Hey guys, I’m sorry. I usually grab a song from the Top 20, but this week’s entries are all either songs I already covered, or even worse, decent songs that don’t open themselves up to a lot of commentary. So I’m at a total loss, there’s nothing for me to look at this week. Wait, hang on…what’s this?
“Judas”? Wasn’t this supposed to come out on Tuesday? It’s out now on Saturday? Well hey, let’s take a listen! Wait, hold up, this is Holy Week, gotta say thanks. Ahem…Lord, Thank you for saving my ass with this song, and thank you for this performer, her batshit insanity, and most importantly, her inability to keep to a release date. Amen.
Yep, here we are with another Lady Gaga release because I never get to talk about her. To recap my stance on Miss Gaga: Decent music, irritating “artiste”. My three word review of “Born This Way” was “Bored this way”. Now let’s cut the foreplay and get to “Judas”.
I didn’t like “Born This Way” because of how tame it sounded. By comparison, “Judas” got me excited from the “Judas, Jud-ah-ah” hook. In fact, I really like the whole first minute of this song; it’s a return to Weird Gaga in terms of sound. In the first verse, Gaga herself sounds not entirely stable, like she’s in some sort of trance. The beat itself maintains a steady thump-thump, and the snyths mimic the “Judas-Jud-ah-ah” hook. It doesn’t so much strut as much as it does stagger; it’s sexy in a total trainwreck kind of way.
And the song’s transition to a super smooth pop chorus feels incredibly natural. Perhaps a little too busy musically, but only minorly so. The twinkling synths are a nice touch on top of the super catchy melody; I always want to sing along. “But I’m still in love with Judas, baby/I want your loving and I want your revenge, you and me could write a bad ro–” Hey, WAIT.
Alright, well…moving on from that, I do have to say that RedOne is definitely going to work on “Judas”. This might be his best work since “Poker Face”, the song that got me to take Lady Gaga seriously (PS: how tame does that video look in retrospect?). Anyway, speaking of “Poker Face”, “Judas” uses a sinister hook to transition to its bridge, much like the older song did. Launching the Lady Gaga Sing-Speak Bridge (TM) in 3…2…1…
“In the most biblical sense/I am beyond repetance/Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind/But in the cultural sense/I just speak in future tense/Judas kiss me if offenced/Or wear your condom next time”
…huh. That…well, there was some gibberish to it, but that delivery sounded awesome. Definitely one of Gaga’s more menacing deliveries that actually sounded dangerous. I just don’t get what’s with the condom stuff. What’s that? I got the line wrong? Hang on, let me take another listen…
“…Or wear ear condom next time”
Huh? What? What is this, I don’t even…ear condom? What the hell, Gaga? Was it part of some Faustian bargain that every one of your hits has to have a godawful line in it somewhere? After that muckery, Gaga goes into her usual Lady Gaga Slow Sung Bridge Lead-In To Final Chorus (TM), we get a round of chorus with some very nice riffing added in, and then the song ends on that monster hook.
I know this review came out really snarky, and while I do have a few issues with “Judas”, it’s Lady Gaga’s best single in quite some time. RedOne’s work is, as already mentioned, outstanding, and Gaga herself sounds damn good; she’s off-kilter and spaced out on the verses, but still manages to pull a pop homerun on the chorus. The fact that the song is such a rewrite of “Bad Romance” bugs me in the same way that I felt after I realized that “Billionaire” was “Santeria” rewritten, but it’s still a good tune. Let’s just hope Gaga wrote some actual songs for Born This Way on her own.