Lady Gaga’s long awaited follow up to 2011’s Born This Way has been unleashed upon the world, and much to the delight of ‘Lil Monsters’ everywhere, ARTPOP is in keeping with Gaga’s direction. And that direction is weird. Very weird.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the next sickly sweet pop song that makes me want to drop my clothes and dance like
everyone nobody is watching. However, what I really crave in a pop song is a dependable motif with a clear style. What I get when I listen to this album from start to finish is songs that sound like they have been written thirty seconds at a time, and then over-produced by a collaboration of DJs (no less than sixteen other contributing producers and DJs on this album).
The first four songs are very formulaic in their construction, with notably more production than her previously released albums, and they incorporate a heavy focus on electronica and dub step. Sporadically you get art house slam poetry about feminism and drunken confessions from Gaga herself, but there is an underlying feeling that Gaga wrote these songs to be remixed – furthering my initial feelings.
The song that drew my waining focus back inline was ‘MANiCURE’ which has a definite punk-meets-pop Ashlee Simpson style to it (I told you I like pop). This song is a definite highlight for me as I appreciate her guttural and bluesy voice more than the pristine clarity that most pop singers strive for.
The opening release from Gaga’s fifth album, a song titled ‘Applause’, is a saving grace in this otherwise fairly bland collection. Although it doesn’t have the same pop sensibility as her most famed songs, it does have the right hooks in the right places, and it screams of the notoriously bizarre and introverted ‘thing’ that Lady Gaga has become. It’s one of few songs on this album that can be recognised as obviously Gaga.
So, in summary, don’t go looking here for songs that are going to inspire, evoke or entertain your senses any more than you would expect from an album overproduced by DJs and sexualised by the House of Gaga. Apparently the album will be accompanied by an application that is tipped to give a visual experience to match the audio journey you venture on. Meh. If the music didn’t grab you on it’s own merit enough and requires an audio/visual experience, then the music wasn’t that amazing to begin with.