Could it drop at any other time in history? A country underwent a revolution, people born in the United States are being told they aren’t true citizens, others are being denied marriage rights, and many are dying because of health care stipulations. Though she didn’t foresee these problems, and some of them were going on when she wrote her album, Lady GaGa has set a decisive tone for her next album with her first single, “Born This Way.”
As a devoted fan (who isn’t afraid to look at her with a very critical eye) I always knew she would show her true colors once she got more creative power, but I never knew it would be quite like this. Born This Way is clearly a dance song, but it’s not exactly for the casual millennium generation. It’s the best of disco, pulling from catchy tunes you can sing along to, and it’s fun. Before hearing it I kept coming across comparisons to Madonna: the same old songs people like to thrust on her: Vogue and Express Yourself. GaGa has gotten compared to Madonna a lot during her four-year run, but no one is noticing just how many artists are influencing this woman. When I first laid my ears on her newest single, all I could hear was Prince: specifically 1999 and I Would Die 4 U. GaGa has said herself how deeply influenced she is by Prince and here it shows.
When it came out last Friday on iTunes, Born This Way shot to the number one slot in only three hours and sixteen minutes on in twenty-two countries, breaking a new world record: Born This Way is the fastest downloaded number one single in iTunes history. People were sitting at their keyboards hungry for that new GaGa single, pulled in from all the hints she’d been dropping since last summer.
Okay so let’s get real here: I will admit the song is not Earth-shattering. And we’ve got to compare it to her biggest hit to date–Bad Romance. Frankly there is no comparison. I really can’t imagine some uniform dance that would easily blend into the music that will have countless young adults posting on YouTube. I can imagine the video to a bit of an extent (a clear sci-fi theme), but I don’t believe it will be as mind melding as Alejandro. Honestly in GaGa terms it’s a little subpar. It’s too meta for a broad audience. But I don’t know if that’s who she’s writing for this time. The Fame was her chance to grab us–to get a crowd–now Born This Way will be her chance to tell us what she has to say. It may not have the oomph of having sex with your boyfriend while thinking of that cute girl in the bar might have, but hey, this is not what she is after, and it wasn’t what she was after in the first place. If you listen to her songs pre-GaGa, it’s clear that Stefani Germanotta wanted to write music with a real message. No wonder she wanted everyone to know that pop music wasn’t shallow. Because some day her music wouldn’t be shallow.
I settled down on Sunday night to watch the Grammys. Particularly excited about her entrance to see what she would be wearing. When I saw her entrance I nearly cracked up. Lady GaGa was carried by ridiculous, over-acting models in a green and blueish egg, and her stylist quickly explained she must incubate in for a certain amount of time before the performance (logically). It’s really great her team is concerned with the state of her health. The unfortunate fact that a woman must always compose herself if she wishes to be respected in the art world, even by other women, will never cease to amaze me.
But that’s another article for another time.
By the time her performance came around GaGa was birthed, and it had turned into a spaceship of some sort. She revealed herself and emerged looking like a young Nina Hagen, with a performance that had about the production value of the same. But did it really matter? She’s doing it her way now. And even if her sales go down, even if she goes the way many women of the weird go, I don’t think this will phase her in the least. In her 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper GaGa wholly admitted she knows how much people want her to fail. “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?” Indeed that is the age we live in, and they’re feasting right now, honey.