Review Summary: An authentic, if ridiculous, pop-masterpiece.
I am still not sure what I make of Lady Gaga. She certainly isn't similar to anything else I listen to (save, perhaps, Robyn). I feel almost dirty admitting I like her and really enjoy Born This Way. And that's ok because this is a dirty, delicious, ridiculous pop-masterpiece. I can't figure out if she's serious, if she's making fun of her listeners, if she's just trying to be ironic, if she's flipping off the powers that be or if she's just trying to have done. Regardless, she succeeds because she doe all of these things.
I have an eclectic taste in music, though it leans towards the 'indie' genre (whatever the hell that is anymore) as any purview of my profile will tel you. Lady Gaga is a 'mainstream Top-40 pop-artist'. This is the kinda thing I'm supposed to enjoy in someone else's car, in a club, not in the privacy of my own home. But I can't help myself. Her lyrics aren't deep and overly insightful, but she gets her message across just fine anyway. And while every song could be a single, they are all unique with their own big hooks. You can't help but want to dance and sing along with every addictive beat. And although she is a 'mainstream Top-40 artist' she isn't typical. This kind of music rarely makes it to the mainstream. It's modern poppy glam rock, (it's new age Madonna to use something that's become a cliche), it seems like it's been done before... only it's not something that's really been done before at all, though maybe it should have been.
This album is a music personification of Lady Gaga the person - someone in the spotlight who isn't quite sure how to use the power of fame, but who has a whole flood of interesting ideas and who is a monster (in a good way) when doing whatever it is that got that person into the spotlight. Born this Way is a bit awkward, it fumbles in places, but it is wholly Lady Gaga's. This doesn't have the feel of something with studio executives' hands all over it. When it does fumble, it's Lady Gaga who fumbles. When it shines, it's Lady Gaga who shines.
I for one think she's authentic, she's been given an incredible amount of attention and fame and she's figuring out how to wield it.