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born this way

May 26, 2011

I’ll admit it, I’m a Lady Gaga fan. I mean, what’s not to like? I like her style, her outspokenness and the fact that she uses her fame to promote things like gay rights and support working-class issues. (And I really love the fact that Slavoj Zizek analyzes her theoretical contributions to cultural theory, as well as her “actual theoretical project.”) I’m not quite ‘monster’ status or anything, but I definitely like to dance around the house to “Bad Romance” once in a while. Her music is one of my guilty pleasures.

So it was lucky for me that my girlfriend decided to sign up for Amazon’s Cloud Drive the day Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, was released, meaning that I got the entire album for only $0.99 via Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day. Quite possibly the best dollar she’s ever spent. I love it. And I think it’s funny that the main thing people seem to be criticizing about it — i.e., its late ’80s/early ’90s sound, replete with a generous helping of pulsating dance beats throughout — is precisely what I love about it. There’s no accounting for taste, I suppose.

Overall, I think it’s a great album, and you can really hear the wide range of influences in her music, from disco and glam, to ’80s synth-pop and techno. And of course there’s Madonna. For example, I noticed (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) that the title track, “Born This Way,” sounds an awful lot like Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” I know that Lady Gaga often downplays Madonna’s influence on her music for the simple fact that everyone inevitably makes that comparison, but it’s pretty obvious here. Compare:

vs.

It could be a tribute to Madonna, since they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I half wonder if Lady Gaga is trolling critics who accuse her of being completely unoriginal and simply ripping off Madonna by making “Born This Way” sound just like “Express Yourself.” Personally, I don’t really care if it’s simply a coincidence or intentional that they sound alike because I like the song regardless; but I think it’d be cool if she made them sound similar intentionally, whether as a tribute or a troll, but especially the latter, mainly because I like to think of it as a musical middle finger to her critics. If so, it’s a pretty awesome troll; but even if it’s not, I’ll still give Lady Gaga props for putting out a damn good album.

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One Comment
  1. Looks like Lady Gaga's new album is only 99 cents again on Amazon today: http://amzn.to/k5N4Xj Well worth the dollar, in my opinion. Buy it.

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