Review Roundup: Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’

Born This Way

Lady Gaga gives birth to one of the year’s most anticipated albums Born This Way. After breaking records with the empowering title track and stirring controversy with the biblical-minded “Judas,” the 25-year-old pop provocateur pushes musical boundaries with her ’80s-inspired opus, weaving in themes of religion, sexuality, and politics set to bombastic electro-pop beats. Her Little Monsters will undoubtedly eat it up, but did the critics? Find out below.

Rolling Stone: What makes Born This Way so disarmingly great is how warm and humane Gaga sounds. There isn’t a subtle moment on the album, but even at its nuttiest, the music is full of wide-awake emotional details. 4/5

USA Today: Gaga’s new tunes seem cooler and more calculated, sucking you in (or banging you over the head) with a barrage of bracing grooves that can grow numbing. There’s the pummeling electronica of “Judas,” the breathless Eurodisco of “Scheibe,” the winking, Latin-tinged dance-pop of “Americano.” 3.5/4

The Washington Post: Yes, Born This Way is a dark, dense, and surprisingly aggressive listen. But musically, it feels conservative and predictable. And at its worst, it sounds like reheated leftovers from some ’80s movie soundtrack. For an information-age superstar who’s managed to squeeze us all into a global group-hug, shouldn’t Gaga be delivering something a little more zeitgeisty?

Los Angeles Times: But after such an extensive rollout, a few clever lines and a choice hook, drum fill, vocal run isn’t nearly enough. If Gaga had only spent as much time on pushing musical boundaries as she has social ones, Born This Way would have been a lot more successful.

Chicago Tribune: As it is, Born This Way feels rushed—from the cheesy, photo-shopped cover art to the hyperventilating music. It is the sound of a major artist sprinting to please everyone all the time—and even a pop star as inclusive as Gaga can’t pull that off. 2.5/4

The Guardian: Enthrallingly, though, the album never lets up, as her producers chuck entire studios at her fulsome vocals. Many songs here are crafted from radically different tunes all stitched together for an attention-deficit generation: a song may start with an intro from one genre, segue into a verse from another, switchback into a surprise pre-chorus, follow that with a fist-pump major-chord chorus, before inserting a hard-edged clubby middle eight. 3/5

SPIN: Calibrating the crazy in her music is no easy task, but Gaga twists the right knobs on Born This Way, applying her ’80s pastiche to throbby grooves and sentimental tunes that’ll pierce the hearts of both Little Monsters and heartland moms. … Lady Gaga certainly wasn’t born this way, but she’s making a convincing case that she’s evolving into our most surreally brilliant pop star. 8/10

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Born This Way,” “Bad Kids,” “Yoü and I,” “The Edge of Glory”



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51 Comments

  1. humberto

    Bad Kids is really… bad actually! hahahah

    Mines: Bloody Mary, Government Hooker, Heavy Metal Lover and Electric Chapel.

    [Reply]

    Christian Reply:

    @humberto, Lol those are my exact favorites as well as Scheibe, Judas and Black Jesus + Amen Fashion.

    [Reply]

  2. weezay

    imo: overrated, not too good for what attention it get

    [Reply]

  3. Tiffany

    GAGA IS QUEEN why was bey getting celebrated? its this gurl right here. Bey dont even write her own songs well apart from paying someone to say she “co-wrote” i like bey but im just sayin’

    [Reply]

    uknowumad Reply:

    @Tiffany, Girl Bye. Bey is the queen because you keep bringing up her name in other artist post and she shut it down when she performs even gaga says she an icon. Bey isn’t the only artist in the industry that doesn’t write her songs and last i check if you bought something then it’s yours. And those simple songs the gaga wrote always sounds like something from the past. Born This Way=Express Yourself, Edge Of Glory=Song For The Lonely, Fashion of His Love=Dance With Somebody. Hell I can come up with a song if i listen to other artist music. Why are you calling out the fact that Gaga is a Madonna impersonator

    [Reply]

    fizzle Reply:

    @Tiffany, Girl. Gaga is not only Beyonce level hunny. sales, records, blah blah blah. Beyonce weerrrrrrkkkkkkkks for her title hunny & she has been doin it since ’98 hunny. when Gaga has 13yrs of snatching wigs then you can mention her name, HER ALBUM SUCKS!!!!! She doesn’t even stick to her own style of music.

    only good true Gaga songs: Judas & Heavy Metal Lover

    [Reply]

  4. Sleazy

    Until gaga makes anther THE FAME il pass

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    @Sleazy, Good to see I ain’t alone!

    [Reply]

  5. DimpZone

    I love “The Edge of Glory”, “Schiße”, “Marry The Night”, “Born This Way”, “You & I”, “Hair”, “Heavy Mental Love”, and “Fashion of His Love”!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  6. infamous

    Tracks I like: Hair, Judas, Scheiße, Bloody Mary, Edge Of Glory, Heavy Metal Love & Marry The Night.

    [Reply]

  7. R@@@

    I LOVE this album My Favs Are Marry the night,Government Hooker,Schiße,HEAVY METAL LOVER(MY TOP FAV)and Fashion Of His LOVE Over all I LOVE it…Im glad she stepped out the FAME sound even tho I like that sound to but kudos to gaga!

    [Reply]

  8. Ladiss

    5.Government Hooker 4.Edge of Glory 3.Judas 2.Electric Chapel 1.Heavy Metal Lover….and I just spent about half an hour going back/forth on my list, LOL.

    [Reply]

  9. QUEEN BEYONCE STANN

    I Dont Like Her But Imma Keep It Real & Cute
    The Album Was Pure TRASH! The Only DECENT SONG IS SHEIBE That’s It

    #QueenBeyonce2011

    [Reply]

    Ruthy Reply:

    @QUEEN BEYONCE STANN, Get the hell out of here, you bum!

    [Reply]

    QUEEN BEYONCE STANN Reply:

    @Ruthy, I Told You Hoe I Was Gonna Keep It REAL & CUTE
    Now If YOU Can’t Handle My REAL-NESS & CUTE-NESS Then Just Keep Scrolling Down The Page :D
    The Simple Fact Is This Album Is TRASH!

    #QueenBeyonce2011

    [Reply]

    fizzle Reply:

    @QUEEN BEYONCE STANN, no no no you forgot Heavy Metal Lover was the only other one besides Judas.

    [Reply]

  10. justme

    I got it.. she bought out all the good songs already.. its everywhere.. some of the beats don’t draw u in so u listen to the lyrics .. not good at all

    [Reply]

  11. Ash

    waits for Pitchfork review

    [Reply]

  12. Joe

    Dear old Gaga, please call back…

    [Reply]

  13. uknowumad

    it’s a decent album but i don’t hear nothing that says album of the decade. she over hype this shit but so far the videos and performances have been forgettable

    [Reply]

  14. xedos

    all the shit sounds alike

    [Reply]

  15. SHANICE

    I LOVEEEEE “Bloody Mary” and “Government Hooker”. Concepts, lyrics and beats are DOPE! Lady Gaga is just amazing. I bought the album this morning :)

    [Reply]

  16. gaga/blanco

    QUEEN GAGA IS NUMBER 1 ON ITUNES WORLDWILD WHO IS MAD

    [Reply]

  17. TakingBackSunday01

    For everyone who wants The Fame/The Fame Monster 2.0, this album is not for you. I personally think this album is great. It’s different but in a good way. She delivers great messages while making you hit the dance floor. I LOVE Scheibe. Definitely the best song on the album. I also love Government Hooker, Bloody Mary, Electric Chapel, Black Jesus + Amen Fashion, Highway Unicorn (Road to Love), Heavy Metal Lover, You and I, The Edge of Glory, Judas, Hair. I mean, it’s a good album. Idk why some people are whining that she didn’t make an album that sounds like The Fame or The Fame Monster. She’s evolving. Excuse her for not making the same music over and over again that all sounds the same like other artists. This is definitely a great dance record. It’s absolutely different, but that’s ok. The Fame Monster was very different from The Fame, but it’s still an AMAZING album. Born This Way is great in it’s own way, too. Also, I don’t like reading critic reviews. I mean, if you’re not into a certain type of music you probably won’t give a good review about an album of that genre. I’m not into rap, so if I critiqued a rap album I guarantee you it wouldn’t be good. Also, I’ve noticed that the fans like the album more than the critics. Don’t listen to critics. Listen to the album and decide for yourself. =)

    [Reply]

  18. m740

    Don’t think it’s ‘album of the decade’ but it definitely living up to all the hype. Marry the Night is the best opening track on any album!

    [Reply]

  19. Name Here

    chicago tribune gives everyone bad reviews only kanye got a good review i wonder why…

    [Reply]

  20. mitchell

    This album is amazing, i bought the special edition version this morning and ahhh i just cant turn it off
    my favourite tracks are: Heavy Metal Lover, Electric Chapel, Bloody mary, Judas, schiesse, Government Hooker, black jesus + amen fashion, americano, Bad Kids and Marry the night.

    i dont see how gaga can win with non fans, they complain that they miss the fame monster gaga, yet when she makes judas which is very fame monster they still compain that it sounds too similar to her old stuff!
    Gagas sound is changing and moving forward rather than just staying still.

    BORN THIS WAY NUMBER ONE ALL OVER THE WORLD ON iTUNES! PAWS UP MONSTERS!!

    [Reply]

  21. sagb

    i only like 4 song from the whole album…and i agree that she needs and another album like the fame cus these songs are just weird

    [Reply]

  22. nymo

    i love the album since it leaked, and got up to go to work and stopped at Starbucks and got my copy, i personally think is her best album, and in addiction to that is the fist cd i buy from her and the only one i’ve bought this year. i think she did a great job, and despite what the review says i love the album. and thats that!. #1 album worldwide. why you mad? hahahaha. i love it.
    anyways my favorite track is Scheisse, Heavy Metal Lover & Bloody Mary.

    [Reply]

  23. Um.Well.Sure.

    I like it, I thought it would be a mess but it’s not that bad. Definitely a grower and for $0.99 on amazon I can’t really complain. Give me another week with it…

    [Reply]

  24. ..

    Only one song I like off it, The Edge Of Glory.

    [Reply]

  25. louis!

    i like what she tried to do with the musical style but i only like 5 or 6 out of the 17 of the deluxe… “fashion of his love” is ill. so old school and i wish the whole album was like that . most of the songs arent catchy theyre just weird. im not a fan but i wanted to give it a chance.. it disappointed.

    [Reply]

  26. Name here

    Schiße -she really has a song called shit lol

    [Reply]

    joejpaige Reply:

    @Name here, listen to the lyrics and you’ll understand why she named it that.

    [Reply]

  27. James

    A true fan grows with the artist. Whomever said she didn’t stay to her genre of music you are a complete idiot. She does not have a genre, stereotyped “pop” too bad you don’t know her whole entire career before being famous. Don’t say anything unless you know what you are talking about. The album is amazing. It is powerful and it is taking over the charts like it should because its TALENT, she wrote?co wrote everything and produced most of it. She is about her fans, and WHOLE career. This is her JOB. This is her life. Jealous that shes a multi-millionaire? ME TOO

    [Reply]

  28. Heminem

    Gonna buy it today. How does amazon work?

    [Reply]

    joejpaige Reply:

    @Heminem, go to Amazon.com and then navigate to the mp3 store. Hurry while it’s still $0.99.

    [Reply]

  29. andy

    my favorites are gov’t hooker, you and i, and schibe <3

    [Reply]

    NVR Reply:

    @andy, schibe? havent heard of that one before

    [Reply]

  30. GAGA FAN

    SHE IS THE BEST WHICH OTHER ARTIST MAKES THEIR OWN MUSIC ? AND CREATES GREAT THEMES FOR HER VIDEO? ONLY GAGA CAN DO ALL OF THAT. SHE HAS DONE SOO MUCH AND HAS BECAME THE MOST POWERFUL CELEBRITY IN LESS THAN 5 YEARS! WHICH OTHER SINGER HAS DONE THAT?

    [Reply]

    GAGA IS BETTER THAN BEYONCE Reply:

    @GAGA FAN, CO-SIGN

    [Reply]

  31. From Germany

    It’s called “Scheiße” (ß = ss) or Scheisse not Scheibe, that is German for Shit, some words in this song are german, But we Germans dont unterstand this her german is ver bady…but gaga is the queen

    Best Tracks:
    Marry The Night
    Americano
    Judas
    Scheiße
    Born This Way
    The Edge Of Glory

    [Reply]

  32. dj

    This album had MAD hype and I actually think it lives up to some of the hype. I like this album from beginning to end and she’s blowing away all these other artists on the radio who barely have any talent.
    Favorite tracks- 1: Heavy Metal Lover 2: The Edge of Glory 3: You and I 4: Government Hooker

    [Reply]

  33. Kyle

    In all honesty, this album is so much better than what I was expecting. If people are basing their opinions soley on what you are hearing from the singles she has released from the album, I advise you to listen to the rest of it. I was hesitant because I didn’t think the first 3 songs lived up to all the hype, but as a whole body of work, this album probably is the BEST POP ALBUM in the last few years. It’s cohesive and some of the lyrics are mind-blowing. I can’t believe how she came up with some of these songs. I guess it goes to show that she really is a true artist.

    [Reply]

  34. Kyle

    If I had to pick my top 5 songs from the album so far, I would have to go with: “Goverment Hooker,” “Bloody Mary,” “Bad Kids,” “Black Jesus + Amen Fashion (the lyrics are f***ing awesome),” and “Heavy Metal Lover.” Awesome album and I am so curious to if this album will have as much longevity on the charts as “The Fame” did.

    [Reply]

  35. say what

    gaga is reeling me in, shes definitely proven that shes here to stay and shes nothing less of genius!

    [Reply]

  36. say what

    i love how she named her songs, they are all different and names that make you think huh thats such a different name yet the name means something, so cool gaga.

    [Reply]

  37. GagaGaga101

    Well, I absolutely love this album!! Brilliance!! My favorite BTW songs are Highway Unicorn (Road to Love), Judas, Born This Way, Bloody Mary, Government Hooker, Hair, Heavy Metal Lover, Electric Chapel, and The Edge of Glory!!

    [Reply]

  38. Ash

    Cant believe no one mentioned how amazing you and i is :)

    [Reply]

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