CD Review: Lady Gaga Page 2

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With all the ancillary outrageousness that accompanies everything that Gaga does, it’s sometimes hard to see the dress for the hanging meat — or hear the forest for the trees. Make no mistake, though: This is a very talented young woman who can sing her way out of any bag (or egg) she finds herself in. And with the considerable help of her three main collaborators — Fernando Garibay, DJ White Shadow, and RedOne — she flows seamlessly from punk-chipped rock (“Bad Kids”) to anthemic arena-pop (“Marry the Night,” “Born This Way”), and from theatrical cabaret (“Bloody Mary”) to dancehall Eurodisco (the Spanish-speckled “Americano,” the Deutsche-marked “Scheiße.”)

Perhaps the most telling moments, though, come from unexpected angles. While “Yoü and I” has studio assistance from Def Leppard/Shania Twain producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange and a stamp-of-approval appearance by Queen guitarist Brian May, this ballad is, significantly, the only cut composed solely by Gaga, and it hints that the singer/songwriter once known as Stefani Germanotta is still residing deep inside the Gaga guise. And for a good clue to what helps propel the whole crazy package, pay close attention to the tracks done with RedOne. The writer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist hails from Morocco, and he first made a name for himself in Sweden before coming to the U.S. So it’s no mere coincidence that both the sure-shot hit “Hair” and the bizarrely infectious “Judas” bounce from the aforementioned Eurodisco to Middle Eastern belly-dance music. Who knew that ABBA plus couscous could be the secret formula to power pop’s white tornado?

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