ARTPOP falls short of previous work

Promiscuity interferes with album’s musicality

by Brien Miceli

Lady Gaga has taken a very surprising turn in her latest album, and I’m not sure if I like it or not. Her old music had ample sexual undertones, but ARTPOP is blatant with its wanton themes. Lady Gaga almost seems to be taking the anti-pop route that M.I.A. explored in her newest album, Matangi.

Her songs are not as catchy at first listen as they have been in the past. I was expecting the tracks on ARTPOP to be stuck on repeat in my head, but, even after several listens, her music was just not memorable enough.

The only songs I found catchy were her singles “Do What U Want” and “Applause.” When “Applause” was released months ago, I thought to myself, “This is great, this album should be fantastic!” Now, with the release of the whole album, it is safe to say that “Applause” is definitely not a good representation of the material Lady Gaga has put forth on this album. ARTPOP leaves the listener with something to be

desired.

When I heard “Sexxx Dreams,” “Do What U Want,” and “Venus,” I was floored by how overtly sexual she was being. This might not be bad, but it is very different from her old music and the messages she conveyed with her past material. Most songs on the new album are labelled “explicit,” while, in the past, few songs earned that advisory.

In terms of sound, the songs are much rougher than those off of her previous albums. They focus less on the synths and more on the beats, which may be the problem with their lack of catchiness. “Do What U Want” even features the R&B king of sensuality, R. Kelly, while “Jewels N’ Drugs,” a song that I’ll admit is growing on me, features rappers T.I., Too $hort, and Twista and is essentially a grungy rap track with a vocal chorus.

For now, I am not impressed with ARTPOP as much as I anticipated. I have a lot of respect for Lady Gaga, and I have read enough of her Rolling Stone interviews to understand how independent and intelligent she is, which is why I believe she can produce something better than this. Who knows? Maybe I’ll like it more when pop radio starts picking up more of the tracks.

First-year Brien Miceli is a contributing writer. His email is bmiceli@fandm.edu.

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