Lady GaGa has been known for turning pop music world and culture around, and for bringing amazing music videos which are high bar in comparison to the half ass productions made on this day, along minimal effort. Whether GaGa makes way abstract nonsense, or she wears a crazy outfit, she is by light years different, not because of her style, but because of the evident input she puts in her work, or her ‘art’ as she likes to call it.

She is original even if she draws inspirations from pioneers in the music industry over the past decades, because she makes it her own with her own twists. Artists like these is what pop culture needs. Whenever GaGa will premiere a video, make an appearance, release a song on radio or will plainly walk on the street, bet it is going to be an spectacle, but even though her latest video, ‘Born This Way’ is, it isn’t as out there as her past videos have been, putting aside the shock value imagery and unconventional makeup.

‘Born This Way’ is not short in budget apparently, neither on GaGa’s artistic (or eccentric) contributions, as the style is extravagantly eerie, despite the short in number proposed sets; the main bulk of the video centers on a dark room group dance siege, where a dark paint drenched scene also takes place. In comparison to her past work, this is easily her most simple execution despite some imagery; in GaGa terms that is saying a lot.

The video starts with GaGa declaring her manifesto, giving a bit of background history on how the ‘mitosis of the future began’, a race with boundless freedom, as she is portrayed as an alien gurú giving birth to several heads amidst kaleidoscope effects. At the same time, she announces the birth of evil, as she pulls out a machine gun off her crotch, giving start to the menacing strings of ‘Born This Way’, before she walks in between, bows and joins the rest for the initial contemporary-ballet-esque dance segment.

The dim illumination in the dark set is perfect, the camera work is superb, the makeup is oddly bizarre but really elaborate; the skin-color horns and pointy shoulder pads are quite particular and give GaGa the uniqueness she constantly battles for, and manages to go in line with the motifs and outer space-like representation present in the video.

GaGa’s dancing skills are not her forte, other than her theatrical pipes but she is able to pull off a couple ballet-esque moves combined with high kicks and contemporary arm movement to enhance her dramatic delivery. The little-close to nothing ensemble she wears throughout is over the top and unnecessarly revealing, but the bod she is displaying is definitely toned and much worked out compared to how she initially started. At least it is the most normal clothing (if one can call it that exactly, other than a bikini) she has wore in a long time.

It is basically a major stab at catering to the fans, by dedicating and flaunting differences and individuality. The Michael Jackson and Madonna references are really off place and don’t really fit with the perceived concept of the video. Guess GaGa must have her reasons, as she always has a reason for everything she does; take the bubblegum at the end for example, which was revealed to be a tribute to her video-guest, Rico and his skin art, as a representation and definition of beauty in an artistic way, since he explained he got his whole body tattooed because of Bazooka gum stick-on tattoos. Go figure.

The video’s turn off estabishes itself at the beginning. Despite the gooey head-birth scenes being slighty censored with a kaleidoscope like split screen, it does not make it any less gross and crude as it is. It is quite graphic, it does not swirl on the offensive, but it is also too much. The concept of the song and video are clear when she introduces the opening lines and the positions she finds herself at, there is no further evidence needed the song entails birth.

She does want to make a statement of a new ‘race’, with lesser restrictions and who are able to express themselves freely in whichever way they desire, but it comes across as midly pretentious and over self indulging, though her conviction when saying it gives it a different perspective. The video is certainly not a joke, but if GaGa wouldn’t have played her cards right, it probably would’ve been.

It is a good video, and the execution has its quality of its own, as well as its odd originality, but the video could’ve done without some scenes, and it would’ve been cohesive and not a tad bit random and digressive. She does not need to do extensive videos everytime she puts one out, but they are certainly entertaining and worth a watch either way. Lady GaGa is here to stay, and having a video focused on her other than her prominent style, is a nice variation.

★★★1/2

C.Perez

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