Sunday, June 05, 2011

First impressions: Lady Gaga's Born This Way

I'm still getting to know Born This Way, but here are some initial impressions of some of this Event Album's tracks (using the special edition):

Born This Way // While I don't agree with the lazy comparisons to Madonna's "Express Yourself," the lead single didn't particularly excite me. Not to say I don't like it — it has grown on me and I especially admire the positivity — but it feels a bit overcooked, and, in the long run, I don't think it's a song I'll revisit often. I actually prefer the earthy Country Road Version to the hyper album and single mix.

Government Hooker // Gaga has said she's awfully fond of this one, but I'm inclined to skip it.

Judas // Insistent, addictive and deserving of better than its chart performance thus far. If we could fix the first half of the bridge, it would be Gaga/RedOne perfection and possibly a bigger radio hit.

Scheibe // Annoying; a likely skip.

Bad Kids / Fashion of His Love // I'm finding I like the latter stretch of the album better, starting with these two.

Highway Unicorn (Road to Love) // Apart from "Judas," this is the one that really grabs me right out of the gate … if I had to choose one favorite at the moment, this is it. That "we can be strong / we can be strong" refrain really digs in.

Yoü and I // This rock-ish, Queen-assisted ballad feels like a future hit, even if it's easy to imagine Shania Twain doing it on her Come on Over album (hello, Mutt Lange! Didn't expect to see you here!). I would have flipped its position with "The Edge of Glory" and made this the album closer.

Granted, the special edition throws in several extra tracks, but can we agree that the album is too long? Chopping three or four tracks could make this a better listen … think of how powerful The Fame Monster is in its brevity. Some free advice: With no single really asserting itself after "Born This Way," I'd make a big push for "Yoü and I."

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