“Born This Way” album review

“Born This Way” album review

Leila Rasas

Accompanied by her back-up dancers, Lady Gaga gives a lively performance during her Monster Ball Tour at the Honda Center, on March 31. Gaga released her latest, much anticipated album, “Born This Way” on May 23.

Brandon Pineda

You could be living under a rock and still know that Lady Gaga’s album “Born this Way” has been released.

In a lifestyle ranging from removable songs to immaculate ballads, and   songs from insignificant Divas delving in auto-tune it is hard to classify one from the next; however, it is hard to find flaws with Lady GaGa’s aggressive approach to pop music. The visionary that arrived in an oversized plastic egg to the Grammys and donned a Kermit The Frog suit was still able to surprise fans with the quality of the album. Though Gaga is the queen of risk, senior Mariah Picou assures that risk is worth the album.

‘Born This Way’ was risky,” Picou said, “however, it shouldn’t overlap the actual music. Lady Gaga has a tremendous voice and she really uses it to create the best songs along with a rhythmic beat.”

The assault of beats and rhythmic tone come behind the quality of the vocals.  GaGa ignites he prowess and her island tones in “Judas”,where she distinguishes what is horrid and benevolent, while the alternating coo and growl of mid-tempo “Bloody Mary” work leading to the velvety hook. Produced by GaGa and Mutt Lange, and featuring Queen’s Brian May on guitar and a bit of “We Will Rock You” in the clapped beat, the piano rocker “You And I” is the most surprising treat, thanks to the passionate country swagger she drenches her vocals in. The song is good enough to wonder how great a whole album of old school piano rock, in the vein of classic Elton John or Billy Joel, could be. Senior Joshua Noa supports Lady Gaga’s messages.

“Lady Gaga has underlying messages in every song,” Noa said, “not only does she try to promote equality, she also attempts to bring in teen, rebellious songs.”

However, her attempts to recreate teenage angst tends to be the least thriving of the album, with beat-driven “Hair” finding a soulful saxophone oddly meandering in and out as she looks through the eyes of a teen forced to cut their hair the way their parents say before declaring, “I’m as free as my hair / I am my hair”. It has a decent message, but the silly tune lacks the punch found elsewhere. She fares slightly better encouraging troubled youth on “Bad Kids”, advising, “Don’t be insecure if your heart is pure / You’re still good to me if you’re a bad kid, baby.”

 

GaGa squeezes some social commentary into the album without stopping the party, with the fuzzed out electro bits and thick bass line of grubby “Government Hooker” taking shots at politicians pandering to the masses. She takes on same-sex marriage and immigration laws as Spanish guitar and fluttering strings drizzle through the backdrop of energetic bi-lingual winner “Americano”. Her ability to fuse important messages into catchy pop tunes works well. From the barked German vocals and slamming techno beat of empowering “Sheiße”, shaking off the expectations society put on women, to the guitar solo adding rock flair to her gorgeously weathered vocals on “Electric Chapel”, GaGa delivers a diverse set of explosive pop.  Senior Ricardo Medina comments on the natural flow of the album listing.

“The album does not get worse as you go from song to song,” Medina said, “not only do songs remain or become better, it flows so naturally that the end of the album is foreign to the listener.”

 

The slamming synth grind of sexed-up “Heavy Metal Lover” works great, as she grittily begs, “I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south / Red wine, cheap perfume and a filthy pout”. Orchestral synth pop epic, ripe with strings and saxophone, “The Edge Of Glory” would feel awkward on almost any other album, as her powerhouse vocals seem to dim the music. Though the sappy tune feels as if it should accompany a cheesy eighties movie’s closing credits, it is a fitting finale to this impressive pop treasure.