It’s not right for a Lady Gaga single to arrive without some form of drama, and ‘Judas’, the second single from her forthcoming album ‘Born This Way’, has been no different.
The song was described as a publicity stunt by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights before it had even been aired and on Friday (April 15) it leaked online four days before it was due to be released, albeit in the form of a series of low-quality snippets.
For most artists, neither occurrence would be particularly welcome. But for Lady Gaga, both served to further enhance the intrigue in, firstly, the song, and, secondly, the singer herself.
Well, when they finally get round to listening, it’s unlikely the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights are going to change their mind.
‘Judas’ finds Lady Gaga torn between her beliefs in Jesus - let’s not forget, behind the façade, this is a singer who was educated at the private all-girls Roman Catholic School Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York and someone has spoken openly about her religion - and Judas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the man who in the Bible betrayed him into the hands of the chief priests.
“Jesus is my virtue, and Judas is the demon I cling to,” she sings in the song’s chorus. “I’m just a holy fool, oh baby he’s so cruel, but I’m still in love with Judas, baby.”
I can imagine there’s a hurried statement being prepared as to why the above lyrics are in some way blasphemous, but strip away the Biblical references, and ‘Judas’ is a song about a fraught woman torn between good and evil, or maybe even life and death.
You’d probably expect it to be a ballad, then; after all, there aren’t many uplifting tracks about such juxtapositions as good and evil - yet you’d be wrong. ‘Judas’ picks up right where previous single ‘Born This Way’ left off. From the outset it’s a synth-driven, bass and beat heavy slice of electro-house of the highest order - and that’s where it’s real power lies. For the older listener (and I include myself here), there are moments in ‘Judas’ where it feels being you’re taken back to the corner of some warehouse party where the music’s so loud the walls feel like they’re slowly nudging you closer to the centre of the room. But for the younger Little Monster, it sounds genuinely frightening and challenging, especially when placed alongside the sort of production line output they usually get fed from, say, Pitbull or Britney.
It’s not all positive. Perhaps for the first time, Lady Gaga seems uncertain as to which way she’s going musically. While the hard-hitting moments are thrilling, ‘Judas’’ chorus feels like it belongs to another song. And there’s only so many tracks Lady Gaga can offer a spoken word breakdown before it feels like pop’s most avant-garde pioneer is struggling to create new material.
But lets not worry about that yet. If there’s one thing Lady Gaga does, it’s live in the moment, and right now she’s creating music like no one else. Long may the drama continue.
What do you think of ‘Judas’? Is it good or bad? Is it offensive? Listen to the song below (if you haven't already) and let us know by posting your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.