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A toned-down Gaga in new video?

A still image from Lady Gaga's newest music

A still image from Lady Gaga's newest music video. Credit: YouTube

Is Lady Gaga getting more traditional?

Her new video for "Judas" is one of her most mainstream yet, even as it skirts along the potentially controversial content in the song, where she declares, "Jesus is my virtue, Judas is the demon I cling to."

It's just your average "Bad Romance" love triangle told from Mary Magdalene's point of view, right?

For the "Judas" video, directed by Ga and longtime collaborator-choreographer Laurieann Gibson, they basically stick to the song's story line -- with a whole lot of motorcycles and leather jackets thrown in for good measure.

"I don't view the video as a religious statement," Gaga told E! News Thursday night. "I view it as social statement. I view it as a cultural statement. It's a metaphor. It's not meant to be a biblical lesson."

There are some biblical allusions in the clip, though. In her telling, which she has called "a motorcycle Fellini movie," the apostles (you can tell which one is which because their names are on the back of their leather jackets) come to town and Mary Magdalene recognizes that she should stick with Jesus instead of Judas, but remains torn between the two guys.

Dancing ensues -- along with a weird symbolic baptism and a scene where she seemingly pulls a gun on Judas, only to reveal that it's a gun-shaped lipstick holder.

The "Judas" video is so noncontroversial, in fact, that Catholic League president Bill Donohue, who had criticized Gaga's song early on, has even dialed back his anger. "Lady Gaga plays fast and loose with Catholic iconography and generates several untoward statements, but she typically dances on the line without going over it," Donohue said in a statement.

"Judas," the second single from Ga's forthcoming "Born This Way" album, hasn't taken off the way the title track has. Though the song "Born This Way" debuted at No. 1 and stayed there for six weeks, "Judas" entered at No. 10 two weeks ago and immediately started to slide. Even with the debut of the video last night, "Judas" remained outside of the iTunes Top 20 sales chart.

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