Listen: Lady Gaga's 'The Edge of Glory'
"The Edge of Glory" should have been Lady Gaga's second single. Let's get that out of the way.
"Born This Way" had fans in their warm-ups, getting ready for the show, and regardless of the comparisons to adonna-May, it at least had me on the edge of my seat, both eager and anxious to see what would pop out next. "Judas" is a lukewarm mess, its video even messier, its inclusion as pre-emptive tease to the album a misstep that likely had Interscope scrambling to pick up the pieces.
Which leads to today, where Gaga introduces what she says is the official album promotion roll-out (as if our exhaustive day-after-day reporting of Gaga news was insignificant until now), "Edge of Glory" being the next enormous sneak peak.
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Even if I hadn't already known the pop singer was slated to appear on "American Idol" as a mentor this week, I'd say this track would be a good anthem for those final four contestants. The pop chorus could fill stadiums, the verses generic enough for anybody to sing them, the positivity dripping from it's rock-tinged "edges." Frankly, it's a Pink song. I think both of them would do this well.
Which, perhaps is why "Edge" wasn't the second single. It's not really her. It's a love song for and by everybody (or nobody) and the magical darkness that seems to creep out of every Gaga song is absent. "Edge" is sort of like "Just Dance"; "Judas" is a much more personal narrative, something she's clearly invested in expressing, which is why her statement on "The Edge" source material is so odd: apparently it was inspired by the death of her grandfather in 2010 and is "about your last moment on earth, the moment of truth, the moment before you leave earth." Huh.
This will get played in grocery stores and the dentist office as much as it will the club, in cars and on the radio. And I like it.
Oh and spoiler alert: the saxophone solo is coming back in a big way. Filling the gap where a weird, tangential bridge would go in a usual Gaga song, there's the 1980s, rearing its big-haired head, courtesy of Clarence Clemens from Springsteen's E Street Band.
"The Edge of Glory" was produced by Gaga, Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow. It's out now on iTunes. "Born This Way" is out on May 23.