Lady Gaga transforms pop music into art


Lady GaGa has always been a fascinating figure, and her latest album “ARTPOP” continues her eccentric streak. After 2011’s “Born This Way” shocked everyone with its 80s glamrock power ballads instead of the thumping, Madonna-esque sound of her two previous albums. The question on everyone’s mind was what will ARTPOP sound like?

Despite being a departure from her earlier work, somehow, it’s very apparent that this is Lady GaGa. Heavily influenced by EDM and German house music, ARTPOP is a fifteen song thumper through Lady GaGa’s mind. The songs are full of blaring synths, abrupt key changes, and drops that would make Skrillex jealous.

“Aura,” the album’s opener, starts “ARTPOP” out accordingly. If listeners don’t like “Aura,” chances are, “ARTPOP” isn’t for them. After “Aura,” the album goes into overdrive mode. There’s a song called “G.U.Y” (an acronym for girl under you.) and another called “Sexxx Dreams,” which, despite being sleezy, are two of the catchiest and best on the album.

Interscope Records

There are two guest appearance on the album: “Do What U Want” and “Jewels N’ Drugs.” The former, with R. Kelly, successfully integrates the guest onto the track. A pretentious song, the song focuses how Lady GaGa sacrifices herself for her music (sorry, her art). “Jewels N’ Drugs” (with T.I., Too $hort, and Twista) is the album’s one misstep. It’s not catchy enough to redeem its sleeziness (see “G.U.Y.” and “Sexxx Dreams”) and leaves the listener wondering, “Is this Ke$ha? Oh God no.”

The album’s sole ballad, “Dope,” is a thing of beauty. Forget the dopey title, it’s GaGa’s most personal track yet, as well as being the most emotionally raw. There’s no subtext here: it’s just about GaGa’s broken heart and it can bring a tear to the eye.

“ARTPOP” is a funky album. The songs come in pairs: “Aura” and “Venus” go together, as do “G.U.Y.” and “Sexxx Dreams,” and so on. GaGa’s not trying to create new fans––she’s content with her Little Monsters––and this album’s just about appeasing them. Like 2009’s EP “The Fame Monster,” it is not just about her mischievous sexual adventures and fantasies. ARTPOP explores the themes of fame, wealth, and even Greek mythology. Lady GaGa has truly taken pop and made it art.