Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nail on Head

Yesterday Lady Gaga's new album Born This Way dropped. You may recall that last year I wrote a fairly gushing piece on the Lady, praising the mystique she's created surrounding herself and the general catchiness of her music.

Now, I haven't had a chance to listen to the whole album yet, though I've heard about half of it through various outlets, but I have to say, I think Lady Gaga is beginning to lose her bite.

Eagerly awaiting AMG's review of the album (which I am certain will be penned by Stephen Thomas Erlewine) I couldn't help notice that Mr. Erlewine has already penned a blog entry on the album. Folks, this guy has hit the nail on it's head.

He writes: "Gaga has taken it upon herself to filter out whatever personal details remain in her songs so she can write anthems for her Little Monsters, that ragtag group of queers, misfits, outcasts, and rough kids who she calls her own... Whatever performance art shock Gaga had on The Fame/The Fame Monster has turned into pure theater. Her drama club ambition to marry rock & roll rebellion with her disco beats turns Born This Way into Like a Prayer by way of Bat Out of Hell... Gaga has chosen not to dig under the skin. She’s quite content to state her themes then let them be...All well and good, and all very entertaining, but this is an album that’s meant to be more: it’s intended to be a soundtrack to a way of life, but it winds up playing as a collection of songs."

And that is pretty much EXACTLY the way I feel about what I've heard so far. Before, Gaga's music sounded effortless, but when I hear one of her new songs like the titular Born This Way, it just sounds so deliberate. The reviewer at Sputnik Music hits that nail again, driving it all the way in (think Karate Kid with the one-two hit) when he writes "Born This Way is one giant anthem, but songs written specifically to be anthems can never actually be anthems, no matter how infectious they are."



Little Earl said...

Making good music is hard.

Herr Zrbo said...

I suppose it is, though I suppose I expected that Gaga still had more to say, and more ways of saying it.

Looks like Erlewine's blog entry has now become the review. Shame, I was hoping that he'd address specific songs.

Herr Zrbo said...

Also, if you haven't yet seen it, I highly recommend watching the full video for Born This Way. It's just so delightfully absurd in a way that only she can pull off:

Born This Way

Little Earl said...

I just watched the video. I think I like it? Why is she riding a unicorn? Why is the music from Vertigo playing? What in the name of Skeletor is going on?

I might even enjoy the song itself, which seems to use the same old "Hey Jude"/"Sympathy For The Devil" chord progression, but to not completely terrible effect.

Tell you what I'm going to do: I'm going to sit on this one for a while.