The Bottom Line
It is a rare thing to feel that a recording artist has delivered the record that is exactly what they intended as both a pure artistic statement and a commercial bullseye. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" is that type of record. As soon as the hi-hat and thumping bass kick in, there is no doubt the song is a new smash hit. At first you are excused if you think this sounds like a disco retread, but it doesn't take long before you realize the disco is just a means to Gaga's end of creating one of the ultimate pop anthems of all time. It is an exciting time to be a pop music fan, and Lady Gaga is the #1 reason why.
- Joyous empowerment carried on a wave of insanely catchy disco
- Anthemic lyrics that work...perfectly
- Vocals that are strong and clear
- Written by Stefani Germanotta
- Produced by Lady Gaga, Fernando Garibay, and DJ White Shadow
- Released February 2011 by Interscope
Guide Review - Lady Gaga - "Born This Way"
Musically, there would be no "Born This Way" without Madonna's "Express Yourself" and "Vogue." However, Lady Gaga embodies Sir Isaac Newton's classic statement, "If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants," like no other pop artist. Her further vision sweeps across the listener with the audacity of a gale force wind. This is no copy or retread. It is Lady Gaga's music brought to the next obvious level, and she knows how to take us with her in a full hands in the air party frenzy.
"Born This Way" kicks off with Lady Gaga issuing a direct call to her "little monsters" to hit the dance floor with their "paws up." Then she instantly creates a sense of timelessness invoking memories of being taught empowerment as a little girl. It's not long and we are swept into full glitter ball disco. "Born This Way" is filled with bumper sticker worthy slogans that do not feel kitschy or trite. "I'm beautiful in my way, 'cause God makes no mistakes." "Don't be a drag, just be a queen." "I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way!" It won't be long before these statements are swept into mainstream pop culture.
There are those already who have issued complaints about the lyrics of "Born This Way." Use of the terms "chola" and "orient" have offended activist organizations. In a defense of Lady Gaga and the overall structure of the song, if life were a musical, "Born This Way" would be one of the moments a key character gets swept into a celebration on the dance floor making powerful pronouncements in a language that is the character's own. Some of the language may be a bit clumsy, but there is absolutely no mistaking the point being made. To focus on criticism of specific words is clearly dispensing with the forest for a fixation on a single branch on a tree.
There is no question "Born This Way" will be a #1 pop hit. It will most likely do that around the world and smash some sales and radio airplay records at the same time. I doubt that Lady Gaga herself wants us to focus much time on analyzing her latest efforts. Instead, she would prefer we hit the dance floor with the multitudes and celebrate the ways in which we were all "Born This Way." Excuse me while I go throw my hands in the air.