The Most Underrated Lady Gaga Songs
Lady Gaga is justly regarded as one of the greatest pop singers of our time. She’s garnered much more critical acclaim than most of her peers and has cultivated an extremely loyal fan base. That doesn’t mean that every single track she recorded has gotten the love that it deserved. Here are a few Lady Gaga tracks that deserve more attention.
The biggest hit from the Born This Way album was the title track, a booming, campy dance song about self-acceptance. “Hair” has many of the same elements of Born This Way but it’s much more old school. Whereas Born This Way is a modern synth-pop song, “Hair” is clearly modeled on 1970s disco music – with a twist.
Gaga was able to recruit Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band to record a saxophone solo for the song, giving it an amazing kick that is a special treat for Bruce Springsteen fans. The song’s bridge, were Gaga admits some of her personal insecurities, gives the track an emotional resonance that’s rare for pop radio. This song screams “Single!” more than anything from the Artpop era.
‘Dance in the Dark’
If 1980s Depeche Mode collaborated with 1990s Madonna, they probably would have created a song similar to “Dance in the Dark.” The track combines moody, Depeche Mode synthesizers with a rap bridge straight out of Madonna’s “Vogue.” The song has one of the most danceable beats in the entire Gaga canon and its bridge – which features Gaga lamenting the deaths of celebrities who met tragic ends like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and Diana, Princess of Wales – manages to be both campy and moving. “Dance in the Dark” might be designed for the club, but it still tackles important themes like mortality and self-confidence.
“Dance in the Dark” was released at a time when Lady Gaga was a very remote, enigmatic celebrity; it was the first song to truly humanize her, even if it did so in a typically bizarre, early Gaga way. The song was released as a single, but it did not chart high enough to warrant a music video. One can only imagine what an amazing clip Lady Gaga would have created for this song.
In the late 2000s, Lady Gaga was known for glossy electropop songs. The song “Speechless” from her EP, The Fame Monster, was a shock to the system of fans and critics. The song saw Gaga embracing more naturalistic styles of music – namely rock and country – for the first time in her career. Initially, some listeners thought the song was a gimmick – an attempt by Gaga to switch genres for one song to garner attention. Ten years later, the song seems incredibly sincere, as Gaga has now made two forays into rock/country music: the albums Joanne and A Star is Born.
Not only is “Speechless’ an inkling of the current leg of Gaga’s career, it’s a beautifully written ballad with an emotional vocal performance by the singer. While Gaga is still primarily known for dance music, “Speechless” was early proof that she can still mesmerize audiences when she slows down the tempo.