Single Review: Lady GaGa – ‘Marry The Night’

“It feels more like the Lady GaGa of today who’s walking these streets, rather than the 19-year old Stefani Germanotta”

3 STARS

Digital Release: November 20, 2011

Physical Release: December 5, 2011

When Lady GaGa first announced the title of her second album ‘Born This Way’, perceiving it to be a “landmark statement” and the “greatest album of [her] career”, the divides between supporters, detractors, and those who didn’t care couldn’t have been more finely drawn. All at once, and at the mere whim of a statement from the Lady herself, thousands flocked to social networking sites to vent their anger or show their support at such a magnitude only GaGa could command. Love her or loathe her, her ability to produce internet wars and heated office debates ad lib with even the smallest of matters – like wearing a plastic telephone on her head – has gone unmatched since her stratospheric rise to worldwide fame.

But ‘Born This Way’ was far from the epic musical document of her life in the pure pop form she wanted it to be; a solid album, yes, but hardly the most original, feminist and iconic work of art (the latter descriptor entirely dependent on the first two). The themes were there, most certainly, but there was little to take from listening to ‘Born This Way’ if you didn’t already agree with absolute certainty that Lady GaGa was quite possibly the best thing to happen to pop music in the last fifteen years. Case in point: the slightly awkward album opener and newly-released fifth single, ‘Marry The Night’.

It’s ‘difficult’ birth is, quite bizarrely, best summed up if you can decipher the pretentious art-talk of GaGa herself – “Imagine if Bruce Springsteen had a baby with Whitney Houston”. It’s in the borrowing from her musical influences a little too gratuitously that strips her of any originality in the universal sense her and her fans insist she should be viewed from, whereas in context of today’s popstars, ‘Marry The Night’ is in a league of it’s own. But nonetheless, this song has all the pomp stadium-sized circumstance required of a peak-career Springsteen track and all the glitteringly camp frills and trims that a classic Whitney track would be expected to have, only, all of it is mixed up and viewed through a 2011 lens. Once over the self-affirming lyrics in the chiming, electric organ introduction, energetic beats and crunching synths join the celebration of GaGa’s days before she became a global superstar. 

It’s all very grounded of her to discuss with her fans her loyalty to her roots on the back-streets of New York and the burdensome path to which she found fame, but when it’s flamboyantly paraded about amidst a riotous Fernando Garibay production, it’s sincerity is lost because she hasn’t willingly dropped any dedication to her artistic anonymity; it feels more like the Lady GaGa of today who’s “gonna burn a hole in the road”, rather than the 19-year old Stefani Germanotta looking for gigs to play at or bar to perform on. As a whole musical production, ‘Marry The Night’ feels lukewarm until about a minute till it’s end, when cacophonous walls of sound are replaced momentarily by a Depechemode-on-poppers breakdown, before re-assembling itself into a monolithic crescendo, only to fade out suddenly, leaving behind a feeling which can only be described as dissatisfaction; after a minute’s worth of build-up to such a finale, it does seem to run out of steam very abruptly.

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3 Comments

  1. Gerard McGarry

    Funnily enough, this is the one track on the album that my daughter’s been playing repeatedly. Yet I still haven’t formed an opinion of it beyond the fact that the line “Marry The Night” is a fantastic chant that’s hard to stop singing out loud.

    From the singles I’ve listened to from Born This Way, you’re quite right, it’s a polarizing experience. I’ve hated some songs, but grown to love others like Born This Way and even You And I with its Shania-By-Numbers thump. It’s blatantly unoriginal from leaning heavily on 80s/90s Madonna to the Mutt Lange production on You And I, but strangely enough it’s all quite satisfying despite that.

  2. Dara Hickey

    I must agree with you there Gerard – there are some brilliant songs that, to coin and expression used by her most vocal fans “does sound like anyone else in the business could do”. But of course, all the blood, sweat and tears pumped into the albums only pays off on a few tracks, such as ‘Sheisse’, ‘Bloody Mary’ and ‘Americano’. There are some songs which heavily rely on the basis formed by past superstars… although you could commend her for being the only artist with enough balls to call it original.

    I would like ‘Born This Way’ as a whole, but unfortunately there are moments when I question whether the “art” is worth it.

  3. magsmagenta

    She has some really good songs and she can sing which is more than can be said for most of the ‘artists’ around. Without that I wouldn’t be interested in all the wild costumes and weirdness. As it is I enjoy her shows and I’m glad there is someone ike her around.

    I don’t think she’s a musical genius as most of her fans think but as a showwoman she is brilliant.

    Marry the Night however isn’t her best song I think, it took me a few listens to to be able to remember what I’d heard rather than what I was looking at and without the visuals it doesn’t do much for me. To be really good it needs to be more memorable.

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