#3. "Marry The Night"
Sounds Like: A desperately giddy race through '90s revivalism that both engages with and transcends the dance-until-death trend on the pop scene today.
Pros: If Lady Gaga does not release "Marry the Night" as a single, she might as well just quit now. It's got everything you need: a reflective intro to get things going (that radio programmers can easily clip off if they're in a no-filler mood, although we recommend against this), a massive chorus that thrills anew every time it comes around and that wouldn't sound at all out of place on the radio, yet isn't just another Dr. Luke copy, and a build to even greater heights. There's not a diva in the pantheon, '80s to today, who wouldn't stake her career on this.
Out of Born This Way's cornucopia of leaks, "Marry The Night" is the most well-formed. Gaga once again pays meticulous attention to detail without ever sounding like she's micromanaged things--see actual singles "Born This Way" and "Judas," where you could almost hear the sequencer chugging away and slotting everything into the queue. Notice the "Holiday" percussion on the second verse, for instance, a nice subtle Madonna reference. The handclap breakdown begs for audience participation, and the half-shouted "the night!" chants just afterward give us shivers just thinking of how they'll close the show. And don't forget the lyrics, which strike the perfect balance between subculture bone-throwing like "throw on some leather and cruise" and more universal words.
Those last are the key. Pick just about any pop song from the past year and scratch at it, and you'll find plenty of darker themes: dancing until the end of the world, until the place explodes, until you pass out. "Marry the Night" isn't as overt about this, but it's still there. Why does Gaga want to marry the night, anyway? All those other options--boys with their heartbreak, peers with their cruelty--just bring her to tears. There's a barely concealed desperation beneath "Marry the Night," which makes it all the more cathartic once Lady Gaga transcends it. Once the "come on and run" bridge arrives, suddenly major-key, it's more inspirational than a thousand It Gets Better glosses.
Cons: Good question. FarmVille was involved? The fact that we didn't hear this earlier in the hype cycle? Does it matter anymore?
Yearbook Lyric: "I'm gonna marry the night--I'm not gonna cry anymore."
Gaga Hashtags: Loserdom, stuttered lyrics, disco, drinking.