After what seems like decades of endless hype leading up to this album, Lady Gaga finally released “Born This Way“. I was admittedly pretty nervous before listening to it — the singles released so far have seemed all over the place genre-wise, and the more Gaga talked about the various themes, the weirder it sounded. Thankfully, despite all her talk about the political and religious meanings behind her songs, Gaga really just makes excellent pop music that seems to be purely about relationships and accepting yourself.
While I don’t think it could ever live up to its epic expections, “Born This Way” is cohesive and surprisingly inspirational, rife with thumping club beats, catchy choruses, and 80′s style power pop. There are, of course, low points throughout the album and bits of completely ridiculous lyrics — I’ll never get over the use of the phrase “ear condom” in “Judas” — which you’d think could have been fixed in the years she’s been working on this album, but I’m willing to forgive. At times, it’s as if Gaga put too much work into the album. Some songs, like “You and I,” seem particularly overcooked, as if she had too much time to add additional features and production; the suped-up, Mutt Lange produced album version of “You and I” loses something when compared to the original, stripped down version (see a great performance of it here). There’s certainly no doubt that Gaga had her hands on every inch of this album — the lyrics, themes, and style seem genuinely personal and unique.
The bottom line is that almost every song makes you want to dance, and as much as I’m fascinated by her crazy outfits and burgeoning messiah complex, that’s really all I’m looking for…