Monday, November 7, 2011

What we're listening to: Born This Way

Born This Way by Lady Gaga
CD Pop/New Age Lady Born
Find it in the catalog!

Lady Gaga's album Born This Way does not disappoint. Since its release in May this CD has been on repeat in my stereo (and in my head). My favorite songs change from week to week, because there are that many good ones. Lately my favorite is the slinky electronica-esque "Heavy Metal Lover." Just as on previous albums Fame and The Fame Monster, Lady Gaga continues to make fun dance songs filled with energy, including "Marry the Night," "Scheiße," "Judas" and "Born This Way."

Born This Way also includes several songs heavily influenced by the '80s. "Hair" and "Edge of Glory" both feature the late Clarence Clemons of The E Street Band on saxaphone, and "Bad Kids" and "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)" sound like they could have been released 30 years ago. I think this album shows the chameleon-like abilities of Lady Gaga as a singer and songwriter. She sounds different on each song, even singing in Spanish on the mariachi-tinged "Americano" and speaking in German over the addictive track "Scheiße." And by addictive I mean, just try to play that song only once.

While Gaga can always be counted on for catchy dance songs, she also writes emotional ballads like "You and I." This song, about a lost love, is one of my favorite Gaga songs ever. I first heard this song at Gaga's February 28 concert at the United Center. Hunched over the piano attacking the keys, she was on fire singing: "It's been a long time since I came around / Been a long time, but I'm back in town / This time I'm not leaving without you." Her February concert was one of my favorite memories of the year, and this album ranks as one of the best of 2011.