If Prince’s “Purple Rain” and anything Britney has ever done had a baby the result would be something like Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP.” Although it’s a disappointment compared to Eminem’s huge release last week (can we just take another moment to appreciate Marshall?), “ARTPOP” is exactly what Gaga was going for; weird and poppy. “The Fame” was all about shock pop, while “Born This Way” did a much better job of establishing Gaga as a talented singer/songwriter. Unfortunately, “ARTPOP” falls short to “Born This Way” and this will probably be the case for every other album Gaga ever makes. However, that doesn’t mean that “ARTPOP” is pretty freaking good. And pretty freaking dirty. But, really, what did we expect?
In short, “ARTPOP” is a real mess of a collection. It’s more pop where “Born This Way” was more rock and relies much more on the techno music in the background than Gaga’s incredible vocals. As disappointing as this is, it’s what she wanted. Mother Monster has spoken. From the very first track “Aura” you’re going to know that you’re in for an interesting trip. Gaga gives an evil laugh and asks if you would like to really see the girl behind her “Aura.” Of course, we know she will never show us, which is probably for the best. “Venus” is her clever attempt to use the idea of art in her songs. Comparing herself (or is it another woman?) to the goddess Venus seems just vain enough to be the perfect Gaga song. Then there’s the track “G.U.Y.,” which you will think is talking about her being a guy until you figure out that G.U.Y. is a fancy shortening for “Girl Under You.” The rest is pretty self explanatory.
There is legitimately a song on the album called “Sexxx Dreams” and she even admits “It was kind of trashy, I can’t help my mind from going there…” Ok Gags. We get it. It’s so incredibly catchy that you’ll kinda want to sing along. That is the genius that is Gaga. There’s a ridiculous track called “Jewels & Drugs” with a bunch of rappers that seems a little out of place. This isn’t a Rick Ross album, but this track will make you think it is. “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly is also on the ridiculous side, but one that you can get more on board with to sing along with. “MANiCURE” gives another shot to Gaga’s preference of woman (which I’m sure other critics will have a field day with), but it’s one of those songs she has to have on every one of her albums because she loves singing about things on a body (“Hair”, “Teeth”, etc.).
The title song “ARTPOP” pretty much explains what the whole album is suppose to be about with Gaga saying “My art pop could mean anything.” Does this mean she doesn’t want us to take her too seriously? Yeah, probably. And it’s true because the track “Swine” could really mean anything. She sings “I act like a swine…You’re just a pig inside a human body.” Your guess is just as good as mine. The song “Donatella” makes a good point about society telling girls they need to be skinny and wear the right clothes. There’s some good lines about being misunderstood that sound a lot like the Gaga we know and love. Interestingly enough it’s followed by “Fashion!,” that suggests to walk into a room with a fashion sense that will help you own the world. Doesn’t that just disregard the point she was trying to make in the previous song?
As we near the last stretch of the album we are introduced to “Mary Jane Holland.” You know, typical Gaga stuff. The last three tracks on “ARTPOP” are the “Born This Way” Gaga we have learned to expect. “Dope,” the best song on the album, is a slow piano ballad explaining mistakes and asking someone to stay. Sure to be a smash single because we need it “more than dope.” “Gypsy” is another sure to be single accompanied by piano where Gaga explains that “sometimes a story has no end.” It sounds like an old 80s ballad, which is where Gaga’s strengths really reside.
And of course “Applause” closes out the album pretty much summing up the whole album and Gaga’s goals. She lives for your attention because she know that if she puts out a crazy thing like this she’s going to get it. Oh Mother Monster. You are such a fantastic mystery. We love you!