Following her tamer-than-expected video for “Judas,” Lady Gaga unleashed her most conventional pop song since “Just Dance” yesterday, the '80s-inspired “The Edge of Glory.”
“Edge” is remarkable in the way it revels at being in the middle of the road. It also stunningly features a sax solo from the E Street Band's Clarence Clemons, another sure throwback sign, that makes it sound like it's been transported directly from the “St. Elmo's Fire” soundtrack. That's not a bad thing since most Little Monsters will hear it as new -- since their knowledge of Rob Lowe doesn't reach back beyond “Brothers and Sisters” or, maybe, “The West Wing.”
It's another bit of pleasant misdirection from Ga. Apparently, she doesn't always have to push the envelope since this nostalgic piece of pop is right smack dab in the middle of the envelope.
It may also be a bit of recalculation, considering how “Judas” hasn't exactly set the pop charts ablaze. “The Edge of Glory” is built for “Teenage Dream”-loving adult contemporary radio, designed to reach the part of the Ga kingdom that tunes out all her controversial stuff and focuses on her poppier personas. Like the rest of the Little Monsters, they need to know that the “Born This Way” album is arriving on May 23 .