The Gaga promotion has been hyping this song like it would change the world, but in fact it just has taken bits from songs that already have. It is not an instantly amazing, original, culture-changing song. Sorry Perez, sorry Lady Gaga, and to the other media that had heard and praised the song. This doesn’t mean “Born This Way.”
The song takes elements from a bunch of songs from the past 30 years listeners will pick up on in the first few listens. First off is the most obvious influence; Madonna. “Express Yourself” started twittering as a trend after the song’s release it’s so comparable. It also includes a spoken-word breakdown a-la “Vogue”. Elements of “Waterfalls” by TLC, another socially conscious hit song, can be found in “Born This Way” along with bits of a “Queer as Folk” song. It also takes from what is already known, it almost sounds gosepl-like at times, and like a 90s gay club at other times, but the point is that none of it sounds particularly new.
On the other hand, Lady Gaga’s vocals are powerful and strong. The vocalist has become ten times more confident singing and this song proves. Live performances of Gaga singing this song well (which I’m sure she’ll be able to if you’ve seen her live) will surely help promotion and acclaim of this track. Lyrically, the song still seems cheesy, but it could have been much worse considering the lyrics, Gaga’s vocals and production have saved the song from being complete cheese, but still when the lyrics and hints of 80s production come too close together, the impression isn’t 80’s influence, but just 80s music, which isn’t always good. Sonically, the song is rich, Fernando Garibay, the same producer as “Dance in the Dark”, along with Dj White Shadow, brings industrial and 90s house elements to the song. It is a song that leaves little room for the outside world, the textures and layers of dance, beats, handclaps, hints of 80s effects, and backing vocals, make sure that the listener is entrenched into the song.
The chorus of “Born This Way” is catchy after a few listens and will probably become a major hit, especially thanks to Gaga’s little monsters. The song is a little too serious compared to a lot of other songs in pop music today, but it has a positive message, and the age demographic will be large since the music takes influence from 3 decades of music, 80s, 90s and Gaga herself in 2000’s. Expectations for Born This Way are high, this song may be a little bit novel compared to other songs lyrically on the album (hopefully), but it is a fun (sonically) and compelling (lyrically), making “Born This Way” an interesting song to start off for this new Lady Gaga era.