rating: 2In a post-apocalyptic world, nuclear warfare having ravaged its way through the last remains of the human race, a troop of fierce and intelligent warriors from the planet Sanghelios are sifting through the structural catastrophe and human rubble. Beneath the debris they hear a murmur. As they dig deeper the murmur grows to a deafening, monosyllabic din. Ra ra ah ah ahh emanates from a creature that appears to have been the only life form to survive. When the creature is questioned as to its name, it replies Darling, you can call me.....Gaga. With that not wholly necessary introduction behind us, you may now be wondering what brought me to review this album, 7 months post release. And the simple answer is (other than being asked to do so), that having spent the past few years going out of my way to avoid anything mildly connected to Gaga, believing her to be nothing but a budget version of Madonna marketed to the hilt, I heard her perform Marry the Night at the VMAs and thought that perhaps, PERHAPS, beneath the meat dress (incidentally done by Linder Sterling in 1982. Ahem.), and the other outrageous costumes, and the sexual ambiguity, and everything else that is Gaga, that maybe, just maybe, a creditable artist did lie. And that Id got her so, so wrong. Born This Way is the second studio album from Lady Gaga. With sales upwards of 8 million in just 7 short months, accompanying the 12 (TWELVE) million plus sales of debut album The Fame and reported sales of around 4 million for extended play The Fame Monster, Gaga is somewhere around the 25 million mark in terms of units shifted. If that hasnt made people stand up and take notice, then nothing ever will. And take notice they have (well, its hard not to. Believe me, Ive tried). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cggNqDAtJYU&ob=av2e The aforementioned Marry the Night gets the album off to an exhilarating start. A clarion call to cast off the shackles and embrace the night and everything it has to offer. Its full of pumping synths and electro organs and rips through you like a tornado through a peaceful suburban landscape. The delivery and content of the lyrics are near perfect and it offers so much for the rest of the album. Sadly, offer, is all it does. All that remains of BTW are jude-ah-ahhs and ooh-ma-mas and a whole host of over repeated words and sounds. If she dropped just half of these out, the record could be shorn by at least 20 minutes. She sings about being true to yourself Born This Way and Hair but this comes from a woman that dresses herself up in an endless array of cover-up-your-true-self costumes and refers to herself in the third person more often than a drum and bass MC. And its just all very difficult to take seriously. Perhaps were not supposed to. The real problem that I have with this album though is that Ive heard it all before. But back then it was called Speed Garage Anthems in Ibiza. You see, Gaga produces what she thinks dance music sounds like. And I dont listen to dance music. Because I think it sounds like this album. I was led to believe that she was an edgy, controversial character. But shes about as edgy and controversial as Ronnie Corbett and the only time she strays from anything like the uniform Gaga formula is on You and I, the country-tinged fourth single from BTW. On Heavy Metal Lover she sings I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south, the intention no doubt to shock us and make us marvel at what an outrageous and ground breaking artist she is. But we live in a world where Eminem was rapping about choking a whore until the vocal chords dont work in her throat no more, a decade prior. We can only wish he had done so before Gaga put Government Hooker to press, where the line Put your hands on me John F. Kennedy, Ill make you squeal baby as long as you pay me bring me to the brink of launching my iPhone out the window. But I dont. As Im on the train. And before you start on about me doing my research blah blah blah, I know this line is supposed to make some sort of reference to Marilyn, and JFK, and the influence mistresses of politicians have on decision making etc etc, but its such a pathetically cheap line that it spoils what is probably the second best track on the album. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDt_oagItBM&ob=av2e There are moments when I start to warm to her. Marry the Night is supported by Electric Chapel and The Edge of Glory as tracks worthy of the praise that gets heaped upon her. But the ten tracks you have to trudge your way through between Marry the Night and Electric Chapel ranges from the absurd, to the wretched, and back again. Im sure fans, or Little Monsters or whatever it is she calls them, will scream that I just dont get her. And perhaps I dont. But having given her a try Ive absolutely no inclination to get her. The great shame is, that of the few times I have seen her perform live, she clearly has an excellent voice (well let her cameo with the Pet Shop Boys at the Brit Awards slide), is dripping with business savvy and marketing nous, and the creative genius behind the marketing of brand Gaga no doubt originates with her. Shes a 25 year old woman who could have had it all, but continued to want more and the fear now is that she will get lost in the ether. Sure the record sales are there. The money continues to flood in. But what happens when the sales dry up and the record company stop answering the phone. I have the feeling the brains behind brand Gaga might just wish she had remained as plain old free as her hair Stefani Germanotta. Unleash the hounds. Or monsters. Or whatever you call yourselves. Lady Gaga's Born This Way Deluxe Edition is available now.