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Lady Gaga- Born This Way (Album Review)

May 21, 2011


Within the last three years, Lady Gaga hijacked pop music and exploded into one of its biggest icons. Some say that she has even surpassed pop diva Beyonce, in just a fraction of the time it took Miss Knowles to build her career. She is an artist that many indie music fans want to like, but they aren’t as gullible as the masses who easily buy into 21st century Madonna-theatrics regurgitated. A main criticism of the 25 year old singer is that her music doesn’t match her image. While she strives to be avant-garde and cutting-edge with her fashion, she fails to reflect the same innovation in her songs.

The Fame had some of the catchiest singles in years, but the bulk of the album was composed of lazy cheesy electronic-driven pop songs. The Fame Monster was an improvement, but it felt as if she wasn’t creating to her full potential. Born This Way isn’t as astounding as it could have been, but it is a step forward into a direction that will actually earn Gaga her icon status. Present are the lazy pop anthems, such as the title track “Born This Way” and “Hair.” After the release of the first two singles, many on-the-fence fans were unsure whether Gaga was worth their time and attention. But she slightly redeems herself with the more intriguing songs scattered throughout the album.

“Government Hooker” features production that is just as attention-grabbing as its subject matter. “Judas” comes off as a half-assed “Bad Romance” parody, and only gets interesting with the arrival of a brief bridge. “Scheiße” is a more progressive step for Lady Gaga’s often bland batch of dance-pop. “Bloody Mary” and “Heavy Metal Lover” are also strong songs on the album, proving that Gaga is capable of pushing herself creatively. But even with a handful of slightly more progressive songs, Born This Way reveals that Lady Gaga’s songwriting talent has its limitations. She is talented and has a great amount of potential, but she simply isn’t pushing herself hard enough as an artist, and it shows. “You and I” is suppose to be the album’s epic sing-along, but comes off as a good Shania Twain karaoke performance instead.

It can even be argued that Lady Gaga is trying too hard to distinguish herself from other pop divas by passing off an eccentric identity, but her idiosyncrasies come off as inauthentic on record. Even Born This Way’s best song doesn’t hold a candle to Grace Jones, Yoko Ono, or Bjork’s output; these three women knew no boundaries with their creativity. Gaga’s weird is the equivalent to non-prescription black rimmed glasses worn for fashion purposes. The important messages that she tries to convey in her songs are buried in superfluous noises and faux-controversy (the Judas analogy for example seemed unnecessary). It’s not that alternative music fans hate Lady Gaga; many of us want to like her. But unlike mainstream music fans, we can tell the difference between authenticity and inauthenticity, and we simply aren’t buying the gimmick anymore.

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