Is Lady Gaga’s Born This Way the most pretentious album of all-time? We’d tend to think not: There was this decade a little while ago called “The ’70s,” and a whole bunch of dudes spent that timespan making albums about dragons and totalitarian regimes and teenagers pissed off at their parents and whatnot, with crazy time signatures and unlistenable guitar solos and instruments called the “mellotron” and “harmonium.” Still, it was certainly not without pretension—albums with songs entitled “Judas” and “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)” rarely are—and UK music rag the NME decided to give it that #1 of all-time tag. Writes NME blogger Priya Elan:
For a while Gaga was the most exciting pop star on the planet. Then on ‘Born This Way’ she seemed to believe in her own hype, convinced that she had a message to share. Cue an album of unwieldy ‘anthems’ that couldn’t mask the fact the fun had left the building. Most Pretentious Moment: The German sung ‘ScheiBe’. Did electroclash die for this?
Not entirely unfair criticism, though whether that means it should rank above Lou Reed and Metallica’s Lulu or Smashing Pumpkins’ Machina: The Machines of God (only #9???) for any reason other than making headlines remains somewhat dubious.
In any event, the article was enough to draw Gaga’s attention. Mother Monster tweeted her response to being rewarded the distinction:
Oh the irony of winning “Most Pretentious Album Ever” from none other than NME. *eyeroll* I might laugh forever + then return to narcissism
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 23, 2012
While we’re glad that Lady Gaga isn’t taking this super-seriously, we would encourage her to embrace the distinction wholeheartedly. Being the #1 of anything isn’t something you should take for granted, and hey—nobody ever accused Madonna of having the most pretentious album of all-time, did they? Blaze your own ground, Stefani.