With releases from Katy Perry, P!nk, and Ke$ha also tackling similar themes with their latest singles I was interested to see how Lady Gaga would put her own spin on the we’re-all-great-in-our-own-freaky-way anthem. What makes “Born This Way” better than the rest of the pack is just that, it’s an actual anthem. It takes cues from both Madonna’s “Express Yourself” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and is this decades equivalent of those two hits. Although it’s buried deep in disco tradition it still has a modern feel to it. The production risks feeling a little cluttered at times, but the huge chorus is undeniable.
That said, “Born This Way” isn’t perfect. Just like her contemporaries recent singles, it has a few lyrical flaws that generally come with self-esteem anthems. It was clear from the moment Gaga posted the lyrics on the Internet that they were a little too preachy for their own good. There are quite a few bizarre references to God. Gaga seems much more comfortable when saying lines like “Don’t be a drag/Just be a queen“.
So, while you’d be right saying the lyrics are corny and that the song itself sounds very similar to “Express Myself”, they somehow work wonderfully well together. Rather than feeling like a late entry in a crowded field, “Born This Way” feels essential. Say what you will about the Lady, but she sure knows how to give her fans what they want.