Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" sounds like Madonna's "Express Yourself." The Amp hears it. Fans hear it. Evidently Madonna hears it. But Lady Gaga... not so much.
"I am not stupid enough to put out a record and be that moronic," Gaga told the NME (via the Prophet Blog) at the top of a rant that began with denial then quickly transformed into rage, indignation, devastation, and religious pandering. It's her very own version of the Five Stages of Grief! We've helpfully diagrammed the conversation below:
"No. Listen to me. Why the [expletive]...? I'm a songwriter. I've written loads of music. Why would I try to put out a song and think I'm getting one over on everybody? That's retarded."
[We agree! Tell us more about this, Lady Gaga. Also, we know there was no room for "retarded" among "gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgender, black, white, beige, Chola, and Orient" on "Born This Way," but it's not nice to use that term as a pejorative, either.]
"What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about. I will look you in your eyes and tell you that I am not dumb enough or moronic enough to think that you are dumb enough or moronic enough not to see that I would have stolen a melody. If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first [expletive] artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means that I'm [expletive] smart."
[Actually, it's not just the chord progression, it's the melody of the chorus. Here, this video that puts the songs next to each other, side by side, will help explain their striking similarities to you. Give this mashup a whirl, too.]
"Nobody in this room at any point looked around and said, 'Oh my God, it's 'Express Yourself.' Not once. Listen. I swear to you. ... It's so funny to hear you say, 'It must have been a homage,' I'm like, NO. When I homage, I [expletive] homage with a big sign saying I've done it. Why would I not do that now?"
[Ooh, juicy stuff! So nobody on your team had the guts to mention this striking similarity to you? Because it's impossible that nobody in your organization heard it, but everyone else on Earth did. Also, tiny nit-picky thing, but we don't think homage is a verb.]
"I just don't want my fans... I don't know. This is exhausting. I just don't wanna perpetuate that [expletive]. I'm sure you want to address it but it's just so ridiculous. I was just [expletive] shell-shocked by it."
[That's fair. And frankly, we admire you for answering questions about it. Most stars would have said "no comment" or had their publicists rush to the rescue. Have we mentioned we love "Telephone"? One of our favorite songs ever!]
[Starts crying] "I feel like honestly that God sent me those lyrics and that melody. When you feel a message to give to the world and people are shooting arrows at it... there's no way for something that pure to be wrong."
[And... you just lost us.]
Between these comments and the unpleasantly schizo "Judas," we're starting to get concerned about Gaga's hearing. But you know what really doesn't help? A few quotes from the new GagaVision video released today, in which the singer explains her writing process as 15-minute purges of creativity. "And then I spend days, weeks, months, years, fine-tuning," she adds. The real question, though, is who is Norm! And why is he filling in for Ed?! Click over to the video to see what we're talking about, and enjoy one of the "Born This Way"/"Express Yourself" mashups here:
by Caryn Ganz in Amplifier