Lady Gaga’s latest magnum opus hit the airwaves today and the Internet did not collapse, thankfully. But after playing the thing on repeat over the past few hours, I’m a little disappointed. Only a little, though!
“Born This Way” may be the most hyped single in history, ever since Gaga first announced it at the VMAs back in September. The disco-infused number is the lead track from Gaga’s next album, which will reportedly have seventeen songs on it. Also titled BTW, the thing doesn’t drop until May 23rd, 2011. That’s, like, summertime. Gaga obviously announced her album release in advance as a fair warning to any other pop star who was maybe kinda thinking about also releasing an album that month. Don’t do it.
Everybody knows the lyrics to the song since she leaked them out a few weeks ago. “I’m beautiful in my way/ ‘Cause God makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track baby/I was born this way.” The whole thing is about being yourself, loving yourself, no matter what you are: ”No matter gay, straight, or Bi/Lesbian, Transgendered Life.” You’re still cool even if you were born with a set of couture pointy shoulders like Gaga was.
What does the new BTW single sound like? The uplifting, politically daring lyrics aside, which draw on Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” the song is kind of boring. Don’t get me wrong—I like the lyrics, especially the part where she’s all, “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.” And actually I did kind of queen out right there. And honestly I sort of am thinking about putting on my crystal headpiece and working Union Square with the song on full blast. BTW is a celebration of life, point blank, but it’s a boring party. We need some “Ra-Ra-Ra’s” up in there to spice things up.
Overall, BTW is a safe, disco-infused number that doesn’t take a lot of sonic risks. If you were thinking it’d be like “Bad Romance, Part Two,” it’s not. So don’t even think about it. Bad Romance was a career breaking song for Gaga. It was a trailblazing pop gem that blew everybody else’s shit out of the water. Sonically, Bad Romance pushes more boundaries, and it creates dance music out of unusual sounds. That’s why I like Gaga. She really knows how to take dance music, a sound everybody is familiar with, and make it edgy, risky, but still palatable to a broader pop audience. To me, though, BTW is just another song. Nothing exciting about it except the lyrics. Here’s to hoping the other sixteen tracks on Born This Way will be kooky.
But, whatever—she’s still Lady fucking Gaga.