Before I write this short review I feel a disclaimer of sorts is appropriate. First, I am a fan of Lady GaGa. Before The Fame caught on and was the big success that it was, I was listening to it and trying to get everyone on the GaGa bandwagon. What made The Fame and Fame Monster so successful was that GaGa and her producers made music that sounded fresh and new. No one, not even Madonna or Britney Spears, put out anything close to the catchy “Poker Face” or the monumental introduction of “disco stick” to the world in the lyrics of “LoveGame.” Even with Fame Monster she managed to carve her place in pop culture and pop music with the epic “Bad Romance” and every track of that mini album felt big, expressive and single worthy.
Then came “Born This Way.” It felt like a huge step back from her past work that always seemed to look forward. Unfortunately, “Judas” suffers the same problem. This is not Lady GaGa at her best. Perhaps we’re so deprived for music these days that we’re quick to proclaim any new song that comes from the Haus of GaGa as being great and a hit. Are you kidding me? First, like “Born This Way,” “Judas” feels like it’s trying far too hard. Where as “Born This Way” tried hard to be a big gay anthem, “Judas” tries too hard to shock the masses (literally). Let’s see – it’s a track about being betrayed (which is cool) that uses one of the most despised men of the Bible as the centerpiece. Seem a tad bit controversial? It gets worse. She’d been hyping the release of this single like the second coming of Jesus; it’s big, it’s better than anything we’ve heard, oh it has a great message. Lady GaGa, shut your skinny ass up and sit down. This was nothing to get excited over. First of all, Lady GaGa can sing – we know that. It’s what sets her apart from say, Britney Spears or other pop acts. However, she sounds like sh*t on this single. I had to search for the lyrics (courtesy of some uber GaGa fan) just to understand half of the ramblings, ahem, lyrics of the song.
Production wise. This track tries hard to be a hybrid of “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro.” I said this on Twitter and GaGa super fans went crazy. Let’s see – the big hook of “Alejandro” was singing and breaking up the name to a catchy beat and in this new song, the main hook is, big shocker, making the name Judas over into a catchy beat. The music is atrocious and barely groundbreaking, sounding more like a Kmart-level production of the “Bad Romance” track. There’s nothing new here to gush over. It feels like the creative, groundbreaking artist that entered the scene just a few years ago has left the scene to be replaced by an artist entirely driven by ego, pandering to her target audience (gays), making cheap music. Not to sound prude but can we also comment on the tacky decision to release a song titled “Judas” and go on singing about demons and other Biblical matters so close to Good Friday and Easter? I’m sorry, but I liked GaGa when she made good, carefree, un-political or provocative dance and pop music. In a remix she once opened it with the statement that pop music will never be low brow. Well, like Judas, she lied because this mess of a track is pretty low brow. It’s obviously an attempt to drum up publicity for her new album and to maintain this “crazy” pop star persona she developed. Sorry but her image and antics are starting to overshadow her talent and music and already the quality of her songs are suffering as she spends more time trying to figure how to shock us all next.
So, in case you’re unable to put all the pieces together, I am not a fan of this track. I’m still hoping the best has yet to come from the Born This Way album and that the entire album won’t sound like a bad, cheap tribute to the ’90s as the first two tracks have been. For now, this doesn’t cut it. She seems to be straying far from what’s gotten her to this state in her career. While people don’t seem to care at the moment and her songs are shooting to number one, this all feels reminiscent of Madonna’s career and how all was hunky dory until she got too weird and sexual for folks with Erotica. Reminds me of Hot TubeV Sex Videos with how sexual Madonna was getting. This entire era seems rather weird and off and the whole fixation on dark, twisted religious stuff is a major turn off. As they’d say in that classic In Living Color skit, “hated it!”