The video: Lady Gaga has premiered the video for her new song "Born This Way" — and it's just as impressively incomprehensible as you might expect. (Watch it below.) In the seven-minute video, directed by photographer Nick Knight, Gaga appears variously as a pregnant, three-eyed alien; a skeleton in a tuxedo; and a gun-toting Barbarella-style space vixen — alongside a unicorn, plenty of "symbolic vaginal imagery," and a gruesome intro portraying "the birth of a new race within the race of humanity." The single has already become the fastest-selling song on iTunes, and became the 1,000th song to top the Billboard singles chart.
The reaction: "If the mark of a pop promo is its jaw-dropping impact," says Neil McCormick at The Daily Telegraph, this one succeeds stunningly. "We watch a Gaga alien goddess with her legs in stirrups giving birth to herself, in a boggle-eyed blur of amniotic fluids and questionable prosthetics." MTV's editors must be frantically trying to edit the internet version into something vaguely broadcastable. Still, after the opening's "vivid birthy goo," says Eric R. Danton at the Hartford Courant, the video segues into a unmemorable song-and-dance routine "with less of a visual narrative" than her celebrated short films for "Bad Romance" and "Telephone." Watch it here: