‘Artpop’ not what expected

It seems that Lady Gaga enjoys shocking the world. She first graced the music stage back in 2008 with her single “Just Dance,” and her career really took off since. Gaga has never been one to shy away from risqué lyrics and outlandish outfits.

Starting from her unique voice to unusual music videos and ending at her infamous meat dress, Gaga enjoyed going where no other artist had ever gone before.

So it’s to no one’s shock that her third studio album, “Artpop,” was one of the most anticipated albums of 2013. Coming off  her previous album, the incredible “Born This Way,” fans and critics were hoping she wouldn’t disappoint.

However, now that the album is officially released, it’s disheartening to admit that “Artpop” does not live up to expectations. The album is crammed with too many dance songs that really don’t offer anything, unless they are played in a club.

For those who aren’t a fan of dance-pop and auto-tune, the majority of “Artpop” will confusing and annoying.

While “Aura,” the opening track, has decent lyrics, the beat is incredibly distracting – verging on annoyance. The album continues into “Venus,” a tolerable pop song and leads into “G.U.Y.” As over-the-top as the beats are on both tracks, the songs remain mediocre and not “Gaga” enough.

One of the catchiest songs is “Sexxx Dreams” and it’s just what it sounds like. It’s got an incredible beat and even though the message of the song is extremely provocative, Gaga pulls it off effortlessly, making it a great pop tune.

She then surprises fans with a hip-hop song, “Jewels N’ Drugs (feat. T.I., Too $hort & Twista)” and it is terrible – mostly because Gaga is barely on the track.

“Do What U Want” (ft. R. Kelly) is naughty and suggestive but performed in a way that works for Gaga. It doesn’t feel forced, like some of the other songs, but actually natural for her.

Also, the addition of R. Kelly was superb.

“Donatella” remarks on the fashion world, something Gaga is very familiar with, and the song works.

It flows nicely into the next track “Fashion!” and the two complement each other, which makes this section of the album flow very nicely.

“Dope” has to be a favorite on the album because it really captures Gaga’s art.

With only a piano to accompany her voice, Gaga croons a powerful and emotional ballad, which makes fans wonder why there are not more songs like it on the album.

Even though the lines “Need you more than dope” are repeated too much, the lines “My heart would break without you/ Might not wake without you/ Been hurting low, from living high for so long/ I’m sorry, and I love you” seems to make up for that.

Her voice is flawless and reminds us that sometimes the best recipe for a great Gaga song is nothing more than her powerful pipes and a piano.

The album concludes with “Applause” and it seems a bit strange that the only single on “Artpop” would be stuffed at the end of the album. By the time listeners reach it, the song loses its luster.

Overall, the great Gaga seems to have missed the mark on this one. The few songs that are enjoyable to listen to, Gaga’s talent shines through and we’re reminded why she became famous in the first place.

But the other songs don’t do anything for her. Her talent is drowned out in obnoxious beats.

It almost seems like she was caught up in trying to be revolutionary and different. The first half of the album is so out there, it’s impossible to listen to full songs.

Although die-hard fans will most likely be blown away, other listeners will be a bit confused.

 

 

SAMMIE JANIK

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