Is Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' a Rip-Off of Madonna's 'Express Yourself'?

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Lady Gaga's new single "Born This Way" debuted this morning, after months of hype. To say that the musical world is excited for Gaga's new song—which she will perform this Sunday at the Grammys—is an understatement (a local D.C. radio station has pledged to play it at the top of the hour every hour for the rest of the day).

How does it sound? Pretty familiar, actually. Many music critics are noticing the similarities between "Born This Way" and Madonna's hit "Express Yourself." As The Guardian points out, the comparisons have even propelled "Express Yourself" to a trending topic on Twitter. The publication, however, thinks Gaga's song is more of a loving nod to her pop star predecessor than a direct rip-off:

There's also some spoken-word bits a la the Material Girl (as no one calls her any more), but it doesn't sound copycat, more a knowing nod and a cute wink.


Pop Buzz! blog also thinks there are striking differences between the two tracks:

I can't deny the similarities are striking between the two, but the up tempo beat and added techno sounds does give 'Born This Way' a distinct difference. Plus, Gaga's lyrics are much better, sorry Madonna.


Are the songs too similar? Decide for yourself. Here's Lady Gaga's "Born This Way":

And here's Madonna's '80s classic:

For immediate comparison, the Internet geniuses have spliced out the most alike segments of the song for side-by-side listening:



Read the full stories at The Guardian and Pop Buzz!.

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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