Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Release date: May 23, 2011
- Marry the Night [MV]
- Born this Way [MV][Country Version]
- Government Hooker
- Judas [MV]
- Bloody Mary
- Bad Kids
- Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)
- Heavy Metal Lover
- Electric Chapel
- Yoü and I [MV]
- Edge of Glory [MV]
Every modern pop star has some type of niche in the market. Bubblegum pop falls in the hands of Katy Perry, while Ke$ha makes no qualms about being the pinnacle of bratty, alcohol-induced teen culture. In contrast, Robyn has made a tremendous comeback as European robo-pop with soul, while femme fatale Britney Spears is more robotic than ever before. Beyonce commands the urban market, while Rihanna is a lighter, beachier, pop crossover.
Lady Gaga is the black sheep of them all – her material is catchy enough to make it on an audio level, but her videos and overall fashion icon image is too esoteric (read: ‘artsy’) to be fully understood. But it seems Gaga does have people who get it. Out of all the pop stars, she arguably has the strongest hold on the LGBT community worldwide, second only to Madonna, who peaked years ago.
So when Born This Way came out, it wasn’t a huge surprise that it sold over a million copies worldwide in its first week. Gaga’s got the gays on her side – she knew not to underestimate the power of a little rainbow.
Being her second full-length album, the sophomore slump was a concern. She skirted it for a few years with The Fame Monster EP, giving her enough material to conquer the world through tours, interviews and mind-boggling costumes at photoshoots and award shows. But Born This Way is nothing but a rollicking electro glam-rock triumph: unicorns, scene hair, and a shitload of religious imagery are the only ways for a Gaga record to be.
Longtime collaborator Fernando Garibay elevates himself from the cheesy pop flooding the mainstream, with opener Marry The Night, setting a melancholic church vibe, before exploding into a disco rave extravaganza. Born This Way and Judas are familiar to most at this point, but in context with the rest of the electro-noise of the record, they’re some great audio chapters. European electronica seems to be an underlying theme: Bloody Mary is gothic-grunge with epic Gregorian vocals, while Government Hooker is acid runway chic, something only a presumptuous European fashion snob will truly understand. Gaga can’t speak German, but she spits some on the nasty grind of Schiße, while she practices her Latina accent on Americano. Gaga’s got some glam rock pipes, and she really belts it out on every single song.
Born This Way seems to be specifically written for the down-trodden, and the LGBT community has always been the underdog within social context. Triumphantly, she smashes down all doubts of a sophomore slump, solidifying her position in the current pop music scene. She’s the strongest personality out there right now, and now that she’s got a hold of the gays (providing them with a strong set of anthems), there’s not much else to bring her down.
by Jay de Belen