5/24/11

The Majak Mixtape - TUNESDAY (5/24/11)


Paws up Mixtapers! Welcome to another stunning, flawless, amazing, serving you EXTRAVA-GAGA LADY-GANZA better than your favorite edition of the Majak Mixtape, where pop culture goes when its on the edge of glory. Over spending the past couple years just dancing, trying to reach her on her telephone, bad romancing and bluffing with her muffin, the Mama Monster herself Lady GaGa has finally released her second full-length album after what seems like the longest promotional period for an album since "Chinese Democracy."

Now, after countless appearances on talk shows and a fabulous stint on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend and her own HBO concert special at the beginning of the month and the odder-than-odd promo via the Farmville game on Facebook, "Born This Way" has finally made it to stores and iTunes all over the place. And while the reviews continue to pour in, we've decided to dedicate this week's Tunesday to doing a track-by-track review of the album to see if "Born This Way" is "Born to Slay" or D.O.A. But before we get to the Lady GaGa, we're tackling Lady O and part one of her three part celebration of herself.
In this first hour, you had Tom Hanks, who has apparently cornered the market on being a guest on talk shows ending, serving as the host for the first hour of basically the biggest, most glamorous, celeb-filled, pseudo-spiritual version of "This is Your Life" that we've ever had the pleasure to sit through. When we weren't swaying to the musical performances from the likes of Patti Labelle and Josh Groban, we were WTF-ing over random appearances from the likes of Tom Cruise, the wax figure that is Madonna, Katie Holmes looking like the deer caught in headlights she is, Dakota Fanning with a bunch of kids that are/have been raised by watching Oprah the past 25 years. Latch key kids REALNESS, y'all.

Beyonce was also there, trying to spin the shit that is "Run the World (Girls)" into a solid gold hit for herself. Poor thing. Never has such a middling tune of disappointing chart performance gotten so many flawless performances in such a short period of time. Sure, her performance on the Billboard Music Awards seemed like she spent a long, long time dancing in front of the world's most intricate Power Point Presentation ever, but it still was the business. Her performance on Oprah's big show was also hot and makes us wish she was doing this kind of performance for a song that was, you know, good. But you can't knock the girl's hustle, that's for sure.

Today will bring appearances from Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Will and Jada Smith and probably all sorts of other people who may or may not be a part of Scientology. We're sure there will be more tears, more tributes and even more things we'll find out Oprah was the chief reason behind. We just think it's a damn shame that Oprah has the power to pick our President, let's be honest, but can't get the bags underneath her eyes removed. Those bags are heavier than the dead weight of Gayle King and Stedman combined.

We'll bring you a recap of Part 2 tomorrow. Now rub that glitter and grease around, rub that glitter and grease around and get ready for one truly amazeballs edition of TUNESDAY.




We've got 14 tracks to get through so let us not dilly dally, shall we? Of course not. "Born This Way" is kicked off with the track "Marry the Night," a pretty decent dance tune that would've easily fit into La Bouche's early 1990s wheelhouse. A lot of the supposedly revolutionary sounds that were supposed to be all up and through "Born This Way" would only be revolutionary if this was like 1982. At its best, "Born This Way" is a great flashback to late 1980s/early 1990s music. At its worst, it's a hot preachy mess of NBC's The More You Know PSAs put to club music. But we'll get that later on. Anyway, first track, "Marry the Night."

"Marry the Night" leads into the title track. We could talk about how much this song sounds like "Express Yourself," but we'd rather talk about how Lady GaGa gave birth to glitter while performing the tune on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. Yeah, Lady GaGa put her legs in a stir-up and gave birth to glitter.

"Born This Way" leads into the next tune, "Government Hooker." The song first made its debut as a remix when Lady GaGa was modeling for the Mugler fashion show. The regular version that makes the album is more sound than song, which makes it the sort of perfect tune to be blasting in the clubby area of The Saloon or something but not something we can be like "PUT THIS ON REPEAT" while listening to it on our headphones at our computer.

Next up is Lady GaGa's take on shitty relationships/the Bible in the form of her single "Judas." Aside being a shameless reworking of the "Bad Romance" aesthetic, we enjoy "Judas." The video is sort of meh, especially the choreography by Lauriann "Boom Kack" Gibson. How GaGa saw the choreography that included Justin Bieber hand hearts and not fire her on the spot we will never know. Below, her live performance of "Judas" on "Ellen."

Next up is the song "Americano." While "Judas" was sort of unsuccessful reworking of "Bad Romance," "Americano" is basically the better version of "Alejandro" from "The Fame Monster." "Americano" sounds like something that would been on the soundtrack of "Moulin Rouge." Anyway, tt's ridiculous and theatrical and has a lovely menacing quality and is one of our favorite tracks on the album. Allegedly, the song is about immigration and whatnot. Like so many things about this album, GaGa's explanations are infinitely more creative than the track themselves.

The next track is the song "Hair." Not unlike the title song from the musical "Hair," Lady GaGa's "Hair" is all about embracing yourself and loving yourself and how she is her hair. It's one of the songs on the album where the MESSAGE-Y lyrics overwhelms everything else that is going on. Well aside from the saxophone, which makes one of its first appearances on the tune. We never thought we'd long for the days of GaGa singing about boys, boys, boys, but her current thing about having to make every song an ANTHEM is blech.

The next song is "Schei├če," a song that clearly Lady GaGa wrote to help the woefully under-served Oktoberfest demographic. Maybe?

Next up is "Bloody Mary." Unfortunately this song isn't an ode to the drink. At least we don't think so. But we love this mid-tempo in all its 1980s production quality that makes it sound like a lost Soft Cell or Kajagoogoo tune.

After "Bloody Mary" comes the track "Bad Kids," another one of her message-y songs for outcasts and whatnot. Seriously, a third of this album consists of songs that were tailor-made for the "It Gets Better" campaign, which is a great for its earnestness but sort of eye-roll inducing in other ways. It's like if you took Pink's songs like "Raise Your Glass" and "Fucking Perfect" and added ten thousand more layers of pretentious and synthesizers, you've pretty much got the message songs on "Born This Way."

Next up is "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)." Yes, there is a track called "Highway Unicorn." Lady GaGa is pretty much the best in real life troll since James Franco half-assed his way through the Oscars for his own delight and amusement. Of course, Lady GaGa would make a song called "Highway Unicorn." It's amazing it took her this long. The chorus is so Starship/"We Built This City" fabulous, we can't stand it.

After "Highway Unicorn" comes the gleefully sexual tune "Heavy Metal Lover." Lady GaGa uses the beat from "Born This Way" to way better use for "Heavy Metal Lover." The song sounds like a modern spin of something that would've been on Madonna's "Erotica" album. The song also reminds of Madonna's tune "Future Lovers" from her "Confessions on the Dancefloor" album. Either way, we enjoy the song and list it as one of our favorites off the album.

Next up is "Electric Chapel," which sounds a lot like something that would've been on Kylie Minogue's album "Aphrodite."

After "Electric Chapel" comes the obligatory Lady GaGa ballad. On "The Fame" we had "Brown Eye" and on "The Fame Monster" we had "Speechless." This album sees the grand ballad in the form of "You and I." "You and I" is such a shameless grab for having a big dramatic moment that you've got appreciate Lady GaGa trying to aim for the bleachers. 


And we end the album with "The Edge of Glory," a song that should be either a) ads for the next Olympics or b) if they ever do a remake of "St. Elmo's Fire."

With that, we bring this Mixtape to a close. There are like ten million bonus tracks for the album so you should also check those out. As always, we wish you love, peace and downloads! All we can say now is:


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