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Lady Gaga Embraces Arena Rock Excess on Brilliant 'Born This Way'

Also: New music from Paul McCartney, Death Cab For Cutie, Brad Paisley, Tinie Tempah and Okkervil River

May 24, 2011 2:25 PM ET
Lady Gaga Embraces Arena Rock Excess on Brilliant 'Born This Way'

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Rob Sheffield hails the "maximum goth Catholic bombast" of Lady Gaga's Born This Way. He loves Gaga's Eighties arena-rock moves – she borrows from Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi – but is even more impressed by the warmth and humanity at the heart of her songs. Also, Will Hermes reviewed Death Cab For Cutie's surprisingly optimistic new album Codes and Keys and Brad Paisley's This Is Country Music, which he says "embraces all of what country music is today – its soul, its vivid storytelling, and, yes, its genre clichés." On the singles front, Christian Hoard praises Paul McCartney's "awesomely batshit" cover of Buddy Holly's classic "It's So Easy," which sounds "like he popped some Viagra, then set his pants on fire."

ALBUMS

Lady Gaga - Born This Way (stream one song)

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys

Brad Paisley - This Is Country Music

Okkervil River - I Am Very Far

Tinie Tempah - Disc-Overy (stream one song)

Art Brut - Brilliant! Tragic! (stream one song)

SMOD - SMOD (stream one song)

Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo (stream one song)

Smithereens - 2011

Ben Harper - Give Till It's Gone (stream one song)

SONGS

Paul McCartney "It's So Easy" (stream)

50 Cent and David Guetta "Bullshit & Party" (stream)

Incubus "Adolescents" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Danger Mouse Teams Up with Jack White on Cinematic 'Rome'

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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