Although most people don’t dispute Lady Gaga‘s dominance of the pop world, the Born This Way songstress has some stiff competition, such as Beyonce and Britney Spears (kinda). But with Lady Gaga’s latest release, Born This Way (download here), she has raised the bar and the ball is now in the musical court of her rivals.
From the beginning strains of album opener “Marry the Night,” to the final horn blasts of closer “The Edge of Glory”, Gaga’s attitude of defiance and diversity is evident, and she clearly sets herself apart from peers. Born This Way displays a variety of different musical feels, although hardcore Little Monsters have essentially heard them all before.
While uptempo, synth-heavy club-bangers such as “Born This Way”, “Judas”, and “Electric Chapel” sound a lot like what you’d normally hear on the radio, Lady Gaga does offer a little variety through her (by now familiar) exploratory lyrical themes, delving into sexuality, religion and pretty much everything else that is commonly avoided in pop music because it would piss off too many people.
Of course, some of the best moments on Born This Way are those at which Lady Gaga truly sets herself apart from the average pop diva, as on “You and I” and “The Edge of Glory”, which show Gaga’s ability to produce emotional ballads that aren’t just hook-heavy pop tracks. Still, the originality and quality of these tracks tend to be overshadowed by the heavy studio effects in use; hearing “You and I” live with Lady Gaga on the piano rather than in the studio is a much better experience.
At a time when most pop music disappears a few weeks after it’s made in order to make room for the next single, Lady Gaga’s work with Born This Way seems likely to stick around. Born This Way is relatively strong throughout, with less downtime than the average pop album, and furthers the idea that Lady Gaga is on the top of mainstream music right now.