Born This Way
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186 of 224 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 23, 2011
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.
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255 of 325 people found the following review helpful
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.

*EDIT* 5/23/11
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.
5/24/11
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.
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569 of 733 people found the following review helpful
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.

UPDATE:

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)

Hello everyone,

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!
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134 of 177 people found the following review helpful
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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
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.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
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.
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2011
A success. That's all you need to really know. Get it, and get ready to hear tracks from it for the next year or more. I'm not out to address Gaga's history, her personality, or influences, whatever. I'm here to talk about the music, so let's dig into the album. And indeed, I use the word 'album' here after some consideration because this an album. This is not, as one often encounters nowadays in mainstream pop, a smattering of singles spread among a bunch of filler songs that really don't matter. This is an album; every song has its place and purpose, and there are actually no songs that I would toss out as superfluous. Contrary to The Fame, this album actually feels like a statement from Gaga, rather than a couple singles and then padding.

What about the songs? Well, let's be realistic. It's Lady Gaga, so you can expect nothing beyond the basic bass-driven, 4/4 perfect-tempo-for-grinding-at-the-club song over and over again; literally almost every song is at the same tempo, has the same song structure, and is driven by very similar beats (with the obvious exception of You and I). But that's Lady Gaga, and if you're expecting something else, walk back out the door right now, and take your pretensions and snobbery with you.

Let's not quibble about religious allusions, or whether Gaga ripped off so-and-so (SERIOUSLY WHO CARES), or whether Lady Gaga is this or that or whatever. We've already established that this is an album full of simple pop songs, but are they good pop songs? Unambiguously yes. Gaga has an ear for hooks and melodies that very few artists have nowadays. Few people seem to appreciate how incredibly rare and difficult this is; chords and songs are easy compared to melodies. Yet here we have an album full of perfect hooks: the pre-chorus of Bloody Mary ("dance, dance, dance, with my hands, hands, hands...), the near-wordless chorus of Heavy Metal Lover, even the completely nonsensical "German" at the beginning of Scheiße (personal note: I speak German, and it is not ANY sort of German I've ever heard. besides the word scheiße). All of it is perfectly conceived to stick in your head, and it will. And this album sees Gaga expanding her musical palette far beyond The Fame. There's nothing drastic (she ain't about to drop a mandolin solo or something), but some delicate and clever instrumentation on each track shows off a much more mature songwriter (as well as some influences from other genres). I also really appreciate her newly found restraint on some songs; The Fame (+TFM) was all about bombastic overblown melodies and choruses, but here Gaga is content to chill a little more on choruses, to much greater effect. As mentioned, the choruses of Bloody Mary and Heavy Metal Lover are perfect examples of this restraint.

One more compliment is in order, and this one is a little less immediate, but touches on (in my mind) the real reason for Gaga's appeal. That reason is this: Gaga writes songs full of beautiful and instantly gratifying chord changes, and that really drives her appeal. Clarification: we could have another pop song in the vein of Pachabel's Canon (see the Axis of Awesome '4 Chords' video), or we can have Bloody Mary, where those chords in the pre-chorus could serve as the basis of a beautiful folk/indie/whatever song if it was stripped of its heavy beat and other pop-isms. The same thing applied to TF/TFM; if you took her chords and used them in a different setting, they would be lovely. They are here as well, but sometimes it's harder to realize that due to the poppy nature of the music. I mean, just look at the title track - the whole track follows the chords of the 'na-na-na' part of Hey Jude exactly (as in, much more exactly than Express Yourself, you time-wasting armchair critics). Born This Way sounds anthemic and triumphant for the same reasons Hey Jude did 40 years ago. She writes good chord changes. That's all I'm saying.

So the good - strong melodies, strong chord changes, playing to her strengths with powerful beats and simple song structures, and a widening of the musical palette, ever so slightly. Let's talk about the bad. First, a general problem: Gaga still can't write major-key, optimistic pop songs. All her biggest hits are minor-key, dark, driving pop songs like Bad Romance, Telephone and (soon enough) Scheiße and Government Hooker. So songs like Fashion of His Love, You and I, Hair, Edge of Glory and (somewhat) Highway Unicorn aren't going to stick like Scheiße and Government Hooker. Well, Edge of Glory might in that 'oh my goodness it's the end of the night and we're all drunk and i love my beautiful friends and i'm gonna sing edge of glory way too loud and poorly with my arms wrapped around friends' sense. Sorta like when Nsync or Backstreet Boys or really any 90s anthem comes on. But I digress. Other things I don't like - Government Hooker is a rather obnoxious "sketchy club" song with little of the melodic appeal of the rest of the album (but it's going to be a big hit, guarenteed). Judas - Judas literally sounds like someone said to Gaga "hey, remember Bad Romance? do that again so we can have a single!" So Gaga churned out this totally vapid, bland single that borders on self-parody. Seriously, compare Judas and Bad Romance and their hooks. I wonder if Gaga even likes this song.

Alright, enough. So what am I trying to say here? Well, first off, this is an album, not a collection of singles with crap in between. Well done to Gaga there. Second, her melodies, hooks and beats are strong as ever. Third, she still can't write optimistic ballads. Whatever. So this is a strong album, and not just for pop. It's relentlessly fun, passionate, catchy and almost perfectly conceived as a vision of Gaga's music. No five stars from me personally - she's not changing the game here, and I'd love to see her take her perfect winning formula and see how far she can stretch it. I think she'd do well to push herself a little more outside her comfort zone. But I do give four stars, because this is as good as pop music gets. And pop haters, armchair critics, music snobs - lighten up or get out. I guarentee you aren't snobbier than me when it comes to music, but the difference is I know (rather, we the Lady Gaga fans know) how to lighten up and enjoy simple fun music for what it is. And that's really what music is about, eh? Connecting with people (which Gaga clearly does) and bringing out these simple emotions that reality usually isn't able to provide. So let us dance and scream the words out loud, while you guys sit stuffed up complaining about the state of music nowadays or something. Gaga is dope. Peace.

Favorite tracks: Scheiße, Heavy Metal Lover, Bloody Mary
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.

PROS:
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.

CONS:
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.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
I absolutley love Gaga and this album! But, there is one small problem. A few of the songs are edited to bleep out curse words. Nowhere does it say that the album is edited so I was extremly dissapointed to turn it on and hear beeps!!! So, buyer beware!!!!
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