Track-by-Track Review: Lady Gaga ‘ARTPOP’

Lady Gaga unleashed her highly anticipate album ARTPOP today after over 2 years out of the spotlight. The followup to the critically acclaimed Born This Way, ARTPOP delivers the perfect blend of catchy pop tunes with stunning rock and r&b slow jams. Check out the track by track review as Gaga attempts to unit art and pop music.

A great theatrical song to open up the album, Aura is one of the better songs on ARTPOP. This upbeat dance track will have anyone that hears it out of their seats. From the heart pounding beat to Gaga’s enchanting vocals, this song has all of the makings of a number one hit.

While it is an accomplishment that ‘Venus’ is the first record that Gaga has produced from start to finish, this shows in the overall production of the song. So much is going on that it feels more like an experiment of who can put more sound effects into one song than an actual musical masterpiece. This is definitely one you will be skipping next play around.

Girl Under You is one of those songs that you want to listen to with your windows rolled down while you are driving on a highway in the middle of the night. She croons over a lover while somehow begging for a retweet. It is hard to not feel like a cool kid after listening to this track.

Sexxx Dreams:
As the title indicates, this song may not be appropriate for those under the age of 17. Gaga sings of her sexual desires to be with a woman, leading to her inappropriate dreams. This is another track that shows the versatile side of Lady Gaga.

Jewels N’ Drugs:
With an all-star feature lineup including rappers Too Short, T.I. And Twista, Gaga shows off her tougher side with her first hip-hop record in history. While the song is a valiant effort, it is obvious that this is not the lane in which she dominates. While it is an admirable experiment, it may confuse the majority of her pop fan base.

This is one of the songs on the album that no matter how many times you play it, it will never make sense. ¬†While it is reminiscent of Gaga’s more pop days such as in The Fame, it fails to demonstrate her growth as an artist and a hit-maker.

Do What U Want (ft. R. Kelly):
An example of an ARTPOP experiment that actually works, it was no surprise that Do What U Want is now a single due to overwhelming demand. This r&b record can put anyone in the mood as Gaga and Kelly’s vocals intertwine to make the perfect slow jam.

The title track of the album, this is one of the few mid-tempo songs on ARTPOP. She bellows over her desires for two opposites to one day come together such as art and pop music. It is hard to not feel a natural high while listening to this record and it can easily lift you out of any negative mood.

Gaga shows a more emotional side the best way she knows how, with a head banging beat and a catchy melody that will be stuck in your head long after the first play. One of the authentically amazing dance records on ARTPOP, it is hard to not want to stand up and swing your body in every direction possible to this stand out.

Like ‘MANiCURE,’ this is another song on ARTPOP that makes no sense. You would expect more from an album which took over 2 years to compose. An ode to Donatella Versace, the song seems more offensive than complimentary. The album could definitely have gone without this one.

Another stand out track on ARTPOP, ‘Fashion!’ is a song that can make you feel confident about anything you are wearing at the moment. You might even immediately break out into a catwalk strut around your bedroom. One of Gaga’s best records vocally, this song will be sure to get played in every fashion show from New York to Paris. This is probably the best song on the entire album as a whole.

Mary Jane Holland:
This song seems like an extension of the darker side of Gaga we saw in ‘Bloody Mary’ on Born This Way. She reveals her marijuana loving alter ego Mary Jane, who she uses an escape from the madness of her fame. While this song is undeniably catchy, it will not be winning Gaga any Grammy’s anytime soon.

After listening to ‘Dope,’ you might discover a tear or two that have escaped from the corner of your eyes. The only ballad on the record, Gaga bellows over a lover who she cannot survive without. The simplified stripped back production of the song allows for her raw vocals to stand out as she delivers one of her best records to date.

Gypsy has the perfect mix of dance and substance. Reminiscent of her earlier work on Born This Way such as ‘Hair’, this song’s inspiring messages about a wandering soul serves as a window into Gaga’s heart as she reflects on the loneliness that fame has brought upon her.

The first single from ARTPOP, it is no coincide that the album ends with an applause. In typical Gaga fashion, she delivers an instant hit with this powerhouse pop record. She shows off her theatrical side as she dramatizes through the first verse. If this song does not have you dancing midway through, then you must not know good music when you hear it. I give it a standing ovation.

Overall, I give ARTPOP 7/10 stars. While I admire the fact that Gaga is not afraid to experiment, it is definitely missing some of the characters that makes a Lady Gaga record unique. More Fame Monster, less ARTPOP.

Stephon Vaughns

Stephon Vaughns is currently a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston, TX. He is an editor for the online publication of Insight and contributes to the print publication.

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