Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga is a musical force to be reckoned with, and Born This Way continues her streak of musically creative and innovative albums. It is definitely my pick for the best album of 2011 so far, but I am definitely biased. I love Lady Gaga, and Born This Way was addictive from the first listen. Being a child of the 80s, I instantly identified with her 80s-synthesized-techno beats.
This review is for the deluxe version of this album, which includes three additional songs and five remixes. The three additional songs, “Black Jesus + Amen Fashion,” “Fashion Of His Love,” and “The Queen” are worth the extra $3. The remixes, however, are disappointing.
“Born This Way” was the first single she released for this album, and along with an infectious beat, it has an important message. We are all beautiful as we are no matter what our gender, sexuality, or ethnicity. There was some controversy surrounding this song. Critics claimed this song was very similar to “Express Yourself” by Madonna. I love Madonna. I grew up listening to Madonna, and I never thought for one second that these songs sounded similar. Now I have no doubt that Lady Gaga has been greatly influenced by Madonna. But what pop singer, especially one as avant-garde as Lady Gaga, could escape the influence of the Queen of Pop?
“Judas” was her leaked and unintentional second single, and if you don’t find it getting stuck in your head, then you are luckier than I am. There was some controversy surrounding this song as well, but if you really listen to the words, you realize that she’s talking about two sides of herself, one good (Jesus) and one bad (Judas): “Jesus is my virtue, and Judas is the demon I cling to.” She is not being blasphemous in any way, she is simply using religious imagery in her song. In fact, Lady Gaga’s album weaves a tapestry of religious themes throughout with songs like “Bloody Mary” and “Black Jesus + Amen Fashion.”
“Edge of Glory” was her third single, and one of my favorite songs from her album. Clarence Clemons on the saxophone lends the song its unmistakable 80s-themed nostalgic flair. Right before I wrote this Clarence Clemons died, and I just wanted to say that music lost a great man when he passed.
I honestly like every song on this album, and that is hard to say about most artists these days. Most artists just strive to put out the big singles, and albums seem like an afterthought. But Lady Gaga puts out albums that you want to listen to over and over again all the way through. From the first song, “Marry The Night” until the last “The Edge Of Glory,” you will dance, sing, pump your fists, and rejoice that Madonna finally has a pop singer worthy enough to fill her formidable shoes.