I’ve always been a fan of Lady Gaga. Yes, she’s a bit of an exhibitionist and she certainly knows how to get herself noticed, but she’s also a very upfront and honest celebrity, if she can be put under that label. Plus, her music rocks.
Rather than a completely new sound, Artpop feels like a natural progression from Born This Way. Reinvention and new sounds are good in moderation, but when you have found something that works you should stick with that, at least for a while, which Gaga seems to have done. ‘Do What U Want’ in particular felt like coming home after a long holiday and making a brew in your favourite mug – delicious, welcoming, and exactly how you like it.
Artpop opens with the robotic and somewhat disturbing ‘Aura’. It’s a little repetitious, but it’s a track that is very much Gaga. If there was any doubt until this moment, you know from here on in exactly who you’re listening to.
Onto the second track, ‘Venus’, and for me there was just a little too much synth. I felt like I was back in the 80s and spent the whole track nervously waiting for an overly long sax solo (of which there was none, thankfully).
There’s the usual risqué tracks we’ve come to expect from Gaga, such as ‘Sexxx Dreams’ in which she sings “I think of you and touch myself”. Not as bad as it could be, but definitely not a track we can expect to be released. Catchy though. She also makes sure to include the obligatory (for her) self-image-skinny-blond-commercialised-tart tune, ‘Donatella’. The lyrics are actually very powerful with a thumping good bass line to carry the tune along. The album is worth listening to for this track alone.
‘Dope’ is a track you must listen to alone. It’s easily the most mellow track on the album, but I found myself frozen by the lyrics. The deepest, most thought-provoking track she had ever written, in my opinion. There’s not much else I can say about it.
Alas, on every album there’s a song or two you just don’t like. For me, this was ‘Jewels and Drugs’. I’m not a massive rap fan, and this was very much a rap track featuring Gaga. Too heavy and tuneless for me, I simply didn’t enjoy a single moment of it.
My foot was tapping throughout and I can’t wait for more tracks to be released so I can dance myself into a frenzy in a bar. Gaga has a real gift for creating tunes that stay with you. So even though it’s not a completely new sound, there’s enough originality to be fresh while still being the Gaga we know and love. This album is catchy, exciting and deeply emotional all at the same time, and I very much enjoyed listening to it. Well worth an experience.