TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW: “BORN THIS WAY” LADY GAGA

One of the year’s most anticipated albums has arrived! Lady GaGa‘s Born This Way album has finally hit shelves with massive promotion with traditional media methods (like TV commercials, album signings, TV performances and interviews, posters…which actually may not be very traditional for music anymore) and new methods like some pre-release singles and revealing lots of details via her Twitter account. I eventually stopped listening to the early singles because I was getting fed up but I’ve finally listened and gave my initial thoughts track by track. Check it out!

1. Marry The Night: Really strong start! This song is so much fun and has an emotional feeling to it. The instrumental is a little too much like Born This Way or even a song like Britney Spears‘ “Hold It Against Me,” but ultimately I really like it and wanted to play it again. (Listen)

2. Born This Way: Well its the single we all know and love. Well, maybe you don’t but I still respect this track for what it is–an actual anthem that undoubtedly stands for a message. Paying more attention to the track, it’s instrumentation is a little more interesting than I originally gave it credit for and I’m liking more than ever. (Music Video)

3. Government Hooker: While I remember hearing a snippet of this song from a fashion show GaGa walked in hearing it in full makes it THAT much better! I’m loving this one and its 90’s influences. Also the “hoooook-kah-ah-er” scream is actually an integral part of the song, I would have never thought! It’s genius! (Listen)

4. Judas: Ah and the single we all love to hate. Well the stranger Bad Romance Part II is still not very enjoyable but again, I can appreciate the instrumentation and production. It’s still fun to be weird to this song. Eh. (Music Video)

5. Americano: Now who would have thought a pop star would have put a song like this on her album? I’m feeling the flamenco and Eastern European influences in this song!! I love the combination of different cultural sounds as well as the bilingual lyrics. It’s quite sexy and dark, though you wouldn’t necessarily think it from the sounds and instead just think you were stuck at some Romanian Bar Mitzvah in 1934…but instead its one of the most interesting tracks a pop star has created in recent memory. (Listen)

6. Hair: Well my first thought was “Another saxophone? Lovely!!” This song is cute. I mean it sort of sounds like GaGa just wanted a cute anthemic song that she probably recorded at the beginning of the sessions for this album and thought it was brilliant, the label loved it because its so catchy…but mostly it falls short. Also, I think if you’re letting your hair define you I think that’s a little hypocritical when it comes to the whole love yourself and be who you are message. Like I said, cute but falls short. (Listen)

7. Scheiße: Well a song that starts off with a German monotone speech has got to be good right? Well, I’m on the fence about this one. It’s mostly about female empowerment. Her vocals are sounding great and I’m loving her growls. It’s a cool idea but not the best. (Listen)

8. Blood Mary: This oozing bassline is so cool! And then her calm and laid back vocal approach to the song is very, very cool. There’s almost a Gregorian chant feel to this…but its mixed with pop music?! She almost sounds like she’s screaming for help at the end but all in a very controlled manner, it’s almost haunting. When GaGa said “Born This Way” was the marijuana of the album and the other tracks were like heroin…this is definitely one of them. Very unique, very good. (Listen)

9. Black Jesus – Amen Fashion: Starting with “Jesus is the new black” is interesting…I can’t decide if its too played out though. Can’t you just see her selling shirts with that phrases? Regardless this another song that mixes different elements together in a very cool way. Runway music + Jesus Christ Superstar is the perfect way to describe this song. It’s monotone approach works very well and I’m a little sad its just a bonus track because I love it! So dramatic! (Listen)

10. Bad Kids: I was listening to this album while doing other work and before even checking the title I knew what song this was just from its title. I like the idea and I like the lines about divorced parents and not finding work since these are lesser known struggles kids deal with, but still very real. It sounds too much like “Hair” in that I think these were one of the earlier songs recorded. It’s fine but falls short. (Listen)

11. Fashion Of His Love: Wow literally sounds like an updated version of 80’s pop! It’s like the adolescent souls of Madonna, Paula Abdul, and Debbie Gibson all got together in GaGa for this song. I’m actually getting Whitney Houston “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” vibes from this song which is a little sad because its once again showing how she gets a little too influenced by songs (i.e. “Born This Way” and Madonna’s “Express Yourself”) but it’s very fun. Good as a bonus track. (Listen)

12. Highway Unicorn (Road To Love): Well she’s definitely taking home the trophy for most interesting song titles! This song is absolutely massive and the chorus elevates it to another level. While this song isn’t too much of a departure from the other sounds of the album it still definitely holds its own to trick make us think of it as a strong track all on its own. (Listen)

13. Heavy Metal Lover: This was an anticipated track when the album initially leaked, this song’s title started trending on Twitter because so many people loved it. This opening line probably helped: “I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south.” Love it! Also the cool, calm styling of the chorus is awesome to hear in a similar style to “Blood Mary.” The second verse is remarkable in GaGa dramatically speaking over her vocals that makes a great combination (key word of this review: COMBINATION!). This song makes me want to sway all over and is reminiscent to my favorite track from The Fame Monster EP “So Happy I Could Die.” It didn’t live up to the insane hype every keeps giving it, but I do really really like it. (Listen)

14. Electric Chapel: (Another great title) It’s got really cool production with electric being the key word of the song. GaGa is really nailing these laidback vocal approaches that gives a dark, sexy vibe that truly bringing these songs to a new level. It’s always her vocals but she’s showing so many different styles that it makes me think of her almost in a same vain of Christina Aguilera who is constantly exploring and showing different singing styles. This song is by no means anything Christina-like, but it’s still very good. (Listen)

15. The Queen: Well you gotta hand it to her for knowing her fans. Every girl and gay boy is going to go nuts over this message about being “queens.” And there’s her fanbase! This is one that falls short to the rest of the album and its songs like this (and the others I’ve mentioned) that are keeping this album from being so “defining” as she’s made it out to be. There’s a huge gap between songs like this, “Hair,” and “Bad Kids,” and then “Heavy Metal Lover” or “Bloody Mary.” It’s enjoyable but nowhere near as good as others. It’s got a fun guitar break in the middle. (Listen)

16. You and I: A seemingly funky electropop song that turns into a piano ballad that turns into a Queen “We Are The Champions”-esque stadium sized sing-a-long. This song has a classic feel, especially on the chorus. This is actually making me reminisce about my favorite unreleased GaGa track (or possibly favorite track ever by her) “Fever” making me think she really is staying true to herself and she’s finally found the means and power level to do it. She really does sound great on this type of rock and I think this song is truly representative of the 80’s glam rock feel she’s going with on the album cover at least. I really love this one and it’s a special song. I mean I might be more addicted to songs like “Heavy Metal Lover” or “Government Hooker” at first, but its a song like this that will stand the test of time. Good job GaGa! (Listen)

17. Edge Of Glory: And we close the song with another pre-release track. I’m actually a little sad this was released early since I think the final song of the album should be super special. I think “You and I” is a better end song, but this song has more of a modern feel (i.e. it sounds more like “Born This Way”) that they probably wanted to end the album with. Still this song is pretty huge…not as huge as “You and I,” and ending the album with this instead of “You and I” almost makes the ending anticlimactic. Still, you can’t beat the saxophone. Well, yes you can with a trumpet but I’m not being picky at this point. I’ve loved this album and Lady GaGa has won me back as a listener as I literally haven’t listened to her much past when The Fame Monster was released back in early 2010. Great work GaGa. Let’s see how much I continue to support you past this pretty great collection of music. (Listen)

So there it is! All 17 tracks from the deluxe version. What did you think of Born This Way? Please note these are all first listen reviews. I haven’t been listening over and over and analyzing the music particularly deeply, but its all very honest and very much what I think. What are you thoughts? Lets discuss in the comments, I always respond.

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3 Responses to TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW: “BORN THIS WAY” LADY GAGA

  1. Xadax says:

    Very Madonna. Esp. Shiebe “If you’re a stong female, you don’t need permission”

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