The universe (yes, UNIVERSE! We are that large…) of Little Monsters should rejoyce in celebratory happiness today. The pop music powerhouse, better known as Lady Gaga, has released, “Born This Way: The Collection.” It is a collection of 2 CDs and 1 DVD. The Monster Ball tour is chronicled in the DVD, “Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour At Madison Square Garden.” It features the concert special that aired on HBO in May. It also contains some never-before-seen footage from the backstage goings-on. Liza Minelli was at the Monster Ball show in New York and greeted Gaga backstage prior to showtime. Gaga told Minelli how inspirational she was to her when she was a theater student at New York University. Minelli’s words of advice for Gaga: “Concentrate and fuck ’em up.” The bonus material also featured a touching moment between Gaga and one of her Little Monsters. He told Gaga that she helped him come out. Gaga gave him a hug and an autograph. This is one of my favorite moments of the whole DVD. Not very many people give to their fans the way Gaga does. That’s something to be applauded.

The concert itself is an extravaganza. The singing, dancing, playing. It is amazing how much talent exists in Lady Gaga’s being. She is the real deal. No lip-syncing, either. When you pay money for a ticket to Gaga’s show (or even the DVD), you’re getting your money’s worth. Another part of the backstage bonus material features Gaga warming up her voice before the show. The hard work and effort she puts into her work is also to be commended. She takes good care of her voice and makes a great role model for aspiring singers.

The entire 17-track album, “Born This Way,” is also featured in the set. The album is filled with pop anthems, incredible vocals, and amazing production. The opening track, “Marry The Night,” talks about Gaga’s love of her hometown, New York. The title track is an anthem of acceptance and love. Regardless of the external (or sometimes internal) factors that seperate us, we’re all born this way. So, any form of hate and judgement can be forgotten. “Judas” is a song that’s about forgiving your betrayer and accepting your past mistakes as a part of your identity. Songs like “Americano” and “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)” discuss social issues such as same-sex marriage and immigration. While “Hair” and “Bad Kids” tackle the turbulent and tough years of adolesence. A time when you’re growing into yourself and figuring out how to be an adult. Songs like “Electric Chapel” and “Black Jesus † Amen Fashion” seem to celebrate art as a religion. “Yoü and I” showcase Gaga’s true talent as a singer, songwriter, and pianist. A guitar solo from the legendary Brian May only enhances this already outstanding song. The late Clarance Clemons played on “Hair” as well as the album’s final cut, “The Edge of Glory.” It’s a song Gaga wrote about her Grandfather who passed away recently. It’s a dance-pop anthem that speaks about facing your fears and recognizing that there is another world after this life is over.

The third and final installment in this powerful set is, “Born This Way The Remix.” It contains 14 club-ready remixes that put an interesting new spin on some of the tracks on “Born This Way.” The most impressive of the mixes is the “Wild Beasts Remix” of “Yoü and I.” The original is almost unrecognizable. It truly takes on a life of it’s own. It’s original and that’s what a good remix has to have, in my opinion.

So, Little Monsters should not pass this up. It will surely be a collector’s item in the years to come! It also makes a great gift to open on Christmas morning. No, I’m not trying to advertise this product, but you’ve got to admit that this would make any Little Monster’s holiday more festive!

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