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Lady Gaga’s Disco-Crazy ‘Born This Way’ Debuts Online: Review

Lady Gaga predicts her next CD will be
Lady Gaga predicts her next CD will be "the greatest album of the decade." Photographer: David LaChap/Universal Music via Bloomberg

Lady Gaga’s new album “Born This Way” today made its debut online in Europe, five days before the official release. The hour of nonstop dance unashamedly bids to outdo anything by Britney Spears, Rihanna and Katy Perry.

Stefani Germanotta gets off to an unlikely start, sounding like Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” before the disco beats kick in as she blasts into opener “Marry the Night.”

That’s followed by the title track, with a Madonna-ish sound on the line “don’t be a drag, just be a Queen.”

“Government Hooker” and “Judas” keep the Euro disco party going and “Americano” adds a Latin lilt. “Hair” starts slowly before Gaga reverts to her default dance mode. “Bloody Mary” slows the pace with a few Madonna-style religious double entendres, though Gaga assures us that she’s still dancing.

The ever-pulsating keyboards drive “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)” with references to top-down driving that will sound good played in the Boxster parked near Venice Beach.

Like the last recordings by Spears and Perry, this comes with catchy tunes, expensive production and a sound that’s relentlessly radio and dance-floor friendly.

Before its release, Gaga immodestly declared it would be “the greatest album of the decade.” Sorry, this isn’t an insightful classic that will redefine music.

“Born This Way” will sell millions, and make millions for Interscope and Gaga, who was the top-selling rock artist of 2010. The album was written months ago and held back because of the continuing success of the “The Fame” and its versions “The Fame Monster” and “The Remix.”

Rating: ***.

What the Stars Mean:
*****      Exceptional
****       Excellent
***        Good
**         Average
*          Poor
(No stars) Worthless

“Born This Way” will be released on May 23.

The CD is streaming on Spotify in some mainland European countries and on Metro.Co.Uk in the U.K.

Download fees vary across services. The CD will be priced from $12.98 in the U.S. and 9 pounds in the U.K.

(Mark Beech writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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