Release Date: Nov 11, 2013
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Club/Dance
Perhaps understandably, Lady Gaga has had a hard time making music that matches the size of her persona. Debut LP The Fame, led by run-of-the-mill singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face," was catchy but unremarkable, seeming more interesting in the glow of Gaga's fashion-forward look and art school background. Her formidable vocal chops got their due on the diverse, melody-driven The Fame Monster EP, but follow-up Born This Way — anticipated by fans and critics as a grand statement — felt oddly complacent, recycling the sound of the EP and seemingly favouring the performance of Gaga over songwriting verve.
If Born This Way was made for the Little Monsters, its 2013 sequel ARTPOP was made for the world. Lady Gaga has grand designs for her third album, to pull a "reverse Warhol," which presumably means she wants to channel high art into pop instead of pop into high art, but it's a little difficult to discern Gaga's intent, either in this statement or ARTPOP as a whole. Willfully existing simply on the surface, a surface that perhaps (or perhaps not) signifies a greater depth, ARTPOP is teasingly garish, its bright colors and brittle beats attacking with glee, the emphasis always on big, pulsating beats, shattered reflections, and sound cascading over song in every instance.
Lady Gaga explained the premise behind her new album, Artpop, to The Guardian this way: “I stood in front of a mirror and I took off the wig and I took off the makeup and I unzipped the outfit and I put a black cap on my head and I covered my body in a black catsuit and I looked in the mirror and I said: 'OK, now you need to show them you can be brilliant without that. '” To wit, the initial publicity photos released for the album picture Gaga with comparatively little makeup or clothing and donning her natural hair color (if not her actual hair), suggesting that the singer was indeed, finally, stripping away the pretense of her ceaseless performance-art persona. And the lyrics to “Aura,” the very first song that leaked from the album, appeared to bear this out: “Do you wanna see the girl who lives behind the aura, behind the curtain, behind the burqa?” But it was ultimately just a tease.
I’m beginning to feel like Lady Gaga is a joke I just don’t get. That vast chasm between the conceptual game she talks (and wears) and her actual songs is fostering a growing, irritating suspicion that I don’t understand the punchline. It’s not that the idea behind album three is hard to grasp, and it’s outlined clearly in ‘Applause’: “Pop culture was in art, now art’s in pop culture in MEEEE”.
Lady Gaga is at her peak when she's playing the neon queen of all the world's outcasts. And with her constant prodding, her Little Monsters have filled the biggest big tent in modern pop. But in the five years since Stefani Germanotta's arrival, weird has become the currency that overwhelmingly fuels pop culture – from seapunk Tumblrs to American Horror Story.
Art “My artpop could mean anything,” sings Lady Gaga, soon justifying her robotically delivered boldness with the invitation, “Come to me/ With all your subtext and fantasy. ” A question immediately follows: who are we to disagree with her? Really — who are we to disagree with someone savvy enough to name her third album ARTPOP and therefore reiterate the post-Duchampian, post-Warholian observation that the status of the object as art is determined solely by factors external to that object? She knows that all we have to do is slap the word “art” onto any old bagatelle and — hey presto — we have enough to incite furious debate; if she knows this, then she must be right when she claims that her art is limitless in the possibilities of its semiosis, since it should only be a matter of projecting a limitless number of labels and interpretations onto it. Well, she is right, completely right, and she deserves nothing less than for her rectitude to be substantiated in the most exhaustive way imaginable.
Artpop finds Lady Gaga in an unfamiliar position – on the back foot, flexing hard to keep her dominion over 21st-century pop. On her fourth album, a great many elements are thrown at the wall – a splatter effect of ideas, acrylic digitals and a few rappers – in an effort to re-establish brand Gaga as some luridly necessary cultural force. Preceded by the usual teases and leaks, Artpop arrives on a wave of more unscripted drama too.
On stage at the Roundhouse in London in September, Lady Gaga outlined the concept behind her third album. As it turned out, said concept had already been outlined in the first single taken from Artpop, Applause: "Pop culture was in art; now art's in pop culture, in me". It was, she said, her "dream" that "art and pop should come together". Informing the world in 2013 that you've birthed the idea to blend visual art with pop music feels a bit like grandly announcing you've had a brainwave to mix jazz and funk, or thrash and metal.
Review Summary: Art and pop subjectively.Lady Gaga is subjectively a modern music artist who primarily focuses on the genre of "pop." Her first record was called The Fame and was well received by both critics and music consumers which invoked the feeling of "good" in those who listened. Commercially it sold 2.8 million copies as of January 2012. There were five singles spawned from her debut, such as “Poker Face” which dealt with subjects such as bisexuality and ~cockteasing~ .
“I consider Lady Gaga the Picasso of the entertainment world.”Tony Bennett ART ARTPOP (Pop-art) Arty Pop Poppy Art A(aaaaaaaaarr)r(rrrgh)t! POP! So... Lady Gaga wants to be AN ARTIST. Problem is, she isn’t too concerned about being a good artist. ARTPOP’s cover has been designed by bad artist extraordinaire Jeff Koons, a man for whom no subject matter is too kitsch, no theme too derivative, no statue of Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee too retina-shatteringly golden.
We all saw it coming. When Lady Gaga appeared on the scene in 2008, she was a thundershock. Out of nowhere, this young starlet with a serious set of pipes and some of the best pop hooks we’ve heard so far in the new millennium managed to capture the world’s attention in a remarkably short amount of time. Her fans were absolutely devout, while even casual onlookers could at least make passing comments on her perpetually-outrageous outfits.
“My ARTPOP could mean anything.” So sings Lady Gaga on the superior title track of this, her third full-length studio album since she exploded onto the music scene only five years ago. Given the advance hype emanating from Gaga and her camp, painting the album as certain to “bring the music industry into a new age”, such an opaque statement is odd. It is not, however, unexpected.
At one point in time, Lady Gaga used to be weird. But, even if the woman born Stefani Germanotta has tried to maintain the outsider image for which she became known and beloved, the more time has passed, the more she’s become normalized; pop culture is weirder (much because of her), so she stands out less. Her ostentatious style, culled from MoMA art pieces and Madonna, Brooklyn drag fashion and Bowie, no longer has the shock-and-awe power it once did, and so her equally ostentatious musical style, influenced by many of those same factors, suffers from the same problem.
opinion byPETER TABAKIS Lady Gaga opens ARTPOP by posing a critical question to the listener, her “cosmic lover”: “Do you want to peek underneath the cover?” If your answer is anything less than a resounding hell yes – head for the hills, quick. You’ve been forewarned. Gaga’s third full-length studio album is no peek, but a full-frontal exhibition of her psyche in all its batshit glory.
People take Lady Gaga far too seriously, including (and especially) the artist herself. In theory, and in dress, she has lofty aspirations to be pop music’s resident weirdo, even though her biggest hits are all about formula. She looks like a maverick who takes chances without actually doing that in her music. She sticks to the script, even while wearing slabs of meat.
The offer comes early and, of course, in the form of a provocation. “Do you want to see me naked, lover?” Lady Gaga asks in “Aura,” the first song on her new album, “Artpop.” “Do you want to see the girl who lives behind the aura?” This is a modal window. For sure! Wait, no -- hold on. Do we want that? Promoted stories from TravelChatter.net PHOTOS: Daughters of rock stars More than any of her A-list peers, Lady Gaga makes a spectator sport of the entire pop-star experience, from her music to her pronouncements on social issues to her determination to wear the wackiest outfit possible every time she steps in front of the paparazzi.
Pop music in 2013 is, undoubtedly, dominated by women. With huge albums from the likes of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Jessie J and now the return of the infamous Lady Gaga, it’s been a big few months for solo female pop acts. The male population is represented by the likes of X Factor alumni James Arthur and One Direction, but it’s the women who seem to be dominating both the charts and the press.
Man, it’s depressing seeing how badly so many people want Gaga to fail. Yes, I totally get that there are people who have genuine issues with her representation or appropriation of queer culture or whatever, and if you’ve got objections to her based on an assessment of her whole career and aesthetic then no problem – laugh away if she trips up. But more generally it feels like there’s a hovering air of vague resentment and people willing her to fail in a way that smacks of wanting someone who steps out of line to know their place, and that leaves a bad taste.
There's no getting away from it – some people really loathe Lady Gaga. Those that oppose Gaga (not including those who simply reject the notion of her based solely on a hatred of commercial, popular music) see her as a phoney – a loudmouth lifestyle tourist latching onto various sub-cultures, ripping off Madonna's moves and quite tedious in her attempts to shock with her wardrobe. On the flipside, her army of Little Monsters offer up the kind of devotion normally accorded to either cult leaders in bad jumpers or Morrissey, worshipping Gaga as an eccentric, funny, sarcastic icon.