Gaga's “Born This Way” Born Mediocre

By Beth Stebner
|  Monday, May 23, 2011  |  Updated 1:58 AM PDT
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<a title=Elton John talks about his movie, "Gnomeo & Juliet," an animated version of Shakespeare's classic love story. Also, Elton chats about his duet with Lady Gaga in "Gnomeo & Juliet." Plus, what was it like to work with partner David Furnish on this movie?" />

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Elton John talks about his movie, "Gnomeo & Juliet," an animated version of Shakespeare's classic love story. Also, Elton chats about his duet with Lady Gaga in "Gnomeo & Juliet." Plus, what was it like to work with partner David Furnish on this movie?

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“I'm just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time,” Lady Gaga once said.

And with the relentlessly hyped release of her sophomore album, “Born This Way,” Gaga is doing just that. But is that enough?

Critics who have already heard the album have mostly arrived at the same consensus: yes, Lady Gaga is powerful, influential, and is an outrageous style icon. But beyond that, her music, The Boston Globe says, is generically catchy pop, where “nuance is her enemy.”

The Washington Post called Gaga's music “boring,” saying that while themes of religion, sex, and addiction all pop up, there isn't the risk that one hopes to hear from a performance artist that lives and breathes her craft.

The biggest complaints across the board have to do with the album's inconsistency. It's difficult listening to the album in one sitting, they say, because the themes and music combined are almost “punishing.”

Too much Madonna-esque riffs, too much 80's, too many club beats, not enough substance.

Tough crowd.

Among the critics, Rolling Stone stood as one of the few who thoroughly enjoyed the album, praising its “electro-sleaze beats and Eurodisco chorus chants.” The best part, Rob Sheffield writes, is how “honest” Gaga's voice sounds.

Tough crowd or not, at least Gaga has her anthem straight, and a hoard of Little Monsters to sing the chorus.

Selected Reading: WaPo, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Rolling Stone, Lady Gaga, USA Today

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