Gosh. I hate this song so much! It's just so...cheesy. It feels like a cop out Olympic song or something and the story behind the music video once it was release is hilarious. If you haven't heard it, the short version is that no one wants to take credit for that piece of fail. Nonetheless, this song closes out this mediocre album.

But, wait! There's more if you got the two discs version with the remixes. "Born This Way (The Country Road version)" sounds pretty much how it's titled. The intro is pretty cool, but once the first verse starts, I'm ready to move onto the next remix. Nothing will make me like that song! For the longest, since my religious side kinda twitches a little with the original version, I stuck by the remix of "Judas". "Judas (DJ White Shadow Remix)" is more or equally appealing as the original. "Marry the Night (Zedd Remix)" doesn't make this song any better or enjoyable to me. "Scheiße (DJ White Shadow Mugler)" made an already addicting dance song even more addicting. Perhaps more appealing for the club kids than the original. I think I listen to the original and remix about the same amount, give or take. "Fashion of His Love (Fernando Garibay Remix)" slightly enhances this bland piece of work, but still doesn't convince me to listen to it anymore than I do now. I thought I'd escape the tragedy of "Born This Way", but no...there's two more remixes that try to convince me to listen to this awful song. Now the Jost & Naaf Remix almost does it, but I honestly would rather just listen to an instrumental of this remix. There is a LLG vs. GLG remix I like from one of her previous albums, but no luck in winning me over.

Overall, this album isn't worth buying and it's probably too late to even say that. I heard the record sells weren't as good as her previous albums anyway. But, if you were to buy the album, I would suggest getting the version that includes the remixes. The remixes are more appealing than the original tracks more than half the time and the album art is better too. Who wants a Gaga bike, seriously!?

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