Ok! That new Lady Gaga album – it is time to talk about it. Sorry I haven’t posted it yet, but, I am slow and terrible at actually doing things. Its Gaga, though, so outdated or not, we have to talk about it.
Without question, my two favorite moments of the whole album are in “Scheiße”. Number one is, obviously the “I don’t speak German but I can if you like AAAAOOOOOOOH” opener, which is just hilsarious, and, man, Gaga, that is a PERFECT Prince scream. The other one is well, the chorus, specifically the way her voice gallops up and down on “I wish I could be strong without someBODY there.”
“Schiesse” is fantastic, I think we can all agree. And, after lots of thoughts and lots of listens, I think I actaully like “Judas.” It is very catchy, and so is “Born This Way,” which retains its sense of, like, “This is the big important Gaga single LOOK OUT” no matter how many times I listen to it as part of the album.
“Government Hooker” is possibly the album-trackiest album track that I have ever heard. Its catchy, but its not actually that good. It’s really repetitive, and it has dumbly provocative lyrics for the New York Times to quote out of context as part of their feature on the sexuality and boundary-breaking of the album, that are, conveniently, part of spoken-word interludes – “I’ll make you squeal baby, as long as you pay me!”
There is a lot of Catholic talk, which, ok, thanks for that revelation, Shira. There’s “Judas,” of course, but also “Bloody Mary”s long, sort of complicated references to the Bible but actually maybe Renaissance art, and the incredibly ill-thought out “Black Jesus – Amen Fashion” which, come on, that is a terrible song title, and its a mediocore song that will only be remembered as the one that goes “Jesus is the new black” over and over, and come on.
The rest of the religion references are kind of fun though, in a profoundly unserious way. Plus, Gaga, if you are trying to distance yourself from all the Madonna comparisons (…are you? You should be, right?), more Catholic imagery is not the way to go. Let’s get back to more “my religion is you” moments.
Was this digression into religious references just one long reason to post the insane video for “Teeth” again? Yes.
Well, now we’re all really depressed. That song is so good, especially compared to like, “Fashion of his Love” or whatever (is that a religious reference to? Is it Jesus’s love??). I have consciously avoided making any references to “Bad Romance” in here, because that is hardly fair, but, alas, even the non-single c-sides off of the first album are way better than these. Poo.
If we take it as true that the world, or at least the entertainment world, is Los Angeles versus New York City (and we will take this as true, because I say so), its kind of amazing how much “Born This Way” is the opposite of the “The Fame (Monster.” I mean, even the name – if you were going to write an album about LA, you would call it “The Fame,” right? That whole album was about getting famous, being famous, holding on to it as much as possible. I mean, let’s just look at song titles: Paparazzi, Money Honey, Starstruck, The Fame, Boys Boys Boys, Paper Gangsta, Summerboy…And “Born This Way” is such a rejection of all that. It’s incredibly New York City heavy, just based on lyrical mentions alone. She has Clarence Clemson, for god’s sake – how much more East Coast can you get? “Marry The Night,” which I also like, actually, is basically one more pean to drinking a lot and hanging out with your friends in New York City and being in the grubbiness and the dark, and could it be about anywhere other than New York City? I guess all that fame wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, and now here we are where things darker (and gayer) and there are all these freaking theater kids, Berlin and the “avant garde” and Europe and “I hold my whiskey up high kiss the bartender twice I’m a loser.” Beautiful, dirty, but not rich.
Maybe it comes from being Glee-ified, for lack of a better word. This album is all about being a misfit, a loser, blah blah whatever. But you’re on the right track baby you were born that way! It’s empowerment pop, and its boring. I’ve talked before about how Gaga seems to be sort of, retreating, if that’s the right world, into her own little world, wherein she is a spokesman for the downtrodden, Mother Monster, a messiah to the little freaks. Which is not to begrudge her a following, or say that she hasn’t made some sort of impact for people who need her, or anything like that. It’s just that, and this is the Glee problem (well, one of them, but I stopped watching after season 1 so who knows), constantly talking about yourself as an empowering spokesperson, and reminding the downtrodden of their downtroddenness and how beautiful they are and how we can all be stars – well, it just doesn’t make for very good television.
And yet, “I just want to be free, I just want to be me, and I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties” is just so money. Party in the USA, indeed.