On the “Born This Way” Announcement

Lady Gaga has let us in on another verse to the song “Born This Way” and confirmed it as the first single to the album of the same name. Continuing with the love-yourself cliches she introduced us to during the 2010 VMAs, the song still looks like it’s going to be something that could be posted on a motivational poster in a high school counselor’s office.

The newly-revealed lyrics are: “Don’t hide yourself in regret/Just love yourself and you’re set/I’m on the right track/Baby I was born this way.”

Let’s be frank, here: this makes “Firework” sound downright poetic. Someone on my Facebook feed posted that “these lyrics sound like a gay version of Christian rock.” I suspect that casual Gaga fans will feel the same way — the ones who aren’t part of the Monster Cult. The casual fans are the ones who fell in love with her party songs — and the smart money is on them being turned off by this thinly-veiled gay pride stuff.

More interestingly: what’s with the unusually lengthy wait between the release of the first single and the release date of the album? Three months is a considerable gap. My theory is this: the record company knows that this song is probably not going to be a major smash, and they want backup. They’re gonna give this song a month to catch fire, and if it doesn’t, they’re gonna move forward with a RedOne production in time for the album’s release. If, for whatever reason, the song “Born This Way” blows up, they can always move the album up.

Sorry, Britney stans: she’s not doing it to bypass Britney. She’d lose to her in terms of first-week album sales, yes, but that’s not the key motivation, here. Record companies want profit; they don’t give a shit about stan wars. And I think that her record company is nervous about this album; they think it might be too narrow and appeal only to the Monster Cult. This come-on-gay-boys-love-yourselves thing is not going to appeal to most people.

It looks like Born This Way could be shaping up to be nothing more than a self-indulgent mess.

Advertisements

19 Comments

  1. Posted January 2, 2011 at 5:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    “I’m not angry because she emphasizes that it’s okay to be who you are: I’m angry because she’s a stage-whore who lashed out at other artists for heralding a similar message — and in hit songs, rather than simply preaching to the choir at concerts. (Need I remind you that Gaga has yet to release a song to radio about anything other than booze, sex, and boys?) She implicitly took shots at Katy Perry and Ke$ha, rather than thanking them for furthering the message of individuality. The fact that she spit on them rather than thanking them for helping her spread the word tells me that she’s a gigantic fame whore rather than an advocate for misfits.”

    When did Gaga lash out at other artists in any of her songs? When did she implicitly take shots at Katy Perry and Ke$ha? (although, given how they treated her at the VMAs, I wouldn’t blame her.) Katy is taking a LOT OF SHOTS from LGBTs for jumping on the bandwagon late and with very little enthusiasm…and for her reputation for making insensitive or flat-out remarks with impunity.

    I think you’re seeing something that isn’t there to justify your opinion that she’s a ‘fame whore’. Of course, she is. That’s the entire point of her performance project. She is performing ‘The Fame’, as a deliberate, constructed, reflective performance arts project planned out years ago. As a sculptor may use clay, wood or stone as hir media of expression, Gaga uses music, dance, film, fashion, visual/sonic arts, and technology as her chosen media.

    Born This Way signals an end to The Fame project, and the beginning of a new performance project that may span several albums & tours. I have no idea where she’s going with the new concept although it is not limited to gays, as you presuppose. “Born This Way” applies to everyone who is Queer by the original definitions of the word: some who is odd, different, awkward, a freak, a misfit, an outcast, a victim of laughter, ridicule and bullying.

    “More interestingly: what’s with the unusually lengthy wait between the release of the first single and the release date of the album? Three months is a considerable gap. My theory is this: the record company knows that this song is probably not going to be a major smash, and they want backup. They’re gonna give this song a month to catch fire, and if it doesn’t, they’re gonna move forward with a RedOne production in time for the album’s release. If, for whatever reason, the song “Born This Way” blows up, they can always move the album up.”

    I haven’t seen or heard anything that gives any reason to think that “Born This Way” is anything other than splendid. Elton John isn’t a Gaga insider, and isn’t in the business of calling a song the new anthem, if the song isn’t genuinely anthemic.

    So trying to connect the three-month gap to worries about whether the single will hit or miss seems a bit specious, and without any evidence to back it up, especially when there are a number of perfectly good business/marketing reasons for doing it this way.

    I think the release date of the album has more to do with her touring schedule. She starts a third (and maybe final) leg of the Monster Ball right after the single drops, and she doesn’t finish until May. She’s already performing “You and I” from the album now, and the structure of the show could easily accommodate one more (the single) without requiring a whole new set, costumes, effects, etc. in order to perform several songs from the new album.

    I’m also sure they want her to finish the tour, and rest up while spending time promoting the album. She’s been touring almost non-stop since 2008. Two of her three albums were both written and recorded while on the road, something almost unheard of among her peers.

    So the lag between single release and the album release date has some sound business reasons. Besides, the label only heard the entire album two weeks ago, in Milan. It takes time to prep the masters, schedule production, finalize the cover art and inserts, produce and package the album, line up distribution, not to mention deciding when and where to buy ad time, and when will Gaga be available for record promotion activities.

    I’m sure that Britney’s new album that will drop this month has been in the can for several months. It’s just the logistics of taking an album from the studio to the stores is long and complicated.

  2. Posted January 2, 2011 at 5:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll reply tomorrow; I promise — it’s 5:20 AM now. I’ll reply within the next 12 hours!

  3. Jayden James
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What makes me laugh really is that the Xtina stans and GaGa stans are always ripping each other apart since the VMA 08…
    But is there any other singer since X that is always saying that she’s not manufactured, writes everything (even if her lyrics are dreadful) and is as arrogant as possible while ripping off Madonna’s career ?
    Yes : Lady GaGa !
    That’s why most of Britney stans don’t like GaGa, I think, because she’s another Christina and they don’t like to be cheated on… Really don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining ! ^^
    I don’t want to trash anyone and if I’m angry at anyone, it’s at her producers, team & handlers for creating this big mess.

    Honestly I understand some people have identity problems and they can get happiness & comfort from pop music but this “Monster” cult is clearly unealthy.
    It creates boundary between people instead of uniting them.

  4. Jayden James
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I forgot too add that at least when Christina was on her bombastic delusions she was releasing contrived but inspirational stuff like “Beautiful”, “Fighter”, “Can’t Hold Us Down” and “The Voice Within”.

  5. Posted January 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Appalling ignorance of pop culture history gets tiring after awhile. Gaga is self-made and all the industry ppl know it. They’ve even said there was never a singer who had such great odds against breaking in as Gaga.

    And btw, Madonna ripped off everyone from Marilyn and Dietrich forward. There was almost nothing original about Madonna when she began. Gaga’s pop culture references are far broader than just Madonna and cover more than just pop music icons, but since you don’t know anything about Fritz Lang, Bob Fosse, German expressionism, the Weimar Republic, Leigh Bowery, Mae West and a host of other cultural and artistic influences, you just lump everything together and see Madonna and nothing else. The short film ‘Alejandro’ had over a dozen distinct cultural, artistic, historic and musical references and Madonna was only one of them and it was NOT the one you all claimed was a ripoff of Vogue (that segment was an homage to Liza Minelli and Bob Fosse). The reality is most of you have no history of pop culture icons before Madonna and so you assume, oh blonde, funky bras = Madonna ripoff.

    As for the Little Monster “cult” creating boundaries, honey it’s people like you who created the boundaries and treated us like freaks, misfits and outcasts. Are you saying now you want to crash our party even though you have nothing but contempt for Gaga and her fans? I doubt it.

    I could care less if Britney or Christina fans don’t like Gaga and don’t like me. I don’t waste my time trash-talking them and their fans. But they keep coming back making more nonsensical allegations that have no basis in fact, and do nothing but prove their ignorance about the world of Performance Art where Gaga has carved out her career.

    • kirsi
      Posted January 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “As for the Little Monster “cult” creating boundaries, honey it’s people like you who created the boundaries and treated us like freaks, misfits and outcasts.”

      Tsss. And you just enjoy being “freaks, misfits and outcasts”. It’s only you who does anything to be different so that you can feel above others.

      Just like Gaga. That’s the reason why I like her music, but not her character.

      Sad.

      • Posted January 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, we love being tormented, ridiculed, bullied and beaten. So much that we lie awake all night wondering what else we can do to make ourselves stand out so our peers will attack us, lie about us, laugh at us, exclude us, humiliate us. It’s just so much fun being singled out by your peers because you don’t measure up to their standards.

        We get up in the morning and go to our closet of personas and think, “Hm, shall I be ugly today? Shall I be fat today? Shall I be skinny today? Shall I be a nerd? Shall I be a geek? Shall I be painfully shy? Shall I be awkward? Shall I be clumsy? Shall I be a faggot? Hmmm, so many choices, so many ways to get hated on today, hmmmm….”

        You have no idea what most of us would give just to BE ‘normal’, just to fit in, just to be anonymous, just to be left alone to live our lives without the constant battery of insults, rejection, shame, and verbal/physical assaults.

        None of us EVER feel better than others; we always feel like the lowest of the low because of the way we’re treated. America may pride itself on being “the land of rugged individualism” but it torments anyone who dare acts or looks or seems or feels different from the herd.

    • CCCC
      Posted February 3, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      i don’t think you get the point. I’ve never been hardcore into performance art, i’m more into art in general(the 2d kind) but even i’ve heard of Bob Fosse and Bowery. You are pulling refrences from the most extreme miniscule deatils. thats like me saying ‘shes also influenced by Boney M, because she sampled literally 1 note of their song for Pokerface”.
      her basic image is so comparable to people like Madonna, Dale Bozzio, and Grace Jones to the extreme. it’s not really an arugment of “who dun it first” and “well, madonna copied too!” but rather the fact that she so obviously resembles there old acts. we can spend all day trying to find out who did something first, but while we’re at it lets not forget the first Jonathan Ross interview she did when he asked “who inspires you “, and she says “I am inspired by no-one”. I mean, come on? way to be a jackass. Thats like If Beyonce said she wasn’t inpsired by anyone for her single ladies video, which I assume you know is a Bob Fosse remake, basically.

      and on speaking about alejandro, i think it’s stupid if your trying to say it’s nothing like vogue at the dance scene. it’s so similar I feel I could clip the damn scene in place of Madonna’s. Everything about gaga’s look just screams madonna. Now I know madonna is not the most original person, but in terms of copying gaga not only took her ‘look’, hair, makeup, clothes, but even the way she moves, looks around. it’s SO madonna. and I’m not even a fan of madonna, i own none of her music, but she IS still a cultural icon. Even on her “sticky and sweet tour” if you watch her segment for the song “shes not me” shes going around looking at her past iconic looks, and one of them is her black bikini-esque, short curly bob looks, and fck, it looks like gaga just standing there! but the thing is it’s madonna revisiting her old looks.

      the point is, it’s not about drawing out gaga’s influences down to every small thing. it’s the fact there her style, makeup, movement, even, ccan so EASILY be linked to a general few performers that to say she is original is ignorant. my generation knows nothing about madonna besides “4 minutes”. if I went to school and aksed them if they’d heard the song “justify my love”, or hell, even “vogue”, few would say yes! they live in a world where, if it hasn’t been on TV or mainstream radio, hell if they no! thats why gaga gets away with it, this generation is a musical drought. all my good friends save maybe 3 actual have true music they indulge in, the rest just go along with the top 40 hits. one weeks it’s ‘bottoms up’, but not to long ago it was ‘toxic’, but they’ve all forgotten about that.

    • CCCC
      Posted February 3, 2011 at 3:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      by the way, in reply to your comment:
      “None of us EVER feel better than others; we always feel like the lowest of the low because of the way we’re treated. America may pride itself on being “the land of rugged individualism” but it torments anyone who dare acts or looks or seems or feels different from the herd.”

      pity party, much? you sound like every other gaga fan. all of my friends ditched me when I went into junior high and I was friendless for a good year and contemplated suicide at a time when I still had the mentality of a young kid. now I’m a junior in highschool and I have no regrets, my old friends are boring ass people now and I totally indentify with my new friends, whom I made from running track and stuff. I never went around saying ‘everyone hates me cause i’m weird’ guess what, my old friends ditched because I was slow with the trends. I wore a long ass ponytail and wore no makeup and just tees and jeans everyday. no shit they ditched me, they were thrown into the world of trendy JUNIOR HIGH, with boyfriends and low cut tees and shit. it’s called SOCIETY. it’s never going to end. it’s natural.

      guess what, I still have a long ass ponytail and rock the t-shirt and jeans look, and only wear some mascara and foundation now, but I have friends! why? because I fucking tried! i’m weird as hell compared to people around me. even my cloesest best friend thinks i’m weird, but at least i’m not a pity-party-asshole. my fav music is Rick james, and I liked MJ before he died (nothing like molestation jokes when everyone ask you your fav music, but is quiet when you ask them anything about the case, including the kids damn name who accused him?) i’m horrible at conversation with people, but by not being a whiny jackass I made friends. there is a girl just like you in one of my art classes and shes very nice but always hrows a pity party..when she just gets real she’ll get friends. would you want to be friends with someone because they say “I’m weird, pity me” no. they don’t have to change there ‘weirdness’, they just need to seriously get over themselves. i’ve been down that road. if you want friends then join a group or spark some convo. one of my best freinds would easily be considered the weirdest person in our school, but she so often speaks up in debates in english about womens rights and such, which for some reason people are scared to talk about, and she writes morbid shit, says morbid shit, but everyone likes her because shes herself ands alright with it. FUCK you would not believe hwo NICE some people are. i am so sick you all lady gaga fans saying everyone is a jackass, ”there are all just popular people who have nice hair and makeup and so they hate me.” please, get real. some people are like that, but a shitload are actually very very nice. ever since I got some friends in 8th grade and thus have communicated more and more I have realized at most people’s core they are very nice. most of them would ask whats wrong if you were crying in class, even if you consider them part of ‘the herd (lmfao! really? i can understand this term used in what appeals to the masses, but not this siutation) i really don’t feel pity for you at all. maybe if your comment “we always feel like the lowest of the low because of the way we’re treated. ” pertained to something like race i would understand

  6. Jayden James
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “Gaga is self-made and all the industry ppl know it.”

    Wrong. Stefani was self made. GaGa is a corporate act who burst into the scene with slutty eurodance songs that had zero artistry attached to it.

    “And btw, Madonna ripped off everyone from Marilyn and Dietrich forward. There was almost nothing original about Madonna when she began. Gaga’s pop culture references are far broader than just Madonna and cover more than just pop music icons, but since you don’t know anything about Fritz Lang, Bob Fosse, German expressionism, the Weimar Republic, Leigh Bowery, Mae West and a host of other cultural and artistic influences, you just lump everything together and see Madonna and nothing else…”

    I know Madonna ripped off a lot of people. In that sense she’s similar to the GaGa project.

    How do you know I don’t know the references you’re talking about ?
    “Cabaret” is one of my favourite movie and one of the subject that interests me the most is widely referenced in Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”.

    You see just by jumping to conclusion about me, you’re creating a boundary !
    You assume that because I question your “religion” (?), I’m inferior to you…

    “As for the Little Monster “cult” creating boundaries, honey it’s people like you who created the boundaries and treated us like freaks, misfits and outcasts. Are you saying now you want to crash our party even though you have nothing but contempt for Gaga and her fans? I doubt it.”

    Please, mate. Project GaGa is all about exploiting people like you. People who feels they don’t belong… Pink did it with “Mizundastood , Xtina did it with “Stripped” and now GaGa is gonna do it with “Born This Way”.
    One of my best friend is a GaGa stan and I don’t have any contempt for him.
    But I’m not obliged to like everything he likes.

  7. Posted January 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If by “self-made,” you mean that she wasn’t born into the industry, then yes, she was “self-made,” just like most popular singers were, from Britney, Christina, and Justin Timberlake to Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Justin Bieber. Most stars were not born with silver spoons in their mouth, I mean.

    But “against all odds”? Yeah right. She went to an arts school and started doing what others before her had done: hit the New York club scene in the hopes of catching someone’s eye. Like many before her, she did, and the rest is history.

    I’ll let Jayden reply to the other points since they were directed at him.

  8. Posted January 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Britney and Justin Timberlake are products of the Disney factory; they’ve been making them since the 50s (Annette Funicello, anyone?). We also have the machinery of “American Idol” to thank for some current stars. Pop has always had its share of manufactured teen idols, I’ve lived through all of them which is why I stopped listening to pop a long time ago. I’ve seen almost every major legend in rock n roll & a lot of pop icons perform live. Even some manufactured pop tarts have at least some talent. Some have none.

    I was a musician for 20 years, composer for modern dance, mime and performance artists (I’ve actually worked with a couple of those whose works inspire Gaga’s own work, eons ago), freelance music critic published in Creem & Rolling Stone. I do have some experience with artists and the music business and I know manufactured starlets (and starboys) when I see them. Gaga is the real deal. It’s simply that she’s really, artistically speaking, a fish out of water, just as she has been socially all her life. Ninety percent of what Gaga does goes unrecognized by about 80% of her audience. As I said, I’ve seen all the great ones come and go over the last five decades but I’ve never seen anyone quite like Gaga. At my age, I don’t go all giddy over pop icons unless they’ve really really really got something special going. Gaga does. I’m sorry that you don’t see it and therefore can’t be entertained, much less amazed, when she sneaks something in out of left field (a lot of it comes from Broadway, burlesque, vaudeville, and cabaret) and you have one of those WTF moments.

    Unfortunately, it’s clear from what you both devoutly believe, that Gaga performed her Fame Project all too well. You clearly pick up on the deliberately over-the-top diva elements and the celebrity parodies in her performances but you miss all the rest. Music isn’t even the whole thing. In fact, in her overall performance project, music isn’t even the biggest thing. It’s the bait. The real art is in the show, at least in MB 2.0.

    And that goes back to the whole fish out of water thing. Pop audiences aren’t accustomed to being bombarded with multiple messages, many of them visual, while they’re trying to just enjoy the music. Pop audiences aren’t used to fashion/costumes as wearable art and sculpture and alien technology. She’s not the first artist to use film as part of her show, but she’s the first to use the types of films that she has made for the show. Even now, when she’s peaking, she’s still a freak, she still doesn’t fit in, she still gets derision and ridicule.

    I have no idea what she’s going to do with the Born This Way project but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll see something old, something new, something borrowed and something so purely Gaga that no one else would even think of it, much less attempt it.

    So enjoy your musical favorites for whatever reasons you enjoy them and defend them vociferously when need be. I’m going to enjoy mine, right now in fact. Happy New Year.

  9. Jayden James
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Happy New Year to you too ! ^^

    By the way, I’m not a pop fan. Most of the music I listen to is not pop.
    I can’t like GaGa project even if the music can be nice (in a pop trash kind of way) sometimes.
    But when you don’t approve of the performances, the gimmicks, the agenda, the persona, the videos (especially “LoveGame”, “Alejandro” & “Telephone”) and what it can trigger in people with low self esteem, there’s nothing left.

    Thanks for being respecful though. Even if you’re a little delusional you’re already nicer than 80% of the monsters that pollutes the internet.

    • Posted January 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a fan of pop music either, precisely because so many shysters were involved in manufacturing teen idols with no talent at call (see Fabian, for example). Other than “Ray of Light”, I owned no pop music at all until Gaga. I got my start in the music business in Motor City in the late 60s/early 70s, playing around bands like Mitch Ryder’s Detroit (we had the same manager), Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, the MC5, etc.

      I’m more straight ahead rock n roll and blues. But I’ve watched Gaga tear it up with “You and I” (which started as a piano ballad) and “Teeth” so she’s got some serious rock n roll chops. Also sings Gershwin, can scat, and give Janis a serious run in the blues department. Writes really great piano-based pop tunes, too. I listen to a lot of her old stuff, when the record companies were happy to have her write for the stars but wouldn’t sign her to play her own music. She wasn’t pretty enough, or thin enough, she was quirky and eccentric, didn’t have “the look”, etc. All she had was talent and ambition.

      I actually like Ke$ha even though she’s auto-tuned within an inch of her life, not just as a sonic effect but to try to cover the fact that she can barely sing. I do like her sass and don’t give a damn attitude. I like Pink, too. Katy Perry makes my ears bleed when she tries to sing live but she does have catchy radio tunes. Talk about personas I don’t like, Katy is one. I hate her costumes; someone needs to tell her she’s 26, not 12. I also don’t think she’s the slightest bit sincere when it comes to LGBT issues.

      Since you really don’t approve of anything about her at all, I can understand why you don’t like Gaga. Music really is very personal, you either like it or you don’t, you either like the artist or you don’t.

      I’m quite content with my delusions. My only regret is that given my age and health problems, I won’t live long enough to see what Gaga is REALLY capable of; she’s still very young, and she’s barely hit her stride artistically. But she knows her shit, she knows what she’s doing and where she wants to go. It’s those little bumps in the road and surprises along the way which tend to nudge careers in unexpected directions. If she doesn’t overwork herself to death, she’s going to be around for a few decades.

  10. Ducky
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did anyone find the fact that she had a Unicorn on her jacket offensive? I don’t understand her gay movement or the people who buy into it. She enforces gay stereotypes like crazy, and then is trying to to tell them that they are equal, but should be proud of being different…I’M SO CONFUSED!!!

    • Posted January 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      WHAT? Why would anyone be offended by a Unicorn on her jacket or on the record cover? As for celebrating gay relationships and gay pride, and working for equality, that’s between her and her gay following. You’re obviously NOT among that group or you wouldn’t be confused.

      • Ducky
        Posted January 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Right..well I hope Beyonce gets a jacket and puts a picture of fried chicken on it.

      • Posted January 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

        OK, now I’m confused. What does a unicorn have to do with fried chicken? Yes, I know, fried chicken can be a racial stereotype but a unicorn? It has no racial or sexual connotation at all, as far as I know. It’s a magical creature. Period. She has one on her jacket and one inked on her thigh. What is your point?

      • CCCC
        Posted February 3, 2011 at 4:00 am | Permalink | Reply

        the unicorn like the rainbow is coined a symbol for gay culture. wouldn’t that be obvious with the fried chickn example Ducky said? thats like me replying “fried chicken is a food, nothing more” when actual it’s a stereotypical symbol for black people. your kidding me, right? you really dont get where they are coming from?

        and for this “As for celebrating gay relationships and gay pride, and working for equality, that’s between her and her gay following. You’re obviously NOT among that group or you wouldn’t be confused.”

        why not be confused? they made a legitimate statement. lady gaga celebrates ‘indivuality’ but slams us with stereotypes, and always says “the gays”, which most of non-gay fans take as the usually stereotyped gay men we see in movies, or rather that she has dance behind her(actually i believe they are all only black GBT(no L), which is even more about indivuality?. and really it’s NOT among her and her fans, but her only, or else maybe she would sterotype them so bad.

One Trackback

  1. […] Little Monsters Say: Commenter WindRider2 A commenter responds to my Born This Way post: When did Gaga lash out at other artists in any of her songs? When did she implicitly take shots at […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: