After Lady Gaga had to end her 2012 “Born This Way Ball” tour early due to a hip injury, she took an extended break from the spotlight. Gaga seemed to disappear after being one of the most successful pop artists in the world. It was this long absence from fame that created “ARTPOP,” a record that Lady Gaga describes as a mixture of high art and pop music. As she has said in several interviews, Andy Warhol, who put pop culture into his art, inspired the fusion of the two. Although “ARTPOP” is a fun and catchy pop album, it does have some slow moments and does not completely offer the high art effect Lady Gaga was trying to achieve.
“ARTPOP” is a mixed bag of unique styles and sounds. Even when the music isn’t necessarily great, it still remains interesting. “ARTPOP” seems to be an experiment to see what the next stage for Lady Gaga is. She told Ellen DeGeneres, “This album has a lot of passion in it. It’s dance music and it’s fun, and some of it is a little deeper than the rest of it. Some of it is really silly like the music that my mom likes to listen to while she’s cooking. The truth is that I was so devastated by not keeping up with fame that I had to make a record that is pure adrenalin.” That is exactly what “ARTPOP” is: an energetic roller coaster.
“MANiCURE,” “Applause” and “G.U.Y.” are incredibly catchy and fun. They make you feel happy and make you want to dance along. Songs like “Aura” and “Venus” are heavily influenced by electronica dance music (EDM). “Do What U Want” is a particular standout on the record with a perfect mix of pop and R&B and a great contribution by R. Kelly. The song “Gypsy,” my favorite on the album, is a powerful, heartwarming pop ballad about life on the road. It’s the crowning achievement on “ARTPOP.” Like all great pop music, it allows you to turn your brain off and just have fun.
It is when “ARTPOP” gets a bit too experimental that it becomes somewhat annoying. The song “Swine” is very tedious and repetitive and doesn’t really do anything for me. The songs “Jewels N Drugs” and “Sexxx Dreams” are good songs to dance to, but do not really stand out on the album. They are a little bland and boring.
“ARTPOP” is definitely not a perfect album, but it is a special album. The music is just as kooky and out there as Gaga has been during her career. It is not the creative effort Gaga is advertising it to be, but is a great album to just push play and relax. “ARTPOP” is a fun pop album that has the occasional moment of genius.
Brian Tank is a freshman at Nichols School.