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Album review: Lady Gaga saves Top-40 in ‘ARTPOP’

ARladygagaAfter two and a half years of silence and months of relentless marketing, Lady Gaga has finally unleashed her third full-length album, “ARTPOP,” to the world.

After the cancellation of Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” tour in February, she reemerged onto the pop culture scene in August with the release of her lead single from “ARTPOP,” “Applause,” which continues to top music charts around the globe months after its release.

Historically, topping the charts is familiar territory for Gaga, and with the release of this new album, she’s going to become even more familiar at the top of the charts.

Unlike her previous controversial album, “Born This Way,” “ARTPOP” is filled with radio-friendly, EDM-style hits that both her fans and the general public alike will embrace. Not to mention that dance clubs around the globe will be playing these songs for years to come.

In comparison to “Born This Way,” there is no political agenda on “ARTPOP.” Gaga was able to make her public outcry for equality throughout the “Born This Way” era, arguably to an exhausting point, and has now returned to her roots of making catchy, non-political, quality dance music.

As a whole, “ARTPOP” is musically impossible to define, ranging from bubblegum pop to hip-hop, all with an EDM undertone that gently pushes pop music into a new dimension in typical Gaga fashion.

This album, by no means, is a creation of surface level pop music for the faint of heart. The beats and stems throughout the album are endlessly deep and intertwined, making a creation of “electronic candy” for the listener, as Gaga herself declared.

Aside from the two current singles off the album, “Applause” and “Do What U Want” featuring R. Kelly, “Sexxx Dreams” and “MANiCURE” serve as stand out tracks on the album, hailing back to Gaga’s original style on her first two releases “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster”.

The deepest moments on the album come from “Dope” and “Gypsy,” both of which expose Gaga at her most raw and vulnerable. Her vocals in both of these tracks not only wipe away any previous doubt of her vocal ability, but take the listener on a journey through a superstar’s deepest vices and insecurities, leaving the listener emotionally exhausted in the best way possible.

In addition to the release of the album, Gaga has also released an app for mobile devices that allows fans to connect with each other, share their own art and create music based on the beats and stems from the songs off the album, creating an interactive experience for her fans.

And that’s exactly what Gaga wanted “ARTPOP” to be — an experience. On the night of the album release, Gaga hosted an album release party, the “ArtRave,” where fans and press could come together and experience her songs for the first time as well as view sculptures created by Jeff Koons specifically for the album and Gaga, one of which graces the album cover.

Gaga is, arguably, the most divisive pop star of today, leaving some belting her tunes and others collectively shrugging. But that’s just what Gaga wants. She doesn’t care to create music for the charts, she creates music specifically tailored to the desires of her fans. And without the subconscious pressure of creating chart-topping hits, Gaga is able to seamlessly create anthems that resound in earphones, cars and clubs across the globe.

In a year of mediocre pop releases, Lady Gaga has returned to save pop music, serving up an album filled to the brim with hits that could make even the hardest critic tap his toes.

Grade: A- 

One comment

  1. Great Review.

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