Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Music Review: Artpop by Lady Gaga
For the most part, Artpop does not disappoint.
Unlike Born This Way, which had an underlying religious theme which Gaga toyed with in some way during pretty much every song, Artpop's most standout feature, right at first listen, is definitely sexuality. But to simply say that and walk away would be to sell this album short. I can't speak for everyone--music is a really subjective thing--but this is either as good as Born This Way, or even better, as far as I am concerned.
My favorite tracks on the album are "G.U.Y.", "Mancure" and "Swine".
"G.U.Y." had me at it's opening. I initially thought it was "Greetings from Eros..." but the lyrics are actually "Greetings, Himeros / God of sexual desire / son of Aphrodite..." . How can you knock a song where, rather than being about or from a God or Goddess, the piece actually addresses the deity point blank? I don't actually care that I, who have done my fair share of Greek myth studies, didn't recognize him. When I'm working on Sealer's Promise, where many of my ladies are mortal and my guys aren't, this song becomes a pretty much add to playlist instant choice.
"Mancure" was the song that immediately made me decide to buy the album. It's not an extremely deep piece of music, but it's high energy and within ten seconds it produced a scene in my head that ended up leading me to write the entire outline of one of my novellas. Some people might be annoyed by lyrics such as "put your hands all over my bodyparts", but if you can try not to take it too seriously, the song is catchy and a lot of fun.
As for "Swine", what makes it great is the strong beat going on underneath it and the way that it works with the lyrics to put forth a really angry but energetic aura--both anger at a person *and* self anger. Not every time we are attracted to someone, or have someone be attracted to us, is a good thing and while Swine doesn't go too into that, it captures a raw and honest reaction very well.
The rest of the album isn't a slouch, either. "Aura", "Venus", "Do What You Want", "Artpop", "Donatella", "Dope", "Gypsy" and "Applause" are all varying levels of great and for the most part I can listen to this whole album without needing to skip...too much.
What songs bring it down? "Jewels and Drugs" is Gaga with some rappers in a trainwreck of a piece where she sounds like she is guesting on her own album. It doesn't go with anything else. Pass. "Sex Dreams" isn't entirely horrible. I think it's kinda clever how it could be interpreted as being two bi women attracted to each other because of how she does the song in two pitches making it sound like they are singing to each other. But it's not my kinda thing. As for "Fashion"? A beautiful intro leads to a song that does absolutely nothing for me. And the same goes for "Mary Jane Holland"--even a reference to Apollo can't save this one, folks. :p
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with my purchase of Artpop and I',m really glad that I bought it. If you like Lady Gaga and have her other albums, I can see no reason why you wouldn't want to add this to your collection.