LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A stream of Lady Gaga’s forthcoming second album “Born This Way” has been sent to media outlets one week ahead of its May 23 release and its liner notes have turned up an interesting collaborator: Robert “Mutt” Lange.
The revered but reclusive producer - and the ex-husband of country star Shania Twain - worked on Gaga’s ballad “Yoü And I,” a track that’s already created buzz despite the absence of a flashy video.
The song ostensibly had its premiere on “American Idol” when Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine, the show’s in-house mentor for season 10, suggested finalist Haley Reinhart perform it on “Songs From Now and Then” week.
“Yoü And I” then made an encore appearance on the Top 5’s elimination night in the form of a live version from Gaga’s Madison Square Garden show and HBO special.
Featuring Queen’s Brian May on guitar (credited as Dr. Brian May) along with a sample of the band’s “We Will Rock You,” the studio version, which Lange worked on from his recording complex in Switzerland, emotes a sense of grandness that listeners don’t always get with Gaga’s RedOne-produced heavily-synthetic sounds.
To the contrary, a live piano and background vocals by Gaga and Lange add an undeniably lush quality, while the lyrics, which tell of a passionate love affair with a “Nebraska guy” and feature umlauts over every letter “u,” drive the song home and potentially into hit territory.
Will pop radio embrace the ballad? Considering Lange’s recent work with Maroon 5, whose latest single, “Never Gonna Leave This Bed,” is No. 6 on this week’s Billboard Adult Top 40 chart, and the Gaga hype machine, currently in full gear, it stands more than a good chance.
Other producers credited on “Born This Way” include Fernando Garibay, who worked on five tracks (“The Queen,” “Highway Unicorn,” “Fashion of His Love,” “Bad Kids” and “Americano”), Paul Blair (aka White Shadow), and the aforementioned RedOne, who took the lead on the songs “Scheiße,” “Judas,” and “Hair.”
Editing by Zorianna Kit