“I don’t want to be part of the machine – I want the machine to be part of me.“
Born This Way is a perfect record. It is uncomfortably euphoric. First spins are ideally experienced with a few close friends, or those who have spun before; likely obtained through contraband means however – the first spin is usually experienced in the wee hours of the night or morning… where the rush of the synesthetic synthetic splendor triggering peaks and valleys – previously unfathomed – comes with a conscious uncertainty: as to whether you like it or hate it, whether or not said rush is result of the product itself, or the hype surrounding and building up to the first taste, and whether or not this is in actuality real life, some surreal fantasy – or just the delirious drunkenness of well-deserved fatigue… It’s personal, political, public, and cultural; it’s the social catalyst, sedative, signpost and staple; it’s the universal shared experience, and the pre-eminent polarizing sign of the times – like blood flowing through the veins of a buncha bad kids: Born This Way is a trip down Alice’s glitter way – and one hell of a drug. #rhythmicrapture
Regardless of any and everything else, Born This Way – at its least analytical, most literal and basic – is a wedding ring, a garter belt, and a bouquet of pink and black rhinestone roses to be forever shared between the Mother and her Monsters. The single lady likes her fans – so she put a ring on them. Instead of the armored prince, Gaga chose the dark night – the belles and beaus of her Monster Ball: the Judases – those significant others abandoning their frat brothers and boys to be with their girl at a Pop show; the Hair bows – tweens whipping their side ponytails as if their curfew, and Algebra grade, depended on it; the Heavy Metal Lovers – front row seated with Starlight on one side, Darian Darling on the other, and Luc Carl peering right over their shoulders, devil horns raised towards the heavens for their Stanton Street starlet – Dirty pearls and a patch for all the Rivington rebels, watch me light the St James; the Bad Kids who found the tickets wedged underneath a car tire in the faculty parking lot, couldn’t scalp ’em, so decided to go for the possible free drugs to be had, or at least an extra freak flag; the middle-aged women reliving their Eighties days, material girls not giving a Scheiße about the husband or kids – it’s Ladies Night; Americano cholas who know no language barrier, only bombastic Spanglish bridges, and shared gang tats; even the oft-scoffing Government Hooker industry figures with comped tickets, there to witness their madam and mistress, on the edge with them, in all of her prostitouted glory.
May 23rd – miss the rapture? Au contraire; May 23rd: Miss The Rapture – here, justice blindly rides over judgement, in clear view, on the shoulders of Lady Liberation. Four conceptual bayonetted broncos of the apocalypse gallop monstrously over rapturous rhythms, delivering hymns of the anti-rapture; Mary the Knight, the masked maiden, Magdalene of Art, the mistress as her own mister.
I’m gonna marry the dark
Gonna make love to the stark
I’m a soldier to my own emptiness
I am a winner
The warrior queen weds herself in the midst of darkness on the silhouetted lunar half; as she marries the darkest depth of nocturne’s cyclical descent, in that very night, she weds her plight, her own demons – and in that, so she unleashes the good. She comes that much closer to her own divine, the venture to cast a greater shadow than that of its own Creator’s great Light. Mary rides gallantly through the trenches en route to nocturne’s most liberating subterranean bacchanalia; finding freedom in sin, breaking bread with the bad kids, feasting with both the goats and the sheep, cultivating this new earth of weeds, and of wheat… The anti-rapterous coup – not a wedding, nor a funeral, but a celebration of the mutually symbiotic two; a votre sante – raise your whiskey high, kiss the bartender twice – new race, new world… oh, how merry the night.
“Marry the Night” is the matrimony, and the consummation – then the day break, then the genesis, then the birth of this nation of spearheaded stallions… “‘Born This Way:’ ‘the marijuana to the heroin of the album.'” Coming in at 4 minutes and 21 seconds, the title track eases us into the album just a hair over the horizon of 4:20, ensuring that everything after childbirth is an elevated experience #puffpawbereborn The album is noticeably fragmented, but fluidly so; combining such extreme elements of sound, scope, scape, and sentiment; there is an undeniable blend of 70s, 80s, and 90s beats ranging from Rock, Operatic, R&B, Hip-Hop, Country, Dance, Electronic, House #haus, Soul, Latin, and a litany of other genres that probably don’t exist anywhere except Planet G.O.A.T. (or Planet of the Unicorns)
#intheculturalsense the warrior queen of the night: receipts on display; it’s the systematic deconstruction of Reagan-era social undoing… her True Blue Magic: “People say they wanna bring the 80s back – that’s okay with me that’s where they made me at;” literally rewriting the 80s through the era’s own beats, melodies, bass, treble, trials, and tribulations – love, art, #kanyeshrugs, and a single handed coup on the War on Drugs: this government hooker cracked the code. She takes the free love, mind-expanding, mass-liberating heart of the 60s, the socio-politically fervor infused with Studio 54-meet-subway-youth fever pitch everything of the 70s, and compounds it into the greed-is-great – can’t spell money honey without M.E., homey – 80s, to rewind and replace this generation’s foundation for a fruitful rebirth. Again: somewhere… Reagan is crying on Basquiat’s shoulder…
#inrelatednews Tea Partiers, Non-Zynga-affiliated Middle America farmers, the GOP, and Newt Gingrich look to Marion Barry’s crisis consultation for “when legislative ladies of the night incite dangerous liaisons” “… Free B*tch Set Me Up“
Layer by layer, in the same way Britney broke down the Blackout 2000s of American culture, Gaga – ever the aural architect – builds the future social landscape, cementing the sonic foundation, with “Government Hooker” opening the floodgates to Pop’s political bedfellowship…
The effects of the political mistresses run through the veins of this album, as much as they do the nation, like nocturnal tears through the taps of bars, taverns, and bugged telephones from the Watergate to Hotel California. “Judas,” “Government Hooker,” “Americano,” and “Scheiße;” Mary Magdalene, Marilyn Monroe, Maria Full of Grace, and Madonna – like Judy, Sylvia, Jon Benet, and Diana – timeless iconographies of mediated mistresses from Pop’s political panorama, proudly displayed here as cultural pillars. Where would we be without Jesus’ silhouetted siren, or John F. Kennedy’s birthday surprise… “Americano” is the ever graceful Maria – that tale of the American Dream slightly deferred; I don’t speak your langua-idioma, I won’t speak your Jesus Christo, I don’t speak your Americano – the track is Gaga taking Reagan’s famously touted “City Upon a Hill,” the ever-detached United States, dressing it in gauchos, and gallivanting it through her very own Valley of the Dolls. “Scheiße” finds its heart and soul right beneath the everyfemale’s bosom, and its heels digging deeper and deeper into the confessional dancefloor #pawsupforladiesnight. Scribed from the sounds of the dancehall, and the spoken words of Madonna’s discography; we have the Erotica-infused, disco-dissertation of the fourth-on-the-floor Wave Feminist – with just a *touch* of the fatal femme tone: I wish I could dance on a single prayer… When I’m on a mission, I rebuke my condition; if you’re a strong female – you don’t need permission…
“Knowledge is a drug – and I snort it everyday.” #listen
There’s the dark political realities of the album, and then there’s the lighthearted pop bubble dreams… while they are in a constant state of ebb-and-flow throughout the album, there are those tracks that stand definitively on the side of the spearheaded stallion #tobequitelisafrank – namely: “Highway Unicorn (Road 2 Love),” “Hair,” “Bad Kids,” “Heavy Metal Lover,” and “Electric Chapel.” The album dwells blissfully in the niched void of juxtaposition – there is no extended period of continuity outside of inconsistency and cacophonous sounds – in that imperfection, it is perfect. As much as the album is a political statement, it is a personal exchange between Gaga and her monsters – Don’t be insecure, if your heart is pure; you’re still good to me if you’re a bad kid, baby – as much as it is the warrior queen of the night’s return as the bodyguard, as much as it is a conversation between the monsters and the mother they created, as much as it is the monsters amongst themselves, and the doting, cautiously optimistic, sometimes doubtful, surrogate mother in the mirror.
Gaga loves her life, and she lives this record – with one monstrously-manicured hand firmly cemented in reality, and one glitter-glammed hoof leaving startrails in fantasyland. She strides in sublime suspension on the bridge between the real world and surreal life – here we are given the blueprint symphonic on how everyone can get like she. The album as a whole is her self-proclaimed “halfway point between reality and fantasy,” and “Bloody Mary” is the peak product of that mantra.
#andAGAIN I reiterate: watch. the. bridge – within the tracks, as much as within the meta and physical worlds. Sonically… it goes there. It’s as much a Crack Haus as it is an Operatic Opium Den, a Musical Meth Lab, and Metal Head Shop – some chemical/choral THC/EDM hybrid. The sounds veer in a methodical mania: The Amphetamine Amplification of “Judas” with visceral beats so voltaic it must be the devil’s work, and “Scheiße” with fever pitch synth, ear piercing cries OWWwww, inaudibly deliberate German-English dialoguing, paralleled with kick drums pulsing beneath instrumentals that sound uncannily human… The Barbituated Bass of “Bloody Mary” with layered vocals ranging from the darkest depths of beast baritones to ambient sighs and rhythmic respirations, spliced and screwed with analogue effects, creates an anthem for the Monsters – if only because the sheer calm chaos of it all, is undoubtedly a language only truly understood within their world…
We are not just art for Michelangelo to carve,
He can’t rewrite the agro of my furied heart.
I’ll wait on mountain tops in Paris cold
Je ne veux pas mourir toute seule
The Hallucinogenic Haus that is “Born This Way” – gatekeeper to the kingdom, accompanied by an otherworldly visual display of the most extraterrestrial… The Synthesized Sedative sounds of “Heavy Metal Lover,” with its hazy electrics and reverb lingering above and beneath flute-like oohs and French-tinged whispers to come hither, or “Americano,” with shakers, distinct Latin-fusion beneath Spanglish and Roma calls – those signature motleyed multilinguistics #andAGAIN – mariachi guitars polyamourously engaged with slight hints of Eastern European club beats, a bit of Greek #OPA, and the staple downtown Manhattan discotheque drum loops, in a romantic medley of a most nomadic nuptial agreement… Operatic Opiate melodies, ominous on one hand and aspirational on the other – as if the two hands ever parted – build beautifully into the bombastic neo-retro balladry of “Yoü and I,” and “The Edge of Glory” with sweltering saxophone and guitar licks interspersed between bittersweet lyricism…
Another shot before we kiss the other side
Drunken Bass flows like a river through the entire record, enhancing and impairing levels of each track #whiskeyandblondsouthinyourmouth Fundamentally, the entire record hearkens to a Fringe Funk sound: some chopped-and-screwed, some Meowvelously purrrfect verve #ketabemine #scheiße, Midwest Meth sounds (oh those Nebraska boys #heythatbarnsonfire) – the kind of Electric Chapel basement sounds you would expect to hear from Bad Kids with good Hair.
drug – noun (Zoroastrianism): the cosmic principle of disorder and falsehood.
Beneath it all though, Born This Way is Gaga’s Sermon on the Mushroom; like the caterpillar – Alice’s mind-nourishing nemesis, her own personal hookah-smoking Socrates – this is the Lady’s extended way of asking you to ask yourself: “O… R… U…”
The fifth great principle of wisdom in the Philosophy of Concepts as revealed through the adventures of Alice is that divinity lies in difference. Differentiation is the basis of self-hood because when self is reduced to its very last component essence it is still found to possess the individuality that differentiates it from everything else in the universe. Indeed, this basic difference is its reality in fact and this difference inherent in every self is the tie to divinity. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8) The very thing which distinguishes or identifies God in an essential difference from everything which is not wholly divine is that which equally serves to distinguish or identify the God in man or his divinity, or his difference. Self-assertion or recognition of differentiation in self is the fundamental basis of illumination or initiation, and in this is seen the value of dissatisfaction as well as the truth of the statement that all progress in the world has been at the hands of unsatisfied people. The student must learn to EAT SOMETHING and wrap himself around substance. If man will eat of the spirit and of the earth, or subconscious and conscious matter alternately until balance in understanding is struck, he will be able to master all problems.
Watch This Space: Look yourself in the mirror, because you are a superstar and you were born this way – good enough to eat #tearsontap…
so it is, and again again here we are; just yoü and I, on the precipice of prismatic…
Watch This Space