The Return of Gaga

Love her or hate her, there’s no denying Lady Gaga made a huge splash into the pop world with her debut album The Fame. There’s no argument that the girl has talent, creativity and is wonderfully whacky and she was recently listed on Forbes as the most powerful celebrity, ousting Opera from the position.

I personally love Gaga. She has drive and convictions, she has climbed her way to the top and made us all sing and dance and smile with her. I thought her recent mentoring on American Idol showed how clued up she is on what works on stage. Her first album was uneven though –  of greatness mixed with fillers that had more than a faint undercurrent of Madonna-ness. She followed this with Fame Monster, a mini-album that was braver, darker and crazier (see the into to Bad Romance – weird but brilliant). So I waited with bated breath for her second full album Born This Way and after it arrived on Saturday (thanks Amazon for the early delivery – the official release isn’t until today), I eagerly put it in the stereo to see what she had dreamt up this time.

The stand out song for me is Born This Way, the debut single. An anthem of acceptance – accepting and loving yourself and others, tolerance and a reminder that we should be proud of who we are. The message is faultless and Gaga plays it with a stomping dance song. Yes, we know there’s a hint of Madonna’s Express Yourself there but both songs are utterly fab so I’m not going to complain.

Another highlight is Government Hooker, with a opera-like opening and a strong bass line. The song is deep and dirty, unmistakably Gaga. The singles Judas, Hair and The Edge of Glory are a triple threat – brilliant sing along, dance songs. Bloody Mary is slower tempo song with religious elements musically and lyrically, and some good string intros. Electric Chapel has a great guitar sound alongside throbbing beats. You and I is the real ballad of the album and I love the passion and emotion Gaga displays here, seems to be the most honest moment and should be a future single.

Low points? Well, there are some weird bits. Americano is a bizarre Mexican sounding sing, a bit like a bull fighting anthem and Scheibe appears to be an ode to speaking German. Highway Unicorn and Heavy Metal Lover kind of blend into one. The Born this Way remix that closes the standard issue album is pointless and should have been left off the album in my opinion.

Overall, Born this Way is a vast improvement on The Fame and is more consistently good than the Monster mini album. The album is slightly more experimental with some interesting intros and elements of religion, opera, world music and rock. Gaga makes sure she runs the show – co-writing and producing all the songs and plating some of the instruments. This lady is musically talent there’s no doubt here. I’d like to see her collaborate with some other artists but she may go down the Madonna route and just do her own thing, we will have to wait and see.

So what about Gaga’s mark on the music world? Well, if she continues to push her music further and allows herself to widen her range a bit more she could certainly be this generation’s Michael Jackson or Madonna. She’s got the kookiness and the talent and the attitude and the fans. So her little monsters can be happy, she has avoided the sophomore slump and produced a great quality pop/dance album we can all enjoy.

Gaga – I’m still a fan. 4 / 5 stars!




31 thoughts on “The Return of Gaga”

  1. The phenomenon of Gaga (one of many, of course) is that she is one of the most famous people in the entertainment world at the moment yet she probably is not that recognised on the street.
    She covers her face with all the make up, she puts wigs and costumes on, and I think if she’s on the street without all that many wouldn’t even recognise her.

  2. I mistakenly saw that as “.4/5” initially and thought, “Wow, that’s a very precise rating on a 5-point system!” Obviously I then read the words and targeted the source of the problem. :p

    I’ve only heard Born This Way and Judas. I like Born This Way (perhaps a little less after hearing it what felt like 100 times yesterday!), but Judas really does not do it for me. I switch stations as soon as I hear it’s on.

    I’ll have to give some of the other songs a listen!

  3. I love GAGA! I’ve been a Madonna fan since I was a baby (I actually used to tell people Madonna was my middle name when I was 4, lol!) I def hear her influence on Gaga. She’s so strong & her whole “screw you if you don’t like me, I’m going to be myself anyway” vibe is so empowering.

  4. I love The Fame and The Fame Monster, but I have mixed feelings about Born this Way. The only song from it that I really like is “Judas” – I suppose the others have to grow on me.

  5. Ya know, I don’t love or hate her really. I find her interviews somewhat amusing, and I am OK with some of her songs. She’s a bit of a kook, I am not sure if she is one or just doing it for attention, could be both. I think she’s good at what she does, and her persona is very big, she seems like a nice enough gal. I think her persona is bigger than her music. See how I rambled on about it.

  6. Thanks for the review! I like Gaga’s music for the most part though I’m though not exactly a fan of her personal beliefs all the way… I do like how she stands up for being herself though and she certainly knows what shes doing to get so popular! 🙂

  7. Lady Gaga’s probably not one of my favourites but then it’s more club music where as I’m more of a Jason Mraz type person…
    However, the way she has sold herself it pretty remarkable and her whole package works as far as I’m concerned.
    I admire her.
    I might have to have a listen to her album after reading your review ( am sure no1 daughter will have it )

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