A remix full-length based entirely off of one album is always a bit of a sticky situation, but even more so when a Lady Gaga opus is the subject of the reworking. After all, Gaga is an uncompromising figure in pop music, and the vision of an album like "Born This Way" -- its many messages, sonic movements and powerhouse vocals -- is entirely her own.
Smartly, "Born This Way: The Remix," released two days shy of six months since Gaga's latest album hit stores, does not try to reinvent the wheel, but instead gives less recognizable artists a platform to tinker with these complex pop schemes. The lineup is a murderer's row of techno wizards (Sultan + Ned Shepard, Zedd), electro-pop maestros ( Goldfrapp, Metronomy), indie-rock upstarts ( Twin Shadow, Two Door Cinema Club) and, of course, The Weeknd. The mysterious singer, who reinterprets "Marry The Night" with Illangelo, is an odd choice for the remix album, since his bare-boned R&B and hedonistic lyrics directly conflict with Gaga's M.O. But like so many of these remixes, the Weeknd marries his vision of the song to Gaga's gorgeous voice without losing the original's integrity.
"Born This Way: The Remix" is not essential listening for non-Gaga diehards, but electronica fans who have yet to drink the Mother Monster kool-aid will find plenty of pristinely produced club tracks to groove to. The album is a great avenue for fans to digest new versions of their favorite songs of the year, as well as discover artists that are trying to command audiences the way Gaga so masterfully does.
Which remixes on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way: The Remix" are worth checking out? Check out our track-by-track review of the album, and tell us what you think in the comments section.
1. Born This Way (Zedd Remix): With its gleeful techno breakdown and imaginative structure, we're more than fine with Gaga's No. 1 being reborn this way.
2. Judas (Goldfrapp Remix): "Judas" imagined as an industrial anthem, and Gaga's vocals turned into a slow, creeping harbinger of danger. Not the most successful pairing.
3. The Edge of Glory (Foster The People Remix): More heavy techno from the "Pumped Up Kicks" guys, with a pretty twisted breakdown beginning at the 3:20 mark.
4. Yoü and I (Wild Beasts Remix): The indie-rock weirdos of Wild Beasts add headphone-ready shimmer to Gaga's romantic ballad.
5. Marry The Night (The Weeknd & Illangelo Remix): the R&B phenom places his Midas touch on Gaga's latest single, capturing the longing of "Marry" in an intriguing new way.
6. Black Jesus † Amen Fashion (Michael Woods Remix): Nothing too revolutionary, but those synths are filthy, and eventually reach a fever pitch.
7. Bloody Mary (The Horrors Remix): British rockers make "Bloody Mary" a lush, haunting affair, with Gaga lost in the darkness of the dance floor. Download immediately.
8. Scheiße (Guéna LG Club Remix): Europop stunner that's like a combination of The Knife's "Heartbeats" and The Vengaboys' "We Like To Party," somehow.
9. Americano (Gregori Klosman Remix): A woozy, somewhat sinister spin on Gaga's multi-lingual "BTW" highlight, but a bit too long.
10. Electric Chapel (Two Door Cinema Club Remix): Electro-pop group pokes and prods Gaga's original, and returns with a fun, wholly engaging slice of dance music.
11. Yoü and I (Metronomy Remix): The atmosphere swells around Gaga's lonely vocals, but never overwhelms it. Mysterious in the best sense.
12. Judas (Hurts Remix): Hints of dubstep as the complex beat builds itself into a frenzy before nearly collapsing. Didn't see that outro coming.
13. Born This Way (Twin Shadow Remix): Rising indie stars add jangle pop, skittish beat to the first single without sacrificing its rock-and-roll heart.
14. The Edge of Glory (Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix): Dance masters embrace the Springsteen-influenced epicness of "Glory" with pumping drums and slinking synths.