Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
It’s a week later, and we’re still talking about Amazon’s decision to price Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album at ninety-nine cents.
I’d call Amazon’s promotion for their Cloud product a success. Even at taking a hit to the tune of $7.50 a download, traffic was so massive that it actually crashed their servers, causing thousands of monsters to whine and moan.
It worked for me, and the price point was low enough that it was actually worth it download from Amazon instead of hunting for a free, illegal copy of it. No problems whatsoever, just a quickly retrieved file of compressed pop which sound like it’s going to fry out my earbuds each time it plays.
This isn’t to suggest that Born This Way is disposable to the point where a co-worker exclaimed “The music is probably only worth $.99 anyway.”
Its worth-like any other bit of music-whatever you care to pay for it. The important thing is that Born This Way will be remembered tomorrow. Maybe not in terms of its full-length offering, but in the timeless singles this record provides.
Admit it: nobody gives a shit about Donna Summer’s Bad Girls record, but we cherry pick the three singles from it (“Bad Girls,” “Dim All The Lights” and “Hot Stuff” for sure. “Walk Away” if you want to get nitpicky) instead.
Born This Way will prove to have more singles than Bad Girls, Like A Virgin or whatever disco diva pop star you feel like comparing it to. Again, let’s back end it by admitting that singles ain’t shit circa 2011, just like Gaga understands that the album she’s just released is probably only worth a buck in its preferred format. It’s the event and the sales surrounding the album where she’ll ultimately bank the most.
Even the cover art is a throwaway-a ridiculous Frankenstein two-wheeler that represents nothing about the music, the artist, or the art itself. If she wanted the art, artist, and music, she would have picked the naked picture that you can blow up to 200% on your digipack download.
The music inside that cover art is what counts, and it’s a barrage of genres, sounds, and obsessive/compulsive arrangements. Gaga and her production crew throw everything in the mix to the point where you’re numb from the collage of tones. Everything is up high in the mix, so it’s no surprise when the liner notes reveal that even the kind of compression-Robert “Mutt” Lange has his fingers in one of the songs.
Born This Way’s subject matters-sexuality, religion, fucking John Kennedy-are universal to the point where none of this will sound too dated in a quarter century, just about the same time that the disco opera metal electronic genre is game for a replay.
It’s a step ahead of The Fame, for sure, as it practically beats listeners into submission under the pretense of booty shaking music. She clearly wanted to make a statement with this album, and it’s that drive that makes me appreciate that she was indeed, born that way.