Born This Way presents a contemporary take on the iconic cultural movements that have shaped the trends of music and society. The influences that make up this artistic exhibition are a savvy move from an artist who wants us to know that she can hold water. While references to Madonna are plenty, the record channels Depeche Mode, Boney M., Bonnie Tyler and Pat Benatar. Having said that, Born This Way has its own modus operandi. Aside from the Lady Gaga’s visual antics, the music on this album was marketed vehemently. Presenting itself as one of the most highly anticipated follow ups, Lady Gaga conquered the social media world, placating and exciting her fans and the media alike.
Propagaga aside, Born This Way does not disappointment.
“Marry the Night” is a power anthem studded with 80’s fluoresce but much darker than the previously released celebratory “Hair.”
“Americano,” is campy and foreign. Reminiscent of “Alejandro” but only because it almost rhymes, employs a “Rasputin” sensibility to it. Think Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” and her more recent “Spanish Lesson,” only Sovietized with the crack of Gaga’s whip.
“Government Hooker” is the track that commanded Gaga’s inaugural catwalk at the Thierry Mugler Fall/Winter 2011 show. Authoritarian and erotic, this is a great dance number, along with “Heavy Metal Lover” and “Scheiße,” which both hark back to her Fame Monster days.
Irrefutably, Born This Way packs more than a couple of chart topping, body shaking beats, but Gaga’s jeweled moments are when she is limited to her voice and perhaps a simple piano or guitar arrangement. It is in such a setting that her voice really percolates, reminding us of her vocal tenacity. “You and I” gives us a little taste of this and is one of Gaga’s best songs to date.