Assuming it was similar to her first album, I also assumed I’d love it from the start, but, was surprised that I had to listen to it about 4x before I could get into it, and then I loved it! Let’s jump right in.
MARRY THE NIGHT – The epic church organs start us off which brought her to tears when she first heard them, she was told that her fans were like a cult/religion and it keeps with the symbolism of some tracks. It jumps into a steady pace that keeps me thumping. She said it was about marrying her husband, NYC. It’s quite symbolic if you think about, NYC nightlife is beyond in many different ways and to marry that is to marry an ultimate part of NY. Growing up for me was similar, NY was like a magical place and the tunnel was like that in Roger Rabbit, coming out into Toon Town and another world altogether.
BORN THIS WAY – It’s grown on me. Empowering human equality, can’t argue that. It doesn’t matter if you love him (the boy/man) or capital HIM (GOD). “I’m beautiful in my way ‘cause God makes no mistakes.” It robs the religious right of an argument over our natural birth and who we are, and the kaleidoscope birth opening in the video is fiiiiiierce. It’s also great to see one of our fav dancers from SYTYCD (Mark – who always had a wicked style) dancing in her troupe. Gaga explained she wrote this in Manchester & Liverpool and she knew it was going to be the first single.
**Back to Grammys** I read her for the performance & song. I didn’t understand it. I called it tired, didn’t like any of it, the clothing, everything was off. NOW, I see it for what it was supposed to be. If she was just being born (egg), then the performance wasn’t supposed to be over the top because she’s not at that level yet, it’s supposed to be “immature”. I can even relate to the plastic hospital gowns they were wearing. It all makes much more sense than it did before and I remember not to question Gaga so much b/c she doesn’t care if you get it or not, she’s got her vision and she gives it. It’s up to us to figure it out and I love the way she makes me think.
GOVERNMENT HOOKER – An airy opera opening into churchy electro pop organs. I can be good, if you just wanna be bad, I’ll be your mom unless you want to be dad. The play between a hooker and her clients and needing to become whatever they want you to be. I can’t stop singing, “As long as I’m your hookah, as long as I’m your hookah (ah ah).” It feels like an old 80s rock track, heavy make up, ripped fish net stockings, what Gaga wears sometimes looking like a hookah. She says it was inspired by Marilyn Manson and funny she should mention him because her looks reminded me the other day of him of how he used to push the image and how it even scared some people. I’ve heard many people say Gaga is ugly, scary, she’s a monster… & they’re right, she’s a beast! She’s a government hookah!
JUDAS – Totally religious in her own right if you can’t already tell. More electro organs run into hard hitting, knocking bangs. I like this song better than BTW and the video was highly symbolic and put the song completely together for me. She looked hot. I love the song and it keeps me pumped from start to end. BUT, if you’re like me and didn’t grow up with any religious dogma, you won’t catch what it all represents. This is when I give thanks to friends for explaining, and Gsus Baez from NY, who studied religion, really helped me out on this one when speaking about it on one of his posts. I took parts of his conversation, and with his permission I’m adding here: Thanks Gsus!
“She’s supposes to be Mary Magdalene… the whore that spoke to Jesus in the bible (literally)…the guy with the crown and corn braids is suppose to be Jesus… the dudes on the motorcycles following are the disciples of Jesus Christ… the guy she puts lipstick on is Judas the guy who betrays Jesus (he kissed Jesus to signal to his enemies that indeed that was Jesus) … the washing of the feet is what Magdalene did to Jesus.. but in the video she twists it and does it to both Jesus and Judas, perhaps to signify the paradox of choosing between good and bad or right and wrong actions. I’m sure there’s a lot more symbolism but i only watched it once. Peter denied Jesus three times, resulting in betrayal. He repented while Judas did not. Judas was the one who led the killers to Jesus. Mary Mag was the woman Jesus exercised 7 demons from. Mary Mag has often been associated with the woman who Jesus saved from being stoned to death after being accused of being a whore… she’s also associated with the woman who cleaned Jesus feet… Lady Gaga tried to portray both characters but there’s no evidence that Mary Mag was any of those two. I liked that they showed them as a couple… in my version of the Judas video Judas and Jesus would’ve been the couple… and I’d send it to her lol… Although there is people that say think that perhaps they were, there isn’t enough concrete evidence to show that he was married … that doesn’t mean that maybe they didn’t hook up, I imagine he has needs lol. I like the sacred heart, I have a couple of tshirts with the sacred heart on it.” Thanks again, Gsus!
AMERICANO – I feel like I’m in Spain, Italy, Mexico, Madonna’s Evita window and on the set of West Side Story all at the same time. In comes the beat with the la la la’s and you’re swept into a tango. You just want to kick your feet up and stomp & do dance flamenco with finger cymbals. I can’t understand if she’s trying to speak Spanish or Italian. The pace keeps through to the end of the track where I feel like I’m fighting a bull and out comes my red cloth. Everyone is cheering in the stands and the song ends. This song represents the American Dream for Gaga, whatever that means, or however it’s translated onto this track. Andale Andale Arriba!
HAIR – Seems all a bit misplaced, speaks about when she was a girl and her mother didn’t like the way she did her hair or her outfits. She’s as free as her hair and all I can think of is India Arie and a book I read when I was younger, ‘What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day”. I think Gaga would look hot with a baldy, no?
SHIßE – I don’t speak German but I would like to cause I don’t understand ‘shit’ she’s saying. But, I figured it out and I like the underground feel with the beat and when the chorus hits I feel floaty, “I… I wish I could dance on single prayer….” I just want to throw my hands in the air. Like all the tracks so far, they have a nice, steady beat that doesn’t give up, switches and/or builds up and she throws in the vocal and it comes together.
At this point I’m actually really getting into the album, all while understanding while some don’t see it, but thankful that I can begin enjoying it. Shit, why not?! I like something new and the album has a great pace, it’s like pop rocks, fizz and a cola.
BLOODY MARY – I feel like I’m walking into a ballet that turns into a twisted Wade Robson routine. It’s soft, mild religious context, creepy like the drink that not everyone can take and some say “Eww”. It’s the slower ballad of the album. Enigma sprinkles in some monkish chants and I feel like I’m wearing a heavy cape and twirling in a dark room with smoke near a red, bloody fountain. I take a big gold cup and make it a Bloody Mary. I love this song, and I love singing it, the dumb da da di da’s and all.
BLACK JESUS – Justin Timberlake’s favorite. He said it’s about how putting on a new spirit is as easy as putting on fashion. Amen. She says Jesus is the new black. I feel/hear the pace M’s Express Yourself in the lyrics. It’s a very fashiony runway track.
BAD KIDS – Another 80s feel & the more I listen to this one the more I like it. I feel like I’m walking down the street in my pimp gear in an updated version of “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”. Sub woofer pumps in lots of the tracks & this one. It changes feelings on me and in the chorus for a moment I feel like I’m at a fair near the beach with rides. I can see it as a summer track when all the kids want to head out, have fun and just be bad.
FASHION OF HIS LOVE – Her voice starts off clear. Its ok, I like the chorus best of all. We have to admit, call it what you like, her fashion is unlike anyone else, and some will even say it’s not fashion at all. C’est la vie, I’m sure she has you talking about it one way or another. She admits she’s not good at love with men but when it comes to fashion, she was born to love it (him). She gives a nod to Alexander McQueen.
HIGHWAY UNICORN (Run To Love) – I feel like I’m driving in a car or bus while listening to the opening of the track which jumps into a thump thumpity thump. It’s a horse of a different color, a magical creature. I feel like I’m hearing 3 songs in one. I want to ride a unicorn, not a pony.
HEAVY METAL LOVER – This sounds like the least rockish track, almost like a hip hop track, then an old Madonna track. Spacey, drunk k hole effects, the sounds are fused & fuzzy and echoey.
ELECTRIC CHAPEL – Electric guitar opens up over church organs and in comes in the steady, driving beat. Do do do – do do do do… wasn’t the other song called Shit? Anyway, I love it about a minute in when it all gets stringed up and I feel like I’m at a chapel in Vegas with the whole band playing at a cute rock wedding where Prince is performing making sex to the guitar like he always used to do.
THE QUEEN – Royal Bells and I’m feeling I’m in a Flashdance video. It’s quick, and slows towards the end, with a play on the way she obtained her name from Radio Gaga, who also had a track called “The Queen”.
YOU AND I – Feels like a “We Will We Will Rock You” track, but it’s not we, it’s you and I, and somehow we took a detour into the countryside where I’m wearing cowboy boots, cowboy hat and kicking a can down a road. I see a pond, pick up a rock and skip it over the calm waters and take a pic of the ripples.
THE EDGE OF GLORY – It’s a nice ending track. Feels like it could also be the opening, interchangeable with Marry The Night. She’s at the edge of love, while some people are at the edge of mixed emotions.
On “Inside the Outside” she said she didn’t want this album to sound or feel like anything she’s done, mission accomplished, and I think she lost some people in the process. She keeps the energy going but it’s just so different that it’s easy to see why so many won’t like it. I can get a better feel for the inspiration as her dad loved rock & roll. I’m diggin’ it and had to listen to it loud to get the full effect as is the territory, you have to blast it and rock out. I heard it about 2x at home sitting in my living room at a decent level but I couldn’t get into it and I wasn’t feeling IT. Then, I played it in the car and again on my new headphones & finally got the full effect (bass, peaks and valleys, background sounds, sub bass, etc) and IT sounded completely different. As cookey as she may be, she is still an artist at heart, and the more I listen to the album as a whole, the more I love it.
At the end of the day, it’s still Gaga, only the “Raa aah aah” has turned into more of a rock & roar.