There's no doubt that Lady Gaga is an innovator in the realm of music. We have seen her transformation since her The Fame days to an enigmatic, eccentric dance-pop star who constantly manages to front pages of tabloids because she dares to be different and challenges the boundaries of the norm.
However, with her latest visual-driven concept album, ARTPOP, the high-brow ambitions of rethinking the pop album into a artistically-infused music entity isolates her fanbase drastically, especially when mass audiences these days are less about the album than the hit single.
ARTPOP is definitely deriviative as a product, and will surely appeal to those with eclectic tastes. More so, the inspirations of these tracks mostly revolve around high fashion, art, drugs, fame and sex, so it is highly possible that the unrelatability played a factor in the poor performance sales.
But you still have to give the Lady kudos for trying to push those boundaries and experiment with little-known tastes. Such as the politically-charged opener Aura, an electronica-heavy number that really sets the scene for the schizophrenic mania to come in ARTPOP. It makes her comeback single Applause, look relatively normal.
Channelling inspirations from R&B, techno, disco, Euro-electronica, etc, the album is both musically and lyrically diverse for a Gaga album, but not as easily digestable as her previous works. Still, some songs stand out, like the R. Kelly duet Do What U Want, which is a tamer and hotter version than Bad Romance. Donatella, is a fun one if you are into sarcastic drawls and industrial buzzsaw synths.
Gypsy, on the other hand, is the equivalent of Born This Way's You And I mixed with Marry The Night, with her signature throaty growls and powerhouse vocals encapsulated in a heightened chorus melody. It's actually pretty good considering the oddity of the other tracks.
So, the enigma that is Lady Gaga has once again succeeded in leaving the world stumped for words as she traverses around butt-naked around the stage in her weird getups, and I don't think it will be anytime soon that we will be able to understand her intentions, but for now, ARTPOP could well be the most in-depth perspective into what she embodies, but leaves much to be desired.
Track Cuts: Aura, Gypsy, Applause, Do What U Want