Born This Way - Lady Gaga

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. May 25, 2011
    All well and good, and all very entertaining, but this is an album that's meant to be more: it's intended to be a soundtrack to a way of life, but it winds up playing as a collection of songs.
  2. May 27, 2011
    Will the Miss Gaga still be redefining the pop paradigm for other divas to follow several years down the road? Most definitely. Is Born This Way the album that's going to do it? Probably not.
  3. Aug 8, 2011
    Born This Way feels like the first proper Lady Gaga album. [Aug. 2011, p. 114]
  4. May 20, 2011
    What makes Born This Way so disarmingly great is how warm and humane Gaga sounds. There isn't a subtle moment on the album, but even at its nuttiest, the music is full of wide-awake emotional details.
  5. 80
    Because rather than an exercise in hype, what Born This Way really is an exercise in the pushing of everything to its ultimate degree. And for all the black, white and silver, it passes that test with flying colours.
  6. May 24, 2011
    Born This Way is as ostentatious, referential, and self-indulgent as Gaga herself, dancing right up to the line of self-parody, then spitting on it.
  7. May 23, 2011
    The record is blitzing, happily ludicrous, and plenty of fun for a while, but at the core there's Gaga, singing beautifully but clouded by all the readymade pop around her.
  8. May 24, 2011
    Lady Gaga certainly wasn't born this way, but she's making a convincing case that she's evolving into our most surreally brilliant pop star.
  9. May 31, 2011
    Unlike Madonna who seemed to just ingest cool genres, it seems from the very concept of this album and woven into her manifesto, that Gaga gets far more about the modern world than she's letting on.
  10. 83
    For all its fire and brimstone, Born This Way doesn't herald pop's second coming. But it's not a bad way to spend the wait.
  11. May 24, 2011
    Gaga has surrendered her artier leanings in the quest for a pure pop record, the consequences of which are that it occasionally strays too far into cheese territory.
  12. May 24, 2011
    Beyond all else, perhaps, think of this zero as the massive bedazzled orifice out of which our heroine has spawned a new era of popular culture.
  13. 60
    By the end of it, there's little doubting Gaga's sincerity. For all of her schlock and posturing, it's hard to remember the last time a pop star was this sincere.
  14. May 27, 2011
    You have to admire the way Gaga fearlessly throws herself into, say, a disco mariachi arrangement on Americano, but she should be careful: her frequently righteous tone and overindulgence in clunky Catholic metaphors threaten to mire her memorable melodies in schlocky self-help proselytizing.
  15. May 18, 2011
    There's nothing small about this album, and Gaga sings the shit out of every single track.
  16. Jul 6, 2011
    Gaga has always been able to anchor her haughty conceptual undertakings with simple, catchy tunes, but with Born This Way, the persona and the message are starting to bleed into the songs. It's not a good look.
  17. May 19, 2011
    Please enjoy someone actually putting a bit of effort and imagination back into pop, and keep the sneering and lazy comparisons in check. Not that they can take anything away from what is, simply, a marvellous record.
  18. Jun 7, 2011
    Born This Way sufficient for Gaga to retain her crown? Probably, but only just. It lacks the overall quality of Robyn's Body Talk or the stand-out singles of Rihanna's Loud, yet it's still packed with hooks, killer choruses and unexpected twists.
  19. May 24, 2011
    After months of hype, teases, and a handful of singles, Lady Gaga's new album has arrived - and it's a letdown, the most deflated moment in pop music this year.
  20. May 23, 2011
    She has already made pop interesting just as it was declining into irrelevance; now it's time for her to make it great again.
  21. May 26, 2011
    Yes, viewed on its own merits, Born This Way is a slightly above-average, if patronizing pop album that knows its own strengths and plays to them.
  22. May 18, 2011
    These songs all sound like Gaga, but they're more abrasive, less focused, and that's not a good thing.
  23. 50
    If Gaga had only spent as much time on pushing musical boundaries as she has social ones, Born This Way would have been a lot more successful.
  24. May 23, 2011
    So while Born This Way for the most part is great, I just don't think she's at her peak musically yet.
  25. Thematically, Born This Way dances between fantasy and fiction and plays out like an autobiography; every track and moment weaved from the DNA and life of Gaga.
  26. 60
    The more often she changes, and the broader she spreads her net musically, the less distinctive her art becomes.
  27. May 25, 2011
    For as overblown as Born is clearly intended to be, it's very difficult to love it for its nature--its gentler moments are more rewarding.
  28. 60
    Born This Way isn't the landmark record it could or should be.
  29. May 24, 2011
    Lady Gaga has made a quintessential pop album with Born This Way.
  30. May 24, 2011
    Gaga goes over the top and keeps on going: exhilarating, exhausting blockbuster entertainment.
  31. May 20, 2011
    It is the sound of a major artist sprinting to please everyone all the time – and even a pop star as inclusive as Gaga can't pull that off.
  32. This isn't up to The Fame or The Fame Monster. But both of those keep growing, and with its mad momentum and nutty thematics, this one could too--despite being laid down on tour trailed by 28 semis.
  33. Jun 24, 2011
    Yet, for all of GaGa's flamboyance, there was a humanity in her most memorable work that inspired a devotion in her legions of fans that went far beyond vigorous dance floor workouts. On Born This Way the quirky vulnerability is often lost behind the massive productions.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 823 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 302
  1. May 23, 2011
    An amazing album! Yes, perhaps not the album of the decade, but comes close to pop album of the decade atleast! the songs are so different from the other mediocre stuff that is put out. I love it! Full Review »
  2. May 23, 2011
    The hype was worth it. Lady GaGa's Born This Way is a marvelous record. She sings her heart out in every song. Simply AMAZING! There are no stand-out tracks on the album, each and every song is great and could be a potential single. Weather she is singing about religion, love, fighting for equal rights or fighting for your own identity, she always makes sure that your going to be comfortable listening to it. Full Review »
  3. May 23, 2011
    Simply a perfect album. There isn't a track on this record that is a misfire. I can't understand why it didn't get a better metascore. The album is probably the best of the decade. I haven't heard pop genius like this since MJ or Mad. It's INCREDIBLE!!! Full Review »