Lady Gaga gave Rolling Stone an advance preview of four songs from her upcoming album Born This Way an hour before the first show of the final leg of her Monster Ball tour in Atlantic City. Though Gaga's people were quick to point out that these were not the final mixes, the tracks certainly sounded like polished, finished recordings. Here's a track-by-track rundown of what we heard backstage, as well as what she played from the new record in concert.
"Judas" - Currently scheduled as the second single from the album, "Judas" is a classic Lady Gaga pop banger with three huge hooks, a thumping house music breakdown and a vocal part that borrows a bit of Rihanna's distinctive cadence. Gaga has written about falling for the wrong guy before in "LoveGame" and "Bad Romance," but this time around she's a bit less dark and dramatic. There's a bubbly sweetness in her voice as she sings "I'm just a horny fool / baby it's so cool / I'm still in love with Judas, baby."
"Edge of Glory" - This one sounds crazy in print -- it's a massive power ballad with heavy club beats that features Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band wailing on his saxophone -- but somehow it all seems totally natural when you actually hear it. There's an element of cheesiness to it, but it's totally captivating and incredibly catchy. If any of these new Gaga tunes demands to be a big fat hit, this is it. The inclusion of Clemons is an inspired touch that amplifies the song's Eighties stadium rock vibe, but his actual performance is amazing and ranks among the best of his career.