If you come into Born This Way and expect to hear the exact same type of dance-pop that laced The Fame and, to a lesser extent, The Fame Monster, you will likely be a bit disappointed with this album. It isn't bubblegum.
Have you ever looked up videos of a young Gaga on YouTube? Have you watched stripped down performances of her dance-pop singles? If you have then you should realize that at her heart Lady Gaga is a rocker chick who has an instinctive ability to break these songs down to a pop enough core that they connect with a broader audience. However, in Born This Way, Gaga didn't feel the need to break the songs down as far as she did previously.
I think this is smart as it keeps her about 30 paces ahead of the Gaga mimickers who have sprung up during the past two years and the established stars who have transitioned to trying to claim a piece of her thunder (Katy Perry, I love your music too, but your public persona has become more and more Gaga in the past 18 months.)
Gaga really shows off her voice in Born This Way - in a much more clear and resonant manner than she was able to with The Fame. "Marry the Night," "Electric Chapel," "Edge of Glory" and "You and I" are show pieces from this perspective. Electric Chapel and Marry the Night are superb fun to listen to.
In reference to comments in a prior review about "Judas" and "Bloody Mary." The in-your-face parallels in songs like Judas and Bloody Mary are poetic in their power while not getting too broken down in the details of a bad relationship. Judas without the name of Judas as the song would become another cliche about loving someone who always betrays that love. By using the name Judas, it is given from the start that this is betrayal at its most extreme and the song can operate more freely within its dance beat without having to explain this fact throughout 2 verses and an extended bridge cycle. I, personally, don't really understand people who freak out about her writing a song with the name Judas as the title. It was probably chosen simply because Benedict Arnold didn't fit the rhythm as well.
Sorry for the ranting, but really, read some poetry and come back to the imagery in Lady Gaga's songs and let us know if it's still complicated. I'm thinking it will not be.
I think if you are looking for a different but well-crafted Gaga sound, you will find it in Born This Way. The sounds are powerful, the lyrics cleverly crafted and the voice stunning. (Stunning because Gaga lets her songs lead her voice instead of constantly having to show off how well she sings.) If you want pure pop, you will not find it here.
ETA: The bonus tracks definitely add a spark to the CD. I like the dance-esque remixes for work-outs. If you can grab Born This Way for a cheap price the first week of release, do that and then download the special edition tracks separately. After the sale prices end, just splurge on the Special Edition.
on May 23, 2011
After seeing the deal, previewing the music, and reading the reviews with problems, I've come to two conclusions:
1) The new album is definitely different, and I while I don't think it's quite as strong of a showing, it's still solid - especially for $0.99!
2) Amazon needs to moderate comments/ratings when there are known technical issues on their end!
People should not be allowed to give 1 star ratings on a product simply because of issues on Amazon's end; That does not contribute to the product rating in any way.
1 PM EST I should also clarify that I have purchased the album, and have so far only received 6 items as well.
6 PM EST - Just received order confirmation receipt email, so things are slowly moving ahead, just have patience people.
Have received all files, as expected. Will updated with further album review once I can listen all the way thru.
5/25/11 - Full Album Review
After listening thru the whole album, I have to say I like it better than I did from just listening to the samples. Overall it comes across as another successful adventure in new sounds and song styles, and has a distinct sound that separates it from The Fame/Fame Monster. There don't seem to be as many stand-out songs at first pass, but it may grow on me the more I listen. I will revise my review if I change my mind along the way.
The album has a very 'big' sound, is somewhat whimsical at times, and covers a whole range of styles:
Upbeat club/pop; Driving, darker electro beats; 80's synth-pop; Even a Ballad thrown into the mix (You and I) - This one almost has a country sound to it
I am keeping my original star rating for the album, as I feel that artistically it deserves 5 stars.
on May 23, 2011
I just finished speaking with an Amazon MP3 Customer Service Agent, and she explained it to me clearly that their server is having technical difficulties due to the overwhelming amounts of downloads of Lady Gaga's new album. She reassured me that their technical teams are working diligently to solve the problem.
Also, she mentioned not downloading any other songs or albums until they fix the backlog, since any more songs added to your cloud player might be placed on queue. Therefore, preventing you from being able to download the songs to your iTunes or other music player.
So, please be patient little monsters because I know we have all been waiting for her album for quite some time now. You still cannot beat the price of this album compared to other music stores out there.
Just keep checking your cloud player until all of the songs get downloaded. I hope this review gives people a piece of mind that the album will eventually be downloaded.
It is now 11:55, and all the songs are finally downloaded to my Amazon Cloud Player.
Check your Amazon Cloud Player now, and see if you have all the songs downloaded.
Thank you Amazon. I can finally put my PAWS up in the air! >_<
UPDATE: (May 28, 2011)
I hope you are all enjoying Lady Gaga's new album, Born This Way, because I know I am. She is a complete inspiration to me, and her new album was worth the wait.
I know we had some difficulties downloading her album the day it was released to the public. I was able to download all the songs by the end of the day on May 23rd. However, I think some of you are still missing some songs or even the whole album. Amazon sent me this e-mail today showing what to do if you had chosen to save the songs directly to your computer instead of the cloud player. Here is part of the e-mail:
If you saved your purchase to your computer, please follow these instructions to re-download your music:
1. Launch the Amazon MP3 Downloader. Here's how to locate the Downloader application on your operating system:
-Windows: All Programs - Amazon - Amazon MP3 Downloader
-Mac: Select "Amazon MP3 Downloader" from your Applications folder.
-Linux: The application is installed as /usr/bin/amazonmp3 and an icon appears in the "Applications" menu in the "Internet" submenu.
2. If you have failed downloads in your MP3 Downloader download queue, click the "Clear Completed" button at the top center of the Amazon MP3 Downloader window.
3. After you have cleared the download queue, go to: <...>
4. Find the order(s) that were placed on May 23 and click View Order.
5. Select "Click here to redownload all the tracks listed below".
I hope this helps you find the songs you are missing. Good luck!
on June 11, 2011
You try so hard to like this CD because there is so much in there to love! But ultimately you accept that you don't want to play it any more. All the elements of greatness are there, but not enough to weave them together in a way that feels musically unique and fun.
Message is strong, inspiring, and brave. She has guts and is on the side of justice. The arrangements are complex, layered, and bring in musical cultural influences from all over the map. Lyrics are fun, clever, and artistic. She can play the piano and sing to beat the band.
But while this record might work as the set list for a mega-show in a mega-arena it manages to overwhelm itself within a few minutes on CD and get really boring in a hurry. Suddenly you find yourself listening to all the other sounds you hate, from people who came before Lady Gaga but were not nearly as original, revolutionary, or talented. The rhythms and melodies start to lose their identity and in the process you lose interest because it feels like you're listening to a smash-up of 80s top hits all crunched into one heavy track after another that has got everything in it including the kitchen sink.
CONCLUSION: The songs get weighted down not lifted up, and that special je ne se quais that makes Lady Gaga phenomenal is lost in the jumble of mega production around melodies that aren't strong enough to keep the core robust. Like there is no air to breathe and the muscle and effort in this one CD could have expressed itself better in five albums, not one. Or at least it would have been more fun to listen to. But this CD seems to choke itself out pretty fast and once the air leaves the room the party's dull.
on June 8, 2011
Sadly, the record is censored. I don't think many small children will be purchasing and playing vinyl like this, at least not without the help of their parents.
The cover and sleeves were nicely designed, and aside from the censorship, the records are fine.
on June 9, 2011
I decided to download this album when it was on sale for $0.99. I really don't purchase this kind of music too much because I am mainly into rock music. However, I listen to the radio a lot and liked a few of her past singles (Just Dance, Bad Romance, Love Game). I liked the song "Judas" when I first heard it and bought the single. I decided to give the album a chance because hey it was only $0.99 so why not. But if it weren't for that sale I wouldn't have purchased this. I'm just a casual fan of some of her songs. "Judas" and "Born This Way" are good tracks. I also think "Edge of Glory" is one of her best and strongest songs. However, I can't get into this album. I listened to it a few times and there are no other tracks besides the three singles, "Marry The Night", and "Schiebe" that are really that good. "Schiebe" being my favorite with the thumping beats, cool vocals, and catchy chorus. For casual listeners to Gaga like myself I suggest you go with those 5 tracks. Other than that you are going to get an album where a lot of the songs run into one another and don't really stand out. It is much techno-y than her previous hits I can tell. Anyways, just wanted to write my honest opinion.
on May 23, 2011
Unlike many others, I had no problem buying the album today. I had debated it, because I haven't been amazingly impressed with the early music from it (Born This Way, Judas) and I just didn't know if I wanted to try it. But, for .99, I figured what the heck.
It's okay. That's it. Every song sounds the same. There is nothing spectacular differentiating each song from another. Aside from the oft played Born This Way and the also oft played Judas, there is nothing particularly different-sounding or ground-breaking about the music (though I didn't have any complaints about any one particular song, and "Highway Unicorn" and "The Edge of Glory" were kinda catchy at times. Granted, I am not a Lady Gaga fanboy, but I really enjoyed The Fame Monster. I thought the songs were unique, and her talent showed very well.
This, however, feels like she's trying too hard. Okay, I get that she support gays, heterosexuals, transvestites, et. al. I think that's a great message. I get that she has issues with God. I get that she wants everyone to do what's right, and she feels their suffering, and on, and on, and on. But at some point, it feels more like she's saying it for the sake of saying it, because she, in her strange, do-what-you-want way, is trying to be cool for the sake of being cool. Which just makes it come across as trying too hard-which is exactly what she purports to abhor.
Overall, it's not bad. But sorry Little Monsters, it's not great either, and I'm glad I only spent .99 on it.
on May 24, 2011
I'm not generally a fan of pop, but when Lady Gaga hit the music scene a couple years ago, I was absolutely captivated. She had a way of delivering tracks that were powerful and catchy, while also being edgy and mature at the same time. I absolutely loved her music, even though it isn't the sort of music I normally listen to at all.
But with "Born This Way," pretty much everything I originally loved about her music was gone. When I first heard the titular single, my thoughts were, "Eh. The rest of the album might be better." The I heard "Judas," and while not quite as strong as some of her previous work, it at least captures the same style and feel and it actually is a pretty good track. So when I saw "Born This Way" on Amazon for $0.99, I jumped on it. It downloaded fine, no problems whatsoever, and I hit the "play" button...and I was completely let down.
It seems that in many tracks she is trying way to hard to send a positive message, generally along the lines of "Feel Good About Yourself!" and "Yeah, Girl Power!" often expressed in lyrics of comparable levels of artistry and subtlety (or lack thereof).
Furthermore, the songs sound as if she's trying to catch the 6-8 year old age bracket. The musical style on many tracks is the musical equivalent of the Simple English language setting on Wikipedia. It doesn't challenge the listener, and while technically well-produced, lacks the daring and maturity of her earlier work. It's almost like her producers told her, "Listen, that Bieber kid has the six year old market nailed down, why don't we try to get into that too."
I absolutely loved Gaga's earlier work, and I really wanted to like this album, but it was painful to listen to. Judas is a good track, and others are bearable to decent, which is why the review got two stars (although the horrendous "You and I" nearly dragged it down to one star on its own).
But the edge is gone, the artistry is gone, the daring is gone, and all that's left is what Thomas Pynchon would call Muzak.
on November 27, 2011
The Born this Way CD is incredible. I purchased this set because I didn't have the remix or the DVD so it made sense. I was hoping since the CD was stamped with a Parental Advisory Sticker that the Born This Way album would be unedited. This album is still edited and it is the same CD that came with the Deluxe Edition upon its' first release. Still an incredible album in the little cardboard sleeve that is now comes in (but does include the original booklet). The mixes are ok and the DVD is ok. Played them one time with all the new music and entertainment coming out this month. Just wanted to write a quick review in case anyone was wondering if this is indeed an unedited Born this Way. If I could do it all over since, I already had the Deluxe edition, I would have bought the Remix and DVD separately. Way Sturdier packaging and if I got bored of the DVD I could have sold it on Amazon.
on July 6, 2011
She really changed her sound with this cd..it's much more "techno" than before and not nearly as good as her first two cd's. There are a couple of good songs (Born this way and Judas) but the rest is just so so.