“Born This Way” Track-by-Track Review – Revised and Edited

These are my thoughts on the album now that it’s had some time to settle…

This is lengthy, so just click on the More button if you’d like to read it…


1. “Marry the Night”: After hearing the MQ Farmville release of this song, I was more than a bit underwhelmed. It sounds better in HQ, of course, but it still leaves me cold. The basic problem with this song is that it’s basically hookless. What, in this song, is supposed to draw me in? It feels like there’s potential, here: the melody to the verses is pretty good, and would have served as a better melody for the chorus, leaving the existing chorus to serve as a post-chorus, similar to the ‘Oh…’ in ‘Judas.’

Perhaps worst of all, though, the ending drags on for a minute without going anywhere at all. It’s the musical equivalent of blue balls: what on earth did I listen to this song for? I kept waiting for some kind of payoff, and I never got it. A horrid choice for the opening track.

I still agree with what I wrote here. It’s not a good song, and it’s a bad choice for the opening track. Time has helped it settle, but it still does nothing for me.

Initial impression: C-

Current Impression: C

2. “Born This Way”: Why in hell wasn’t this the opening track? It’s The Statement of the album, and is — don’t take this as a compliment for this plagiarized, trite mess — quite frankly, a more interesting song than “Marry the Night.” It even seems like a breath of fresh air after that unfortunate track. But I’ve beaten this song to death dozens of times in dozens of ways. I have nothing more to say.

Impression: Still an F for plagiarism

Yup, still an F for plagiarism.

3. “Government Hooker”: This is the track that was on everyone’s lips — a lot of Little Monsters had their hopes pinned on this track to be the second coming of “Bad Romance.” (Actually, most people thought that “Judas” was the second coming of “Bad Romance,” but we’ll set that fact to one side for now.) The big question mark was how greatly the track would differ from the the Mugler remix.

The answer ended up being: Not at all.  The BPM is reduced in the real thing. After an overlong intro, the track kicks into earnest with some of the dirtier beats we’ve heard so far, but — well, they’re the same ones we’ve already heard. The verse remains completely uninteresting, though; this entire song looks like it’s going to live or die by its hook, just like at Mugler.

At the time of writing, I’m 2:40 into the song and I’m on the verge of shoving knives into my ears. The verses are dissonant, ugly, and jarring.

I’ve gotten used to the verses. They have an ugly feeling, but I feel like it’s intentional. I feel like I’m in some dungeon or something, and it’s kind of neat. The lyrics remain atrocious, though, and ruin whatever interesting feelings the rest of the song leaves you with.

What a horrid letdown. I had high hopes for this song. It went nowhere. Who let her release this atrocious mess? If it weren’t for the quality of the hook — which is quite real — this song would be among the worst she’d ever released. Total disappointment.

Initial impression: C-

Current Impression: B

4. “Judas”: I love this song. A lot. I’m in love with “Judas.” It would have fit nicely onto “Fame Monster” — and I still like it. I must have been the only person on Earth to do so, however, given that it completely flopped on the radio.

Oh, well. Everyone flops. Anyway: the song — despite a few clunky lyrics and a misguided breakdown — is quite good, and the final minute is breathtaking: “I cling to!” — That’s a great pop moment. I’ll still be listening to this song sometimes a year from now. It’s the highlight of the album, so far.

Impression: A-

Still an A-

5. “Americano”: I’m at 0:30 as I write this — it sounds messy so far. I never had high hopes for this song, so even a pleasant listen will be something of a nice surprise.

Okay, I’m now at 1:00. It’s not happening. I’m going to struggle to get through this track.

I’m at 2:10. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m just gonna sit back and say nothing in the hopes of not losing my damn mind.

3:40 — Yes! Here’s a nice outro. That was a nice ending. And it’s ending! I’m so happy!

Fuck, that was painful.

Initial impression: D

Still a D. Terrible, terrible song.

6. “Hair”: My thoughts about this haven’t changed much since yesterday. But listening to the joyful chorus of this song is euphoric after the four minutes of trash that I just sat through.

I actually love the melody to the chorus in this track. The last ninety seconds are breathtaking. The way that much of the instrumental drops out of the second-to-last chorus is really inspired.

The lyrics remain banal, at best, but RedOne’s sparkling production and the brilliant melody to the chorus rescue the song from what could have been, in the hands of Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow — who have done nothing but disappoint, so far, up to Track 6 — something a lot worse. Why was RedOne granted only three tracks on this album? He’s proving more and more to be Gaga’s true ‘secret ingredient.’

Impression: B+ overall, A for the chorus

Still accurate.

7. “Scheisse”: The last of the RedOne tracks. I’d actually never bothered to listen to the preview at the Mugler show, so this track came to me fresh. Because it’s RedOne, I walked into it with high hopes.

Gaga’s penchant for inserting random foreign phrases into her words has always been irritating. I suppose this track was meant to “get it out of her system.” I’m at 1:00 as I write this and so far I don’t like this at all, but we all know that Gaga songs are structured around the chorus,with the verses just needing to be tolerable enough to get you there (if they’re good, all the better, but they’re never the point).

I’m at 2:00 as I write this: What is this, some feminist anthem? At any rate, the chorus is good but not as memorable as RedOne’s other contributions. Two out of three ain’t bad, though — and it’s actually a better hit-to-miss ratio than his “Fame Monster” contributions. What messes up this song has nothing to do with RedOne, though: it’s, as usual, Gaga’s obnoxious lyrics. The verses are insufferable.

Initial impression: B-

I got it right the first time: awful verses, terrible pre-chorus, good chorus. Apparently her German is horrendous — at least according to speakers I know.

8. “Bloody Mary”: Alright, back to the Fernando Garibay tracks. The track somewhat resembles “Alejandro” when it starts out. The verses go nowhere, for me, and the lyrics are — are you noticing a pattern, here? — a bit overwrought.

The chorus is very Madonna. I can see myself enjoying this more after a couple of listens, but this track, on the whole, screams ‘filler.’ I have little to say about it. It’s simply not very interesting. It’s pleasant, but it’s forgettable.

Initial impression: B-

I like the song a bit more than when I first heard it. It’s not filler. It’s a strong enough track, and, while the Madonna influence is evident, it’s got a punchy chorus. New Grade: B

9. “Bad Kids”: I anticipated hating this track. I figured that it would be some kind of anthem for Little Monsters about how freakish, outcast, and eccentric they supposedly are.

I’m at 1:30 as I write this: I was right! And, to top it off, it assures the Little Monster listening that they’re still special to Mommy Monster. Gag me.

Initial impression: D+

Still hate the theme of the song, but the pre-chorus (“I’m a bad kid and I will survive…”) is actually quite lovely. That section gets a B+, the rest still gets a D+.

10. “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)”: Um, is it just me, or is the chorus to this song almost note-for-note the same as “Poker Face”? Down to the syncopation, it’s the same damn song! What the fuck is this? If I wanted to hear a “Poker Face” remix, I’d go buy the fucking “Poker Face” Remix EP on iTunes.

Initial impression: F for plagiarism. (And this was done with Fernando Garibay, while “Poker Face” was with RedOne, so, yes, I’m calling plagiarism.)

Even setting the plagiarism aside, it’s a steaming hot mess of a song. It’s just really, really bad, and most reviews have singled out this song as the low point on the album.

11. “Heavy Metal Lover”: This, with “Electric Chapel,” was one of my two most-anticipated tracks. At this point I’m extremely disappointed in the album, so I’m hoping that the next two tracks can redeem it in some fashion for me.

I’m at 0:47. This production is nice. She’s, for the first time on the album, allowed her producers to use her voice as an instrument to blend into the overall final product. In that sense, this track is really a production showcase for Fernando Garibay, who comes off fairly well, here.

Unfortunately, the track is nearly hookless. A song with a title like this should capture the spirit of heavy metal: balls-out, dramatic, and theatrical, with some slashing guitars or perhaps some blast-beat drums to mix up an album that promised to be innovative but is failing to deliver.

Instead, it sounds — well, nothing like that. This boring track will probably rank as the album’s biggest letdown for me. This sounded nothing like I was hoping. It’s boring.

Initial impression: C-

I judged this song too much by what I wanted it to be and not what it actually was. However, on its own merits, it’s still bad. It’s boring, very light, and has no clear hook. I will say, though, that with a title like this, a person could have done big, big things. The one time on the album she decides to show restraint, she does it on a track devoted to notions of heavy metal? For shame.

12. “Electric Chapel”: For the love of God, I hope that this track can redeem this album. I loved the preview and the title is awesome. Here we go…

0:40 — Ooh, I love this beat. It sounds sparkling in HQ.

I’m at 1:00 as I type this. The production to the chorus is lovely. The melody is subtle and is the kind of thing — oh, that piano! — Ooh, this is good. I like this track. — Ooh, there’s some guitars! (Where were they in “Heavy Metal Lover”?) Look how giddy I am to have come across a good track!

This sounds like a song that The Saturdays would kill for. And I love The Saturdays. This is a hot track.

3:00 — A friend just pointed out to me that the melody to the verses was basically identical to the melody to the verses of Kylie Minogue’s “Cupid Boy” — which, alas, is true. And the song only came But it doesn’t diminish what is still a good song.

Initial impression: A-

Still a highlight of the album. But I’ve made jaws drop when I play the Kylie song right after the Gaga song.

13. “You and I”: Um, for some reason, my download didn’t have this. Sorry. I’ll have thoughts later.

It’s crap. Grade: D+

14. “The Edge of Glory”: This was the perfect closing track to this album. Nothing else could have done the trick. My impression of the song remains the same: it’s got a nice, anthemic chorus, passable lyrics, a nice theme — and then the cheesy sax break nearly kills the momentum (it doesn’t help that you can ‘see the seams’ of where the saxophone was inserted). But it’s still a good enough song that it’s worth listening to more than a few times — and more than good enough to deserve a slot as the final track.

Impression: B+

Overall: Holy shit, what a disappointment. The only track that I liked that I hadn’t already heard was “Electric Chapel,” which was one of my most-anticipated tracks. That song met my expectations. The rest were either filler (‘Bloody Mary,’ ‘Heavy Metal Lover’), corny (‘Bad Kids’), plagiarized (‘Highway Unicorn’) or downright messy (the ghastly ‘Americano’).

Still a disappointment, but Bloody Mary is better than Heavy Metal Lover. I’ve already played Born This Way out, for the most part.

The presence of four or five strong tracks makes this album impossible to give a terrible grade to, and even when certain songs are weak as a whole, the production is often quite good.

Still agreed.

Best track: “Judas” Still agreed.

Worst track: “Americano” Still agreed.

Best chorus: “Hair” Still agreed.

Worst chorus: “Heavy Metal Lover” Still agreed.

Best production: “Hair,” “Electric Chapel” Still agreed.

Worst production: “Government Hooker” No. Government Hooker actually has really good production. The production for Bad Kids is actually the worst. I also hate what Mutt Lange did with ‘You and I.’

Biggest surprise: “Hair” (most had high hopes for this; I did not) Still agreed.

Biggest letdown: “Government Hooker” No. I would call Heavy Metal Lover the biggest letdown, now.

Best lyrics: “Electric Chapel” Still agreed.

Worst lyrics: “Bad Kids,” “Government Hooker” (tie) I would actually say that Highway Unicorn, Heavy Metal Lover, and Government Hooker have the worst lyrics. At least Bad Kids has a cohesive theme that’s expressed fairly well, as trite as it is. “I want your whiskey mouth on my blonde south” is disgusting.

Not as good as: Femme Fatale Still agreed.

Better than: Loud I dunno. They’re about the same. Judas, the best track on Born This Way, is better than S&M, the best track on Loud, but nothing on Loud is as bad as Americano.

As good as: Teenage Dream I dunno. I think that Teenage Dream might be better.

Music: B Still agreed.

Lyrics: C- Still agreed.

Production: B+ Still agreed.

Overall: B- Still agreed.

Was it the album of the decade?: No. Definitely still agreed.



  1. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I swear that you are becoming more Little Monsterish with each passing day, Alex.
    What Gaga song will you play at your Monster cult Initiation ceremony?
    I have some ideas…prepare for the revelation.

  2. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The layout and plan of Mr Alex Knepper’s Monster Cult Initiation Ceremony:

    1. The Ceremony will take place in a secret, off-grounds Church, dubbed “Our Lady Of Gaga”. Alex will enter the Church dressed in heavy Ceremonial Robes.

    2. The Monster Priests and Altar Monsters will welcome Alex to the Ceremony.

    3. The High Priestess Monster, (Bless Her Monster Soul) Lady Gaga/The Mother Monster, will notice and greet Alex.

  3. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    4. The Ceremony will begin with The Mother Monster stripping herself of her Priestess Robes and purifying some blessed Monster water.

    5. Alex will stand on the Initiation Rock and his soul will be stripped, purged and opened to Monster Holiness by The Mother Monster.

  4. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    6. The water will rain down on Alex, swallowing him whole and sweeping him into the Mysterious and sacred Sea of Scheiße.

    7. Alex will struggle in the Water, half-drowned. He will reach out desperately for The Mother Monster, begging her to forgive him of his Anti-Gaga sins and save him.

  5. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    8. The Mother Monster is so pure of Heart that she readily accepts him, delivering him from the Water.

    9. Alex is taken to the Church pedestal where The Mother Monster drips him in blood, painting his lips a marvelous Monster Red.

  6. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    10. The Mother Monster will lick the Monster Blood off his face, kissing him in a fit of savage passion.

    11. Alex will be sent into a Mental spasm as he returns the kiss. The mental part of his Initiation begins.

  7. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    12. Alex descends into the Deep underworld, confused and hazy.

    13. He will join a group of Monsters in a ritualistic dance which takes place in a rural part of the Town.

    Will Alex’s Initiation Ceremony go all well in this plan, or will it end in disaster and blood-loss?

    Tune in soon…

  8. letterwc
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Name: Miss Stefani Germanotta
    Summary/Description: It has been hinted before that Lady Gaga had a “Traumatic Childhood”. This is my version of it.

    Her first memory, one that emerges clear cut out of the hazy dreams, is of the school bullies. Tall, proud, childish Barbie dolls who towered over her and smirked consendingly. She was the intelligent girl, the alien girl, unnatural and unloved and they never let her forget it, they rammed it into her brain daily. They would snigger at the unfortunate meaning of her name. Crown. Ha. She had no Crown. She had stood as tall as she could and silently ingested all they said and all they did.

    When she was older, thirteen or fourteen, she couldn’t remember which, she had been yanked down a dark alley round the back of the school and told she was pretty enough to “do a little favour” for the boyfriend of the very worst bully, Trixi Blaier.
    A greedy man with grubby fingers had poked her and prodded her and torn her apart until she started screaming. She was thrown down and beaten for screaming and so she learned to stay silent. She also learned how to pick the man’s pockets while his trousers were round his ankles, how to fight and how to run. She kept the money she stole from him for herself.

    When she was fifteen Trixi Blaier had cornered her in the teacher’s parking lot, put her mouth to her ear and hissed, “No point lending just you out to my boyfriend, when you have your little sister as well, Eh?” Stefani showed no emotion at that point, but the spark of hatred that she had nurtured all her life immediately flared until it was bright and painful. They had taken Natali to Trixi’s boyfriend as well. Something inside her snapped and she became determined that the bullies WOULD be taking the brunt of this one.
    Later, before she could change her mind, she crept along behind Trixi on the way home from school and pulled her back roughly, stretching a plastic bag tight across her face until she stoppd struggling and then a bit longer just to make sure. Stefani smiled, the muscles were tense and unused, most of the people she met in her life had never wanted her to smle and she had no other reason to, but that day she smiled and her eyes glittered because she had her first taste of freedom and it tasted delicious.

    And like any addict, gasping for air after their first hit, she wanted more.

    The death of Trixi didn’t stop the school bullies taunting her, but this time she took it with a new sense of purpose. Every time they bullied her, she collected another can of fuel for her obsession. Dominance. Dominance over those who had beaten her, who had used her, who had ignored her, who had trampled upon her. Dominance, above all, over all bullies.

    She took any work she could, hung down from poles in murky bars and scrubbed toilets till her fingers were raw. She stayed up all night pleasuring the people she loathed. Eventually, she met a worker from Def Jam Records and was signed up, becoming an official Music Artist, which was a position, she conceded, of some power. Not as much as she yearned for, but it was a start and she could be patient if she came out top.

    It was after she moved onto Interscope Records that she committed her second murder. Someone, she never found out his name, attempted to blackmail her. He had apparently recognised her from her ‘other’ jobs and threatened to tell the pious idiots that she worked for exactly what it was unless she gave him money. The knife she kept handy was quickly inserted between his ribs and into his heart. She took his wallet and walked on. A man stabbed in the rougher areas of the city for his money was nothing new and the police didn’t do much about it unless the victim was rich and this man, Miss Germanotta could confirm, most certainly was not. Shame really, she could do with the money.

    Stefani Germanotta’s mind never stopped. Even in her sleep it plotted and planned. It sparked off new ideas constantly, saw opportunities and decided whether she should take them in a matter of seconds. Her mind was her greatest asset and she trusted it completely, it hadn’t failed her yet. So when she saw the Monsters in the shadows she didn’t dismiss it as a dream or fantasy as other, weaker, people might. She didn’t know what they were or why they were here but she knew they had power and she knew she could use it. They may be creatures from the very pits of Hell for all she knew but Miss Germanotta certainly wasn’t averse to doing deals with the devil.

    It wasn’t at all difficult in the end, she could supply the Monsters with what they needed, a brainwashed, addictive young workforce and they could supply her with what she needed, Liberation. Stefani Germanotta smiled one of her few true smiles. She could change her name to Lady Gaga to celebrate the new person, the Lady that she had become, and then she could slowly shock every last stuck up one of them as she destroyed their world.

    • Little Monster Regina
      Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “The knife she kept handy was quickly inserted between his ribs and into his heart”
      “Stretching a plastic bag tight across her face until she stopped struggling”
      #MurdererGa is smexay

  9. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    14. Suddenly, a gust of thunder begins and green gas fills the town, knocking Alex out.

    15. Alex awakens, feeling drained and medically derranged.

  10. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    16. Alex feels hands groping his neck, long nails stroking his soft, tender, baby-pink American flesh and purring in his ear.

    17. Alex feels a soft hand slide down his body. The hand touches a spot which, due to being Gay, has never been touched before. Alex feels his body filter into a…

    18. Then the mysterious hand pulls away and the face of The Mother Monster is revealed. She pulls Alex close for the final part of his cult Initiation. She pulls him close, giggling coyly into his ear.

  11. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    19. The Mother Monster takes him by the hair and pushes him down, climbing onto him and arching backwards like a bulldog with its prey.

    20. Alex resonds by fitting his own sleek, staunchy body into hers and feeling how she rises and responds with each beautiful bodily communication.

    21. Alex hesitates, wondering if it is right to be getting his ol’ jocks off with the Monstrous woman he loathes.

  12. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    22. Gaga provokes Alex even more by jogging his hips back and forth, whipping her hair as she does so. Alex gasps in delight. This woman is a Monster in bed!

    23. Alex lets out a Monstergasm, travelling along the Road To Love. He feels the most perfect paradise against The Mother Monster’s long, slim Monstrous thighs and arched back.

  13. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    24. The Mother Monster feels a gooey Monster egg inside her be fertilized and flowered to life in an instant.

    25. Alex feels his and The Mother Monster’s conciousnesses join together as their souls become Monsterized, a soldier to eachother’s bonding and Monsterness.

  14. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    26. And it begins…Alex leans back for this divine last part of the initiation, allowing his soul to merge with his inner Monster. He feels true divine Freedom in the hands of The Mother Monster.

    27. The Mother Monster lurches forward and kisses Alex in one deep swoop, sealing his Initiation.


  15. Little Monster Regina
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The Mother Monster takes Alex to the secret commercial Monster Bear-Garden, where they celebrate his Monsterness.







  16. Anonymous Coward
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “It’s crap. Grade: D+”

    Could you elaborate?

  17. Spine
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “Apparently her German is horrendous — at least according to speakers I know.”
    ^ It’s meant to be “fake” German – just bits and pieces. It’s to fit in with the “I don’t speak German, but I can if you like.” at the beginning. She’s literally saying she can’t speak real German but she’ll try to.

  18. chaosakita
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Why the fuck did she not work with RedOne more? All her great songs (Just Dance, Poker Face, Bad Romance, and the non-lyrics part of Judas) are written with him. Or why not even Fusari (Paparazzi), but I take it she’s moved on from him or something, despite being a decent writer. Instead, she sticks with the pile of crap that’s Garibay. She would just sound better writing by herself. (Speechless)

  19. Lady Caca
    Posted June 5, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    That Regina little cretin is a disgusting waste of existence. Regina, look for the word cretin, that’s what you are.

    For the album itself, i felt very exhausted listening to it, like listening to noise from a busy construction site. If she had edited, this would have been a stronger collection. My faves: Edge of Glory, Scheisse and Hair – felt like I was back in the 80s where music like this was in it’s prime.

    I just hope these little cretins grow brains, and not just accept trash. It’s ok to like Caca, but you should acknowledge that some songs here are really trash & noise. Most of them are just brainwashed waste of space.

    • Little Monster Regina
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      German Mice will eat your Vag
      And it doesn’t matter, cuz we got Drugs

      • Lady Caca
        Posted June 19, 2011 at 2:49 am | Permalink | Reply

        STFU, you waste of space. Go use drugs, that’s what your mother monster probably told you to do. Won’t be surprised as you’re just a brainwashed piece of sh*t. I’d rather have my Vag eaten by German mice than my soul already burning in hell. I’m sure you’ll like eternal damnation – that is what your mother has been preaching a long time. See yah in hell 😛

        • Little Monster Regina
          Posted June 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Only Demons dewell in Hell. I am Monster. Not Demon. U MAD?

          • Lady Caca
            Posted June 29, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

            You’re not a monster, you are a DEMON, and I can see you right now in hell. Hope you’re enjoying how the flames lick your flesh & melts your ugly face away. But I’m sure you’re used to it, as your life here on earth is already hell. Go suck Satan dick’s now, and while you’re at it, let his tail f*ck you, I’m sure you’ll like it.

  20. Eric
    Posted August 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Having an entire blog against Lady Gaga… that´s really weird and something I wouldn’t like my friends to know…
    I can’t believe how low has humanity fallen by using web servers in this kind of hateful stuff…

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