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I recognize there is a lot of Lady Gaga hate on the internet (specifically Tumblr) and for the most part people are either ambivalent about this new album or incredulous about how it fits into Gaga’s dubious enterprise. It’s either too brightly earnest or too dark & sludgy or too trite to reflect the mythic and overripe persona with which she has persistently bombarded us. For the most part, I really enjoy it. And when I play “Judas” or “Heavy Metal Lover”, I’m not really thinking critically or evaluating Gaga’s narrative or career projection or insidious appeal to the masses through her glib and patronizing “We Are All Beautiful and Special Little Rebels” schtick. Even so, the underdog anthem “Bad Kids” had me from that snotty and snarling opening guitar riff. Let’s get one thing straight: the song is a hokey anthem intended to rally misunderstood teens and all of the world’s cast-offs. And yet, it is absolutely irresistible. It’s what John Parr’s ” St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” would sound like if Laura Branigan aerobicized her way to a seedy new wave club and made out with Eddie Van Halen’s clone who happened to be a social worker for children. I am not sure that whacked description makes anyone want to listen to it, but I find that it creates a rather indelible image. I also just finished writing a children’s book about resilient youth with flaws/disabilities who learn to embrace who they are by forming bonds with others that share these hardships. I know that in the “Born This Way”-era in which we currently live, it seems like this idea has been overdone but it’s actually pretty important. And if some kid isn’t astute enough to realize that Gaga might be insincere in what she espouses in this song, does that really matter if he/she feels empowered or inspired by the music—or at the very least, enjoys those innocuous synth-y beats? I have listened to this song more times than I care to count. Not because I glean something significant from Gaga’s lyrics that changes my worldview (although I do find them amusing and sweet) but because it’s damn good to dance to in my apartment.