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|Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’: Impress or ‘Express’?|
|by Bo Shell|
|February 11, 2011 13:39|
Well, today was the day. Lady Gaga released the title track from her forthcoming album “Born This Way,” but sorry y'all, it's a snooze.
I've been joking with my friends since the singer's “Paparazzi” was released to radio. We wondered how she could possibly top the song's irresistible melody and wacky-but-artful video. Then she gave us “Bad Romance,” and every time the first “oohs” hit the speaker, we fell out waiting for our favorite part. And then that video.
Unfortunately, “Born This Way” is a step back.
Lady Gaga has trademarked post-Madonna originality. Britney Spears (whose “Don't Hold it Against Me” video is due for release next week) was a pleasant filler, but Gaga is the only artist who's gotten the world talking about music, sex and fashion the way Madonna did.
But “Born This Way” sounds a little too much like Madonna's “Express Yourself.” I'm not the only one on that bandwagon either. Truth be told, you can sing “Express Yourself” to the tune of “Born This Way.” See me trying to do it below.
Look forward to the remixes.
As I covered in yesterday's blog tease, Jonathan Van Meter, the author of a piece about Gaga in Vogue, warned the single “sounds suspiciously like a Madonna tune and then switches into something that feels a bit like a Bronski Beat hit and then finally transforms into its own thing: a Gaga original.”
Van Meter is too kind.
Perez Hilton, who called the single one of the best of Gaga's career, said he'll “happily accept” the moniker “Express Yourself 2.0.”
Comparisons to Madonna are inevitable with any young, white female artist who weaves sexuality and modern sensibility — and dare I say it, social commentary — into a pop music package. So much of what we see from these ladies can be attributed to Madonna, but haphazardly writing a melody that is so frighteningly similar to the world's most famous blonde bombshell brings Gaga's ability to deliver Earth-shattering originality into question.
I'll admit that one of the spoken verses in “Born This Way,” where the singer specifically mentions gay, lesbian, bi and transgender affinity, is pleasing to hear from the world's current mega-star. But I'm left wanting more originality from an artist who has built her brand on being a ground-breaker.
Gaga's going to be on “60 Minutes” with Anderson Cooper this Sunday, where she'll talk about how the masses want to see a superstar like her fail. Says Gaga:
“That’s what everyone wants to know, right? What is she going to look like when she dies…when she’s overdosed on whatever they think I’m overdosing on? Everybody wants to see the decay of the superstar … They want to see me fail. They want to see me fall on stage. They want to see me vomiting out of a night club…Isn’t that the age we live in? That we want to see people who have it all lose it all?”
While it's true that the public is fascinated with celebrity downfall, fans like myself want Gaga to succeed. We want more from her, and after all the hype surrounding “Born This Way,” I think we deserve more than a modern reboot of a proven classic.
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