"Born This Way"

Click to listen to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"

"Don't be a drag/Just be a queen," Lady Gaga chants in this instant-classic club anthem, over the Eurodisco beats of producers Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow. She shouts to the gays, lesbians, bis, disabled, and monsters of all races, with the hilariously dippy line: "You're black, white, beige, chola descent/You're Lebanese, you're Orient!"

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Despite the obvious tip of the cap to Madonna's "Express Yourself" (which was just Madge's knock-off of the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself"), it's steeped in decades of gay disco tradition — it sounds a lot like Patrick Hernandez's 1978 classic "Born To Be Alive." "Born This Way" sums up all the complex Gaga mythos, all her politics and Catholic angst and smeared lipstick, in one brilliant pop blast.

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