Lady Gaga was “Born This Way”. The dance/pop artist became well known for her public theatrics and controversial lyrics since her debut in the music industry, so chances of her taking it down a notch are highly unexpectable on this new record and people shouldn’t be surprised. Let’s just say I would never play this album around my parents because there’s no such thing as discrete on “Born This Way”. Gaga keeps it freaky and raw, and will forevermore remain unapologetic for expressing music in her own unique way. I’m not too big on every single song on the album but there were a few that could receive a passing grade.
“Marry the Night” starts out with a soft piano melody leading into a heat rush. Gaga’s vocals intensify whenever the chorus comes in, and you immediately get pulled into her electricity. The track includes a mixture of electro pop and rock elements, while touching on dance. It’s definitely perfect for the clubs. I love how soulful her voice is with the adlibs that carries the song to its end. The song is about living carefree with the one you’re with and resist being bounded by life. It’s a message that continues in “Born This Way”, the lead single from the album. This track is about accepting who you are and not letting anyone tell you any different. I like the message of self-confidence and assertiveness within the lyrics.
“Government Hooker” heats things up with its raunchy lyrics and provocative sound. The song starts out eerie with Gaga yodeling her name. The techno beat is imprinted into the entire song, and the singer’s vocals are rather sexy and seductive. The lyrics are somewhat confusing to decipher and conjure a definite meaning, because basically it makes no sense. And I don’t think the artist intended for this track to make sense; rather she probably hoped her “little monsters” would just gyrate along to it. Still, it shows how talented she is as an artist to come up with something as original as this.
The next song is my least favorite because of how distasteful it is. I tried hard to write a review on “Judas” without any bias whatsoever but I found it rather difficult. No matter how I look at it the song is just profane and upsetting to biblical history. I mean its Gaga after all, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting her to go this far in the name of artistic expression and to me this song is absolutely not art. The singer is comparing her bad boyfriend to this biblical character. Need I say more?
“Americano” sounds like a mariachi song. The Mexican influenced track features Gaga singing some lines in Spanish and depicting the struggle of freedom; fighting to overcome hardships and searching for a better quality of life. The song embodies such a deep meaning and is one of the lesser controversial tracks on the album.
The rebellious track “Hair” starts out like a soundtrack from an 80’s teen flick with kids struggling to find their identity. Maybe it’s me but the opening drums sounds awfully similar to The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”. “Hair” is about putting your foot down and doing your thing without people telling you it’s wrong. It’s like wanting to be free to make your own mistakes and live your own life. The line “as free as my hair” is the focal point of the song. People should be free to do what they want to do.
“ScheiBe” is the most unique track on the album because Gaga incorporates European edge with American trend. The song is performed partly in German and features Gaga depicting a sense of empowerment but at the same time vulnerability. It’s another dance number that still manages to establish its own uniqueness while staying true to its pop roots. “Bloody Mary” starts out with Gaga’s beautiful operatic vocals alongside a dramatic choir, which resounds throughout the entire song. Adding such a dark and in-depth sound creates emphasis on what she’s trying to uncover to listeners, which is partially confined in a foreign language like the previous tracks.
In “Bad Kid”, Gaga once again tells us that we can achieve anything even if we’re considered bad. She makes it clear how much of a rebel she is and she’s proud of it. But no matter how bad she is, she’s still good in someone else’s eyes. I’m not one to make comparisons when doing reviews but this album screams Madonna from the 80’s. Sorry Gaga but I’m not really feeling this song either. “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)” sounds like a mashup between ten different songs but I like it for its noisiness. Throughout the insanity created by the hard-hitting percussion, banging electropop beat and industrial elements, you can hear Gaga’s powerful voice echoing in the song. The track is about searching for true love and the trials you face while on that journey. The singer also makes reference to some of her favorite things in the lyrics, like the unicorn tattoo that she has. It’s not a bad song and one of the better ones on the album.
“Heavy Metal Lover” is drenched in heavy synths and vocal effects. It’s as scary as Gaga’s album cover. The song is somewhat perfect for clubs, providing hypnosis for party goers. While it says “Heavy Metal” in the title the track doesn’t really give me that vibe. This misleading track is more on the house/trance side. “Electric Chapel” on the other hand sounds more on the rocky side as soon as the song opens up with a chugging guitar. However, Gaga continues to play on religious themes displayed in “Marry the Night” and “Judas”. She definitely has an attraction to religion no other artist will touch on.
The rock vibe is even carried off in “You and I”. This is a love track which was produced by Shania Twain’s ex-husband and mastermind behind majority of her hit records, Mutt Lange. The song is has the slowest tempo on the album and it is my favorite. “You and I” is about the passion between lovers who were once separated but have now reunited. The lyrics are rather emotional and Gaga makes me believe in the song with her heartfelt vocals.
“The Edge of Glory” concludes the album and is apparently about your last moment on earth. Gaga recently said that the song is inspired by her Grandfather who passed away, and is about waiting for a moment of truth. Regardless of the inspiration behind it, the song sounds more like a party theme about living on the wild side. So is she saying we should continue to party, be rebellious and live carefree, or to wait for something big to happen in a single moment? Anyways, it’s an ok song and I like the lyrics nonetheless.
Lady Gaga sure knows how to push buttons and stun anyone who dares to listen to her music. Her third album “Born This Way” seems heavily influenced by the 80’s and that is often heard in the songs. I find nothing wrong in taking inspiration from music of the past, however the songs were if not always sounding too similar to others. I give “Born This Way” a rating of 3.8/5 because it did not interest me as much as I’d hoped.
Track listing:01. Marry the night 02. Born this way 03. Government hooker 04. Judas 05. Americano 06. Hair 07. Scheibe 08. Bloody Mary 09. Bad kids 10. Highway unicorn (road to love) 11. Heavy metal lover 12. Electric chapel 13. You and I 14. The edge of glory
(Images courtesy of Amazon.com)