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