Lady Gaga – ARTPOP
After five years of mind-blowing red carpet appearances, gender-bending performances and sledge-hammering pop songs, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – or Lady Gaga to us – is once again at the forefront of mainstream music, releasing one of the best collection of pop music this year has seen. ARTPOP is the singer’s follow up to 2011’s empowerment anthem Born This Way, but the eccentric star has dropped the self-acceptance preaching this time around and is giving us what we really want – infectious, bizarre, catchy records that refuse to get out of our heads.
Album opener Aura grabs us from the get-go, with a spoken word introduction detailing a murder plot and funky Middle Eastern strings, Gaga reminds us why we fell in love with her in the first place. Stand-out track G.U.Y. (Girl Under You) is a 90s inspired feminist manifesto about finding strength within submission, complete with an explosive breakdown and Siri-inspired commanding throughout (“Greetings from Eros/Lay back and feast as this audio guides you through new and exciting positions”).
Do What U Want, the current single from the release, is a smooth, sexy R&B jam with a verse from hip-hop legend R Kelly about the trappings of fame – keep your eyes out for a typically outlandish music video out soon. Lead single Applause closes the album off nicely as the last track, and gives us an excuse to clap along to the end of this record.
But just like every pop record, ARTPOP is not without its faults. Jewels & Drugs, a misguided foray into trap and rap is a painful ear sore, not saved by the trio of rappers who guest star on the song. Scrapped second single Venus is jam-packed with delicious hooks but feels like several songs spliced into one, not helped by the wince-inducing lyricisms – “Uranus/Don’t you know my a** is famous?”.
Despite some failed attempts at genre crossing and questionable lyric choices, Lady Gaga yet again provides us with a pop gem: pretentious, care-free, sexy, repulsive all at once – ARTPOP exceeds all expectations and limitations we set for chart music, and gets us dancing at the same time. A perfect stocking filler for any music lover.
ARTPOP is released on 6th November. For further information or to order a copy visit Lady Gaga’s website here.
Listen to new single Do What U Want here: