Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”: The Critics React

lady gaga
Posted on 02/11/2011 at 12:09 PM

Related To: News

The Popdust Files: born this way, lady gaga

Our own Andy Hutchins weighed in on the early-morning release of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” hours ago, saying, “It’s good enough, fast enough, and different enough from the rest of the electropop on the radio… and if it’s not quite as show-stopping as the best of Gaga’s work, it’ll still be plenty potent.” Meanwhile, some 3,776 iTunes Store customers have weighed in on the song, awarding it an average of 4 1/2 stars and using words like “amazing” and “awesome” a lot. Here’s what some other critics had to say:

Kevin Fallon at The Atlantic seems to think it’s a huge rip-off of Madonna’s “Express Yourself”; Michael Cragg of The Guardian goes one step further, adding that the similarity is “so much so that ["Express Yourself" is] currently trending on Twitter. There’s also some spoken-word bits a la the Material Girl (as no one calls her any more), but it doesn’t sound copycat, more a knowing nod and a cute wink.” Meanwhile, Katie Hasty at Hitfix seems to think it sounds like another song entirely: “I’ll be damned if it doesn’t nod at TLC’s ‘Waterfalls,’ too, not just in the verse melody but also on themes of ‘mama said’ and survival.”

Although comparisons to other songs abounded, most critics still remain enthusiastic. Jocelyn Vena at MTV News gushed about “Born This Way” being “fun, empowering and over-the-top… a lot like a ’90s club anthem that could have been pulled right out of Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ period, complete with rhythmic spoken-word parts. But upon a closer listen, Gaga’s distinct voice makes the song all hers.” Chris Lee of The Daily Beast even thinks the song might even change the political climate: “On the surface, the song seems like a deliberate provocation—a hard elbow to the mid-section of conservatives critical of gay politics. … [S]he seems determined not to alter her message for middle America and to continue serving a previously underserved audience with the same kind of zeal Glenn Beck rails against progressive politics for his Fox News Channel faithful.”

Finally, a special golf clap to Gay Times for the most astute observation we’ve seen all day. “DON’T BE A DRAG JUST BE A QUEEN… You know how when you google your favorite band or tv show for a t-shirt, and instead of finding some actual merchandise, you get a crappy slogan slapped on an ugly t-shirt with the worst possible font imaginable. This will happen.”

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