Lady Gaga’s third studio album was always going to create a buzz and the songstress’ promises of the reuniting of art and pop it was set to create a stir. Unfortunately (or fortunately), ARTPOP is just another Gaga album full of glitz, synth blasts, and complete dance floor compatibility. If you haven’t liked her back catalogue then I wouldn’t expect you to be converted with this effort.
Opening with ‘Aura’, it’s the expected hard hitting dance track. With few stylistic changes you’re eased back into Gaga’s world, filling the void she has left empty for the past two years. This is followed by ‘Venus’ which stuns with random splatterings of words – “aphrodite lady seashell bikini (garden panty) Venus”. Soon-to-be-hits ‘G.U.Y’ and ‘Sexx Dreams’ then provide a slightly grittier edge and an insight into the inner workings of Gaga’s mind as she sultrily sings “I heard your boyfriend was away this weekend, wanna meet at my place?”.
The rest of the album is a little more hit and miss, epitomised by contrasting tracks ‘Jewels N Drugs’ and ‘Do What U Want’. Whilst the former (featuring R Kelly) has a catchy chorus and a good deal of well-deserved swag, the latter sees Gaga lost in the mix behind T.I, Too Short and Twista. Whilst the intention to push boundaries is clear, this track seems too great a departure from what she does best: creating great sounding chart and dance floor hits.
ARTPOP closes with ‘Applause’, the album’s first single, featuring the clumsy reference “suddenly the Koons is me” and it contains all elements of this album: a true Gaga hit single with a subtle shift in direction from her previous works.
Overall, it’s easy to listen to sing along with. But is hasn’t provided the music shift that Gaga was striving for.