on 11 January 2014
Well it's different, it's strange and yet after many repeat plays I find it compelling listening.
Vocally i hear flashbacks to such vocals as far back as Lene Lovitch and Hazel O'Connor,(Applause).
Fashion is a pure Madonna 'Holiday' , Artpop is just the best track, Aura the second. The only track I avoid is 'Jewels and Drugs', just not my thing.
Genius or a complete loon I don't know! However it's better than most the squeaky dull pop that is around. Enjoy it, it's worth it.
on 16 October 2016
It took me awhile to like this album, now I love it. In fact I now play it all the time!!
Most of the tracks on this album would have made a good soundtrack to "American Horror Story - Hotel" as this album really reflects Lady Gaga's role in this great series of American Horror Story, as a sexy Vamp, and I grown to really appreciate this albums difference of pop art expression. A classic, but very diverse album that may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love it!
ARTPOP is the third studio album by Lady Gaga, and was released in November 2013. Planning for the project goes way back to 2011 [shortly after the launch of her second studio album Born This Way]. The majority of the song writing and recording took place over 2012, and into 2013, after Gaga was forced to cancel her Born This Way Ball after breaking her hip. During her recovery from surgery Gaga became addicted to drugs, which helped her get relief from the pain of surgery and also to cope with her depression stemming from her forced sabbatical and other personal issues, so there is a bit of darkness in ARTPOP too.
Lady Gaga, and her long-time friend Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair are the main writers and producers on the album. Other track producers and writers include Zedd Hugo, Leclercq, Nick Monson, Rick Rubin, Giorgio Tuinfort, Dino Zisis, Infected Mushroom, will.i.am, and David Guetta. The lyrical themes revolve around her personal views of fame, love, sex, feminism, self-empowerment, overcoming addiction, and reactions to media scrutiny.
I struggled to decide what rating to give ARTPOP; for me it isn't quite as strong as The Fame Monster (I class this as a separate album, rather then a expanded version of The Fame) or Born This Way, but is removing a star a bit too harsh for an album where I can say that I like 13 out of 15 tracks to verifying degrees? Plus this album does have more variation in music styles, so it does beat The Fame as far as I'm concerned, and the album sale figures show that the album is far from the flop that some like to call it.
In the end I felt as though a star had to go, for two reasons; Lady Gaga wrote and recorded ARTPOP during a period of stress and depression for her, so even the happier tracks have a heavy air hanging over them, which in turn can actually make me feel down too. Plus the experimental button has been pressed a few too many times for my tastes; there's no major influence for me to put my finger on after the first two tracks, and nothing that outright spoils the later tracks, but there is a mysterious something that niggles me.
At the end of the day ARTPOP does have solid tracks, with both some new directions such as pop-lite [Gypsy], dipping her toes into hip hop [Jewels N' Drugs], and R&B [Do What You Want], as well as the usual piano-lead ballad [Dope], and huge selection of classic ''Gaga'' electric pop energy and beats [everything else]. She has a good voice and is a strong song writer, so these creative extras are just unneeded all of the time as her work is very good and can stand up on it''s own without all of the bells and whistles.
on 23 August 2014
While I've always listened to Lady Gaga's tunes on the radio, I'd never felt compelled to buy any of her albums... until now.
I first heard Venus whilst listening to a streaming service and heard Applause a few times on the radio so I decided to check out some of the other songs on the album to see if they were any good. I instantly fell in love with Do What You Want, Aura and G.U.Y. The album was recently on special so I bought it. Since then, I've listened to the whole album multiples times, sometimes on repeat and love all, except Jewels N Drugs.
Overall, I can't fault this album. I think it really shows Lady Gaga is not just a musician who can make chart-topping hits but who can create art, whether it charts or not!
on 12 April 2015
This album took a long time to grow on me, at first I didn't really like any tracks and was disappointed but I'm glad I persevered with it. Some tunes are so catchy and I find myself randomly humming and quietly singing them ("Venus" being one!) There are one or two tracks that I still can't seem to get into, but that's not bad for an album with 15 tunes, and at the price I paid for it. The album is very well produced as one would expect and still sounds pretty 'fresh' considering it's 2 years old at time of writing.
on 22 January 2014
While there certainly are some nice tunes, I think the main problem with this album and Lady Gaga's current stage in general is that she no longer has full control of her creative process and she's being pushed to manufacturing some musically appalling universal love/self-acceptance/etc. tunes which, obviously enough, can appeal to no-one else apart from a few die-hard fans.
Up to a point, since pop music is not meant to be taken seriously after all, this - as Born This Way goes to show - doesn't necessarily represent a problem. Of course, it becomes a problem when songs are musically unclear, lyrically patronising, and lack the sense of fun, introspection, wit and humour that Lady Gaga has always managed to bring into her music. While Donatella, Mary Jane Holland and Swine are highly enjoyable, tracks like Aura or Venus transmit only a sense of misunderstanding and a poker face. Then again, I was utterly surprised and upset about the fact that Lady Gaga hasn't practically displayed her wonderful vocal and piano abilities on none of the songs.
Considering the fact that, as some other reviewers have suggested, she cannot go back or disappear from the spotlight for a while to get things clear and focus on music only, I definitely hope that she can leave those love, acceptance, live for today, etc. messages for a while and just compose a few light-hearted (which often come to contain a deeper and less pretentious message) tunes with good lyrics. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy good experimental music such as Einstürzende Neubauten or Swans, but you cannot expect to call an unfinished, pretentious, patronising, musically and lyrically unclear, and overproduced record a challenging and experimental release, especially when it comes from a great pop artist who can do it 10 times better.
on 11 November 2013
My life has been officially slayed! After 2 years, Lady Gaga finally releases her much anticipated third album "ARTPOP", and it's good! The sound on this record is different from anything she has released before, without, of course, getting away from her characteristic sound, POP! Despite "Born this way", which was quite dark and reminiscent, "ARTPOP" is the light compared to the night. It's electropop, reaching the verge of plain electronic music, courtesy to her collaborations with Zedd and DJ White Shadow. She also has a surprise collaboration with will.i.am and David Guetta on the track "Fashion!". You only have to listen to most of the album in order to hear some more stripped down songs ("Dope" and "Gypsy").
The lead single "Applause" is a little hard to be digested when heard for the first time, but it's very good nonetheless. The problem with this album is that it doesn't contain enough obvious singles, in the way that, though the songs are spectacular, the mainstream audience would expect something different from her and find it hard to fall in love with them as easily as a fan would. Maybe the only exceptions are "G.U.Y.", "Do what you want", "Gypsy" and maybe "Dope". But I'm not quite sure if they would have that much of a success.
The best songs on it are (in preference order):
- G.U.Y. (Should've been an album opener and a lead single)
- Do what you want
- Sexxx dreams
- Jewels n' Drugs (Featuring T.I., Too Short, Twista, her grandma, cat and the whole family!)
I'm actually very curious to see how this record performs, but I'm sure that Gaga Power will do the trick. Gaga herself said that maybe radio isn't ready for ARTPOP, so hopefully her risky attempt is going to be fruitful. I'm also waiting to see if this masterpiece has a part 2 as previously stated and how ready the radio would then be after ARTPOP has prepared the ground for such epicness!
P.S.: This time it's UNCENSORED! Thank God! And the deluxe edition contains the 1-hour-long 2013 iTunes festival where Gaga presented for the first time some of her new songs. Amazing!
on 3 August 2014
This is easily Lady Gaga's most complex and satisfying release to date, that came as a total surprise to me because like many others I considered that "Born this way" was dreadful.
Things do not start off well as the album has a messy feel that feels overtly familiar to Madonna's dreadful MDNA album. In fact, it was this belief that put me off buying this album until almost a year after release. Even then it took many listens to appreciate the hooks and the album as a whole creation.
The songs Aura and Venus are taken individually sound quirky but not particularly catchy or well written. GaGa herself claimed this was designed to be a more immature, lighter and more hedonistic album, so while this is true it does lack any meaningful substance in the song writing.
What makes this album a winner though is that is manages to take the fairly tired genre of synth driven pop music to some very interesting new places. G.U.Y has a similar synth beat to "Bad Romance" but has an oriental, exotic feel to it. Her vocals are on top form here, straddling the fine line between aggressive and bouncy without sounding harsh.
The most instantly appealing song remains the fantastic "Do what you want" with a song stealing performance from R Kelly, who is simply on superb form. Again, the synth baseline is infectious and really bounces the song along. Same goes for "Sexxx dreams" that uses a Prince style Korg synth to great effect.
I never liked lead single applause, that is simply GAGA at her self indulgent worst with droning vocals that never stimulate any interest. It is as bad as the album gets in my view, "Jewels n drugs" is perhaps the blandest song on the album but is tolerable as a welcome turn into hip hop.
Overall it is a fine album that may not have as many blockbuster singles as her earlier work, but as an album it is far more challenging and diverse in styles, if not themes, than anything she has done.
on 31 December 2014
State of the art electropop and as accomplished as Roisin Murphy`s "Overpowered", La Roux`s debut or Empire of the Sun`s first album. I could`ve lived without the rap track but it`s a minor flaw in a remarkably assured piece of pop genius.
on 22 March 2014
I suppose Gaga is always going to split opinion. She courts controversy and unfortunately there will always be those waiting for her to crash and burn.
With that in mind I just wish they'd worked on this album a little longer before release. Several songs border on greatness, but some sloppy moments just knock a star off.
To get the bad out of the way first, 'Jewels and Drugs'... No. Just no. Deleted from my ipod never to be played again. It's not your style Gaga, just leave it and move on, eh?
The other low point is Fashion. Many reviews accuse it of being a Madonna rip-off, but frankly if I was Madonna I'd do my best to quieten the accusations. Who'd want to inspire something so throwaway? Sounds like it took 5 minutes to write. Forgettable 80's formula-pop.
So, the good stuff. Several songs on Artpop border on being the best things she's ever written. With a bit of tweaking it could have blown people away. One such example is Sexxx Dreams. The verses are uber powerful and her voice sounds gorgeous. The chorus on the other hand is just the usual cheese. This happened with Judas too. Shame.
The other slight problem is occasional odd lyrics that don't live up to the melodies and beats. Did Venus really wear a seashell bikini? Seems like a cheap attempt to tie it into a bad costume for stage. She looks better in sci-fi chic than girly stuff anyway.
Artpop the song is indeed great. Probably one of her best ever, and lots of others up there with the best. Applause, Venus, Gypsy, Swine, Mary Jane Holland, DWYW, Aura, G.U.Y. all good quality and show off her style to it's best effect.
The Deluxe edition is worth it to get her original version of Dope on the DVD. Whilst I like the album version the lyrics lack a little of the raw emotion of I Wanna be with You. Shame it was butchered lyrically from what originally sounded like an honest love-song to her fans.