Pop star Lady Gaga's brand-new album Born this way is a highly anticipated full-length follow-up to her 2008 breakthrough debut album The Fame.

Fans have been counting down for three full months, following Gaga's announcement of Born this way release day back at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2011.

The Born this way album was released on May 23, 2011, by Interscope Records. Online retailer Amazon.com offered the entire album for sale for $0.99 on the release date, to promote its Cloud Drive service, although technical errors prompted some customer frustration.

Born this way was well-received by music critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 72, based on twelve reviews, which indicates generally favorable reviews.

Dan Martin of New Musical Express (better known as the NME) magazine gave a positive review saying, Gaga doesn't know when to hold back - and it's a damn good thing. According to Martin, the sound was a departure from her last two albums and was a reflection of Gaga's fanbase.

As if Gaga, having already (in her own head at least) fused herself with her fanbase to create a singular entity, she wants to weld physically to her synthesisers as if to create one all-powerful dreadnought of self-empowerment. For the most part this is one relentless torrent of heavy-metal-rave-pop. At the very least it’s a triumph in sound engineering, said Martin. The hype and Gaga's boundary-pushing preceding the album was criticized, but the album passed... with flying colors pushing musical boundaries to its ultimate degree.

However, Chris Richards of The Washington Post gave a negative review of the album, calling it boring. Yes, Born This Way is a dark, dense and surprisingly aggressive listen... [but] at its worst, it sounds like reheated leftovers from some '80s movie soundtrack. Commenting on the album's final track The Edge of Glory, Richards writes It's the album's grand finale and a truly dreadful song...This is not the edge. This is pop's dull, soft, gooey center.

Take a glimpse of Singer Lady Gaga as she arrived at an album-signing event in New York City: