Release Date: Nov 21, 2011
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Urban, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop
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Lady Gaga began 2011 with her much-anticipated sophomore set, Born This Way, and she ends the year with Born This Way: The Remix, a 14-track collection of revisions and remixes of some, but not all, of the songs on the album. There are some marquee names here -- whether perennials like Goldfrapp or 2011 sensations Foster the People, Twin Shadow, and the Weeknd -- and some remixes take considerable liberty, ditching verses or hooks, whatever catches their fancy. So, it’s a remix album not for fairweather travelers but rather the hardcore Little Monsters, the kind who love every gesture grand or small from Gaga, but it also displays enough imagination to appeal to those listeners who fall into neither camp and are only looking for some darkly elastic dance.
Remixing Lady Gaga is risky. Mother Monster has many loyal followers—1.1 million of them who are willing to pay for Born This Way, at least—who might not take kindly to just any Lady Gaga remix. Fortunately, the artist formerly known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta reached out to a variety of musicians, ranging from The Weeknd and Foster the People to international producers Guena LG and Michael Woods, who each lend their particular Midas touch to favorites like “Born This Way” and “The Edge Of Glory”.
Many people who take music seriously seem to have a viscerally bad reaction to remixes, and it’s not hard to see why: They can be, and frequently are, a way for labels to endlessly re-promote an artist’s new material while simultaneously pushing other performers and producers—a giveaway that keeps everyone, including devoted fans, happy. But that doesn’t mean the songs are usually good. Remixes proliferate online, where for every cherished one (Ke$ha’s remix of “Sleazy” featuring André 3000 is a recent personal favorite), there’s a whole lot more that doesn’t need to be heard by anyone.
Offers enough revelations to suggest the original album is worth revisiting. Nick Levine 2011 They're rarely essential, and often a cash-in, but it's tempting to invest this remix album with an additional purpose – whether it's intentional or not. Since its release in May, Lady Gaga's Born This Way album has racked up sales figures only Adele could wrinkle her schnozzle at.