Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Music review: Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP’

By Miles Dunna 
Cardinal Staff

Always theatrical and innovative in her sound and performance, Lady Gaga recently released her newest studio album “ARTPOP” on Nov. 11.

Before the official release date of her album in the United States, Mother Monster satiated her adoring monsters (fans) by leaking some of her singles. Among the leaked tracks were “Applause,” “Venus,” and “Do What U Want” which garnered much acclaim and radio airtime for Gaga.

The singles featured Gaga’s all-too-familiar heavy electronic sound coupled with intricate lyrics alluding to aspects of the Americana experience. The introductory track of “ARTPOP” is entitled “Aura.” This song features a sound reminiscent of an old western movie overlaid by Bob Dylan-esque vocal narration packaged with the sleekness of 21st century electronica.

Rounding out the album, “Applause” serves as the hedonistic closing track that embodies the all-too-common endless pursuit of notoriety amongst millennials.   

The evolutionary transition of each track on Lady Gaga’s newest album can best be described as a move toward the catchiness of mainstream electronica, dubsteb, and house music. However, the album delineates itself from that of other EDM artists with the flamboyant sensibilities of Gaga’s lyrical storytelling.

Sometimes titillating and tantalizing, Gaga pushes cultural boundaries by illustrating uninhibited female sexuality, personal agency, and commercial consumerism. The only caveat that the album presents is the repetitive beats and sounds commonly used by trap artists and house music in its pursuit of chart-topping relevance.

Lady Gaga deserves “Applause” for the post-modern chaos that she gracefully encapsulates by converging musical artistry with popular culture to create her tapestry of social commentary. 

While not as political as her “Born This Way” album, “ARTPOP” offers a narration of the youthful collective unconscious through the lens of her American “twenty-something” listeners. As a result, this author unapologetically rates “ARTPOP” a steady 4 out of 5 stars for overall production, quality, sound, and appeal.

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