Born This Way, or Raised By Madonna?

11 02 2011

Friday, February 11th, 2011. Ground Zero. Chicago.
No, not thousands of Egyptian residents rejoicing as Hosni Mubarak steps down, or even gay icon Robyn playing live again, but we got our first taste of Lady GaGa’s new material today…and it’s a very familiar flavor at that…a hint of Madonna.
Now, trust, there is nothing more cliché than a gay music critic comparing Madonna to Gaga, I’m aware. But this truly is the first time I’ve noticed it in her production and writing vs. just her imagery. The chorus of La’gaga’s new single, Born This Way, is directly lifted from Madge’s Express Yourself (thank you Matthew Harvat for pointing that one out) and the fading clicks at the end couldn’t be more Express Yourself.
As your probably aware, this isn’t the first time someone has tried to cop Madonna’s sound. The first one I recollect is one hit wonder Regina who’s single Baby Love was so similar to everything off Madonna’s self titled album that we all thought it was a new Madonna single when it hit the radio in 1986. Turns out Baby Love was written for Madonna with Stephen Bray (Madonna’s main collaborator in her early years), but Regina decided to keep it for herself instead. Good move for one hit, but she was so close to Madonna but without the sexy charisma that there was no need for Regina in the pop world after that.
Madonna then didn’t get much in the way of imitators until the 90’s when Kylie Minogue and Cathy Dennis, both in the downward slide of their careers tried on her mid-period sound on Kylie’s Where is the Feeling and Cathy’s entire Into the Skyline, produced by collaborator Shep Pettibone. Well, those two attempts bombed. So lets flash forward to 2009.
The heinous Black Eyed Peas had one glimmer of quality when Fergie and paid homage to her Like a Virgin era with Meet Me Halfway, even working the word Borderline into the chorus. If it wasn’t for the lame wrapping, it’d been the best Madonna track in years. This tribute, combined with Born This Way, show that aping Madonna is truly in “Vogue”. Now if only Ms. Ciccone herself could tap into that, she could still snatch that crown form Ms. Germanotta’s little monster head.




2 responses

11 02 2011

I swear in the middle there, I thought she was going to tell me to Vogue.

11 02 2011

And does she really use the pejorative “Orient” in a song about acceptance and respect?

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