Lady Gaga: ARTPOP
Format: CD, Vinyl, Streaming, Digital Download
Release Date: November 6h, 2013
Album Number: 4
Intro: ARTPOP is Gaga’s more experimental album. This album shows how versatile she can be. Music was changing and so was Gaga. So, she wanted to go on the trend and make this album. I will say that this is one of my favorite albums that she has ever released and it’s going to be very difficult to change my mind. A lot of people didn’t like the record. Gaga said “ARTPOP was ahead of its time and not everyone understood it. But that was one of the reasons I made the record.” This changed her career and it also showed growth and where she could go with her career. As it says in the song, we could belong together ARTPOP. Blending the two things that Gaga wants to create and give her fans.
The Album: This is Lady Gaga’s 4th album. This is the first album she made after breaking her hip on the Born This Way Ball Tour. She had to cancel the tour and heal over the period of 6 months. In that time, she took the material from what she had made so far and made some new songs and ARTPOP was made. She worked with her frequent collaborator DJ WhiteShadow, whom she worked with on the Born This Way album. Plus, she also worked with new DJ’s such as Zedd and DJ Snake. This album was very EDM and synth-pop driven. She counts this as her most experimental record to date and there was going to be a Part 2, but it never came into fruition. Plus, after 6 years, the album got reissued because one of the songs features R. Kelly and after his scandal and documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” came out, the song got removed from streaming and digital download services and she took the song off the CD and Vinyl. So, this album had a lot of ups and downs. The other bad part of this album being released in 2013, is that she released it when so many other singers were releasing music such as Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and many more. So, it didn’t do as well but I still think this album has potential and it can show that almost any genre that Lady Gaga can handle it all. When you put Art and Pop, you have a masterpiece.
1. Aura– This is how the record opens up and it definitely is a song that is all over the place. It is an EDM and mariachi infused track. Very up-tempo and makes you dance but the lyrics are very story driven but kind of out there. They make you want to just read the lyrics in the booklet and figure what it’s all about. The song is about seeing someone without clothing or her true self under her skin. The song makes you really want to dance, and the song ends with her saying the name of the album ARTPOP. The song didn’t have a music video, but it did get a lyric video with images from the movie Machete Kills which she had a roll in. The video was shortened for radio sake. It is one of my favorite songs by her and on the record. I wish it got a video but a great way to start out an album.
2. Venus– This is her 1st promotional single from the record. It was supposed to be the second single from the album and then different song became more popular, so this was just a promotion. The song is also up-tempo and it talks about the goddess Venus which is also in the artwork for the record. It is a good song with a good build up in the pre-chorus and in the chorus and bridge. When I first heard the song, I was skeptical but it grew on me and I would have loved to see what the visual for this song. As with the first song, there was plan for a video, but it was scrapped at the last minute by popular demand from the fans
3. G.U.Y.– The song stands for Girl Under You (GUY). This song was the 3rd and final single from the album before the era ended. The song is very up-tempo and gets you moving. The song was produced by Zedd. This wasn’t their first collaboration. He did a remix for another song of hers and she wanted him to make a few songs for her on this album. The video for this song is all over the place but it definitely tells a story. It features the full song for GUY, but it has snippets of ARTPOP and Venus. The plan was to release videos for those songs but that all changed very soon after that. This song is about not needing to be on top and letting the guy be on top and take control. It is a very fun song and I can’t help but sing it in the car or at any party.
4. Sexxx Dreams– This song is a very up-tempo song. A recurring theme is how up-tempo these songs are in some way shape or form. This song is about partially similar to another one of her hits, it is about sleeping with someone and have sexual dreams about another. It is a very tongue and cheek song but very explicit. This song took a minute for me to like but now I do. The first time I saw Gaga perform it, she was very sexual, but it was art at the end of the day. Very erotic song but fun.
5. Jewels & Drugs (feat. T.I., Too Short & Twista)- This song is very different for Gaga. One of the big differences is it has 3 rappers on the song, and it is very hip-hop based with a little EDM. The song is about wanting drugs over jewels and love over money. It is very simple, but the rappers tell each own story in their parts. The only part Gaga sings is the chorus and the bridge. But other than that, it’s a rapper’s song. I see this song as Gaga as a feature and they are the main part of the song. When I first heard this song, I was not a fan at all but then I heard Gaga’s part again and that part stuck with me. But it isn’t my favorite track off the record.
6. MANiCURE– This song has a more pop rock feel. It is very up-tempo, and it has a handclap in the song that is very catchy. The song is about getting ready you go out and have some fun and then you realize that you are going to get laid. The song is very fun and has chants in the chorus and songs like that catch my ear a lot. But it isn’t my favorite on the record. But it is fun if you are with your girl or guy friends and you just want to have fun.
7. ARTPOP– This song is about putting art in front of pop and making it about art and not about the money. Gaga said it best, “Corporate wants only one thing, money and I just want to make art to entertain people and make people feel something.” This song is like a mantra and it makes you think a bit and the song is very dance driven and it makes you think and wonder what life would be without all of the greed. She just wants ART and POP to come together and be one. Very fun song and the bridge of my favorite part of the song.
8. Swine– The song is a very crazy song. It has a very EDM feel and hard-hitting beats, but it is intense. The song is about Gaga getting sexually assaulted from when she was 19 and she wants to take that pain and put that in the song. It is a very interesting song but very dance driven at the chorus and the buildup is so loud but fun. I love this song so much. Not for the message but for how it makes feel like I am at a club and dancing my ass off. She is a brave woman to talk about this and she is showing that she is strong, and she will come out on top and the other person will lose. I am very proud of her for making the pain from this and making a record to release that pain.
9. Donatella– This song is about Donatella Versace and how amazing she is and Gaga’s perception of what she thinks she is. Gaga and Donatella are very good friends and they have worked on a lot of projects together, so it is fitting that Gaga wrote a song about her and her life. The song is very dance driven also. As is 90% of the album. The song was also produced by Zedd. It is also another one of my favorites on the record. Gaga would perform it for her when she was in the audience. Very fun song and it gets me hyped.
10. Fashion! – This song is about all types of fashion and how she has evolved with what she likes to wear. She is always known for her fashion and what she will wear next to an award show or out on the town. So, I can see she wants to show that fashion is about her life and her career. I have always thought this song was slow at first but then it gets faster. I love the buildup to the post-chorus and the bridge. David Guetta helped produced the song and he is also a well-known DJ. So, it was cool to see what he could do for her. Very good song and one of the first time she performed the song was with RuPaul. That was an unexpected collaboration, but it was amazing.
11. Mary Jane Holland– The song has 2 meanings. The song is about Gaga going out in another country as one of her alter-egos and she was able to be somewhere where people weren’t storing her for a picture or an autograph. She felt human and she was able to not be a celebrity for a little while. I love that message. The other message is Marry Jane Holland is another word for drugs. So, she would get drunk and high and play this character and be somebody else. The song even features someone using a lighter. The song wasn’t my favorite when I first heard it, but it has grown on me. It is very synth-pop driven, and it has a steady beat, but it is kind of catchy.
12. Dope– This song is the only ballad on the record. It was originally called I Just Wanna Be With You. But she changed it right before the album came out. The song is about needing someone more than drugs. Gaga is known for being a drug addict but she is realizing that she wants the person and their love more than all the drugs in the world. It is a very powerful song and I get very emotional when I hear this song. It hits hard in my feelings. I am usually not a fan of slower songs, but this song gave me chills and I couldn’t help thinking that someone is stronger than a drug. So, it was crazy. I was never into drugs, but I understand how that would feel.
13. Gypsy– The song is about having a love and you are always on the road so are away from them, but you want them to come with you and have your love in many countries. The song starts out as a ballad but picks up and it gets faster as the song progresses. It is also a fun song to sing in the car especially on road trips. It is very acoustic, but dance driven. It is interesting cause Gaga usually uses electronic sounds more than real instruments. I love the end when she says all the countries that she feels like she is a part of, but it is a fun song at the end of the day. She performed it live on SNL and it was a blast. And every time she would sing the song live, she would just keep it about being positive and now I can’t help picturing her smiling for this performance.
14. Applause– This was the first single to introduce the ARTPOP era. It is a very fun electro-dance song. It has a handclap beat. The song is about Gaga dealing with her hip injury and she couldn’t perform after she got surgery for 6 months and she missed the applause. Not the money and the fame but she missed her fans and how she wanted to keep performing for them. She loves her fans and she missed them so much, so she made a song for them and how she wants to always do that for them. The video for this song is show different types of pop art but blending them into the music. It is a bit out there, but I love it so much. So bright and colorful. I love how she starts the album with in the first track, she says ARTPOP and ends with the last track saying ARTPOP. Perfect way to start and end the album.
Bonus Song– Do What U Want (feat R. Kelly)- This song was the original track list, and it was on there for years but got taken off in 2019 because he was on trial and she didn’t feel like that song needed to be on the record. She re-released the album and took off that song, but she kept on streaming services the version with Christina Aguilera and that song has a different tone. The song is about saying she has everything, but the man can have her body. This was the second single for the album when it came out and it was supposed to have a video. But the video got scrapped because it was too sexual, and it showed some things that are NSFW. But the song is a very electro-R&B song and it not very dance driven. So, it is more of a chill vibe. I wasn’t a fan of the song when it first came out but still a good song.
Cover Art: The album cover art is of Gaga sitting naked in front of a blue ball with the Goddess Aphrodite in a painting and a statue of her in the background in layers. The artwork is a bit risqué, but it is very Gaga. I love how raw and different it is. She shot with Jeff Koons which was her first collaboration with him and they shot very interesting pictures but it showed a version of Gaga we hadn’t seen in awhile.
Overall Rating: The album is a 5 out of 5. A lot of the songs a different from each other but at the end of the day, it is still Gaga. Not a lot of people liked it when it first came out but I thought it was one of her best records to date. Plus when it came out, I was going through a lot and this album got my head in the clouds and in a fantasy world to not think about reality and just dance the night away. ARTPOP can now be one.