Little Monsters, rejoice! Mother Monster is back with her new album, Born This Way, a wide variety of unique sounds and ideas that is just as good as (or even better than) her previous creation, The Fame Monster.
(However, I would like to say that I am reviewing the standard version. I am an owner of the Expanded Edition, and it has seventeen tracks on disc one and remixes on disc two. I especially encourage the purchase of this version because it includes the track "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion," which is like going to a fashion show, yet at the same time admiring Jesus! The first disc also includes "The Queen" and "Fashion of His Love.")
The album opens with "Marry the Night." Right away, I knew that it was one of the most empowering (yet somehow sad) song any pop star has done. The synthetic chords fit together so spectacularly that it gave me chills, sort of like The Fame Monster's impact, but stronger. All in all, this song is kind of everything. It's happy, it's carefree, but something about it is so much deeper.
Of course, the next track is the lead single from the album, called "Born This Way." The intro is epic, with a narration from Gaga, and it sort leads to a random explosion of sound. I'd like to call this the first ever pop gospel about how everyone is beautiful no matter what because they were "Born This Way." But then the next song is "Government Hooker," and this is where things get weird, even for Gaga. A mystic, operatic beginning leads to an electronic, bass-thumping sound, and obviously the lyrics of this song are quite sexually provocative (I mean come on, it's about being a hooker).
Next up is "Judas," which is one of the bounciest songs on the album with it's pop/electronic synthezisers and Lady Gaga's accented vocalizing that puts Shakira to shame. This is definately a favorite of mine. "Judas" isn't the only culture exploring song though, "Americano" is clearly a Spanish-influenced song, and she speaks much more Spanish in this than in the Spanglish in her last album. ("Hair" follows this song, and it brings more of a positive message about being free.) Also, "Schibe" is spoken in some German, and it's definately the song from Born This Way that will most likely be played in clubs world-wide since it's energy is off the charts.
"Bloody Mary" is track number eight, and it is the darkest Lady Gaga song that the world knows of. It's almost a dark-cabnet type of song, resembling the style of little-known singer/violinist Emilie Autumn. She screams twice, and there are points in the verses where she practically growls. The bridge is epic, with a male choir singing "Ga-ga." Being a fan of creepy music, this is probably my favorite from the album.
"Bad Kids" is something that reminds me of the 80's, in musical content as well as lyrical content. You just don't hear songs like this anymore, where "Bad Kids" are the cause of their parents divorce and are 'punks.' Anymore, being bad is all about smoking something illegal and sex. This song surprised me. "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)" is another empowering track with a fabulous ending, and is completely unlike "Bad Kids" but both songs have less of an electronic vibe. The drums are very potent "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)" and you get some guitar action in "Bad Kids".
Next up on the standard edition is "Heavy Metal Lover," though no metal is included. It's very electronic, in the same sense of "Government Hooker" but the songs don't sound the same. Gaga's voice almost blends with the music, and it's catchy, yet sort of relaxing. It's sort of in league with "Electric Chapel" in the sense that it's relaxing, but the songs are so different in influence, for we're back to the 80's again with "Electric Chapel." The guitars run off and on throughout with an electric flow, and sometimes church bells are heard, making the whole thing sort of eerie in the midst of it's energy.
"You and I" serves Gaga's tradition of putting something kind of old school in her albums, with a blusey piano and almost unsynthesized guitars and drums. It's the love song of the album, the song you belt out in the shower. It kind of shows how Lady Gaga is influenced is influenced by stuff that's totally different than majority of the songs she writes.
The final song is called "The Edge of Glory," and it's happy and sad all at once. It's a chill-inflicting pop song, and so far, Lady Gaga has been the only one to accomplish such a thing. Saxophones are in parts of the song, giving it a pop-jazz-nighttime feel, especially as it fades out, ending the song. Put your paws up for this one, because there's some sort of unexplainable beauty about this song.
Born This Way will not disappoint fans, I can garuntee that. If anything, it'll grant Lady Gaga even more fans (is that even possible?) because of all the different types of sounds compacted into one magnificent album, all put together by one person. Thank you, Gaga!