Review’d: Lady Gaga – Born This Way

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Article first published as Music Review: Lady Gaga – Born This Way on Blogcritics.

Lady Gaga has released her second album, Born This Way and it’s a roller coaster of emotions. She sings for the underdogs, takes you clubbing and teaches you life lessons all while giving the her little monsters a little pop, rock and alternative music that is so very 80’s. Lady Gaga touches on all her favorite topics: men, religion, sex and politics.

Lady Gaga begins her album with “Marry The Night,” an ode to NYC, which is her stomping ground. Eerie church bells mixed with a touch of piano add to a cool upbeat tempo that will have you singing along, to “Ma-Ma-Ma-Marry The Night.” It could be her next single with its poppy sound. “Bad Kids” is also a club song. It’s for the fans, all those people who don’t get a chance, “don’t be insecure, if your heart is pure” she sings.

Unless you live under a rock or don’t have a radio and haven’t heard Lady Gaga’s first single, “Born This Way” is an anthem for loving yourself with a pumping beat (almost makes me want to fist pump, but I won’t). Lady Gaga has mixed pop with an edgy rock style. “Judas” gives us a rock sound that Lady Gaga has been leaning towards lately, but the song softens into another dance mix. Although “Judas” has a religious theme it can apply to anything in life, sometimes you should do the good thing, but end up doing the bad thing that you shouldn’t be doing. It’s a life lesson!

“Americano” sounds like a political song about gay marriage. Lady Gaga dips into her bag of tricks and pulls out some Spanish lyrics for us and she gives the song some flavor with a mariachi band. “Hair” was one of the last songs Lady Gaga tried to push out before her album came out. This track is about freedom, just like her hair. It’s about living like hair and changing up her life and hair to feel cool and belong.

“Government Hooker” is a bit offbeat. It feels like it doesn’t really belong on an otherwise cohesive album. It does nothing for the album. “Highway Unicorn” almost sounds like a Britney Spears song at the beginning. It has the feeling of the album with its pop sound on the chorus, but the rest is just too mix and match for me!

“Scheibe” starts off with Lady Gaga talking in German, but enters into a dance/electronic song. “Bloody Mary” actually has a very 80s sound. When Lady Gaga scowls it adds such a creepy dark element to the song. The song also has a religious theme.

“Heavy Metal Lover” is what I would call soft core metal, unlike what the title says. And yet “Electric Chapel” starts off more heavy metal, with those gong church bells Lady Gaga likes so much!

Lady Gaga ends the album with two love songs one for her boyfriend (now her ex, Luc Carl or “Nebraska” as she calls him) and her grandfather. In the love song “You and I,” she asks her old love to come back in a country style song. You can hear a vulnerability in Lady Gaga that you don’t hear much in all her underdog anthems, plus she uses her singing pipes in this song. She left behind some of the synthesizers she has in other songs.

Finally, “The Edge of Glory” is a song for Lady Gaga’s grandfather who passed away recently. The theme is about love with a significant other, even though it’s for her grandfather. There is a sax solo from saxophonist Clarence Clemons on the track.

Lady Gaga has some outrageous moments from wearing a meat dress to showing up to the Grammy’s in a “vessel” aka her egg, but the music still stands. She is relatable and not as extreme as you would expect. She pulls from legends like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and even a little Whitney. Overall an upbeat album with cool rock songs that only Lady Gaga could pull off!

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