Review: ARTPOP in name only
What's hot and not in your headphones
Lady Gaga is a frustrating artist.
She has everything going for her: A complete disinterest in looking and acting like a modern pop star, an ear for huge tunes and snappy production, and complete confidence in her own sexuality. We know that she can put together a stunning album (just look to "The Fame Monster", even the snobbiest critics were fawning over that one), it's just that she doesn't seem to be motivated to truly push the boundaries of pop.
The cover of this album is a massive improvement on the cringe-worthy artwork of "Born This Way", and while this effort is certainly consistent musically, the highlights are spread thin.
Her duet with R Kelly, "Do What U Want" easily stands out above the rest, along with the thrilling "Swine", but cuts like "Venus" and the title track seem like products of a formula. Even the hit closer "Applause", sounds like the less successful sibling of "Bad Romance".
ARTPOP gives us more of what we came for, just more polished than ever, and maybe that's not a bad thing?
But when Gaga finally sets aside all her conventions and makes something truly deserving of this album's title, then I'll get excited.
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