tue 25/06/2019

CD: Lady Gaga - Born This Way | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

CD: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Relentless but contagious, the new queen of pop stays on top

Lady Gaga: Bringing gay club hard house bangers to the global pop party

Why gripe about Lady Gaga? The biggest pop star on the planet is a surrealist fashion icon, fag hag hedonist, high school outsider, art pusher, sex kitten, New York hustler, tween-pop cartoon, and a whole lot more besides. What's not to like? Gaga combines freakhood with selling 68 million singles, 22 million albums, 31 million "like"s on Facebook, numero uno on Twitter and on and on. She is surely a far more exciting public figure than most of her competition put together?

And so to the music. The new album doesn't pause for chirpy prepubescent summer romance like its predecessor; indeed, the only slow number is "You and I", an appalling power ballad in the vein of Guns N' Roses' "November Rain". The rest fairly pelts along on jackhammer four/four beats revved with hard house pump, and emanating contagious pop energy and the tiniest tint of the Scissor Sisters. "Judas" is a corking banger but the singles aren't the juiciest things here. Stinging wannabe club anthems such as "Scheiße" or "Heavy Metal Lover" (with its naughty line, "I want your whisky mouth all over my blonde south") are matched by "Americano", a Liza Minnelli-esque showtune gone all steroid Boney M, or the android funk of "Bloody Mary", guilty pleasures all.

The way Gaga suddenly swaps her sleazy snarling low voice for candied choruses that sound like REO Speedwagon is unnerving, and some listeners may find the line "Sometimes I want some racoon or red highlights/ Just because I want my friends to think I'm dynamite" from "Hair" not so much self-empowering as plain naff. These are irrelevent grown-up quibbles, though. It would be a foolish exercise earnestly comparing Born This Way to, say, the latest album from Kate Bush. Whether you're one of Gaga's "Little Monsters" or someone who hears this relentless, noisy pop-dance explosion on the radio, there's something stupidly grin-inducing and air-punchingly enjoyable about most of it.

Watch the video for "Born This Way"

The way Gaga suddenly swaps her sleazy snarling low voice for candied choruses that sound like REO Speedwagon is unnerving

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