"ARTPOP" is pop-phenomenon Lady Gaga's third studio album. It was released Nov. 6 to high anticipation.
Gaga, known for being slightly over-the-top with her music and outfits, has not taken much change in direction with this album. "ARTPOP" infuses exactly what the title says into almost every song: art and pop.
Though the album embraces Gaga's over-dramatic antics in behavior and style, musically, the album is slightly unique when compared to her previous two albums. While it is very lively, it creates an almost parallel feel to the most recent album, "Born This Way," which released in May 2011.
In similarity with "Born This Way," "ARTPOP" focuses a great deal on sexuality and strength, with some feminist undertones. In contrast, "Born This Way" emphasized religion a great deal and had more somber songs that dealt with heavier issues.
With Lady Gaga's release of "ARTPOP," it seems as though she wanted to release a fun, party album for her die-hard fans. It's almost as if Lady Gaga, during "The Fame" era, has returned. "The Fame" was released in 2009 and shot Lady Gaga to stardom with its fun pop songs.
"ARTPOP" is a more mature continuation of Gaga's party songs that were found on "The Fame" album. It channels both of her previous albums, but also differs as it incorporates more musical styles and has a very diverse sound.
In the title song, Gaga sings, "My ARTPOP could mean anything / We could, we could belong together."
Gaga feels art and pop could easily belong together, and she has tried to fuse them into one throughout the album. She brings her own creative energy and art and infuses it with pop music and sound.
The album's first single, "Applause," garnered a lot of positive reaction from both critics and fans. It includes a very up-tempo sound with lively energy, which creates a great overall depiction of the rest of her album. In the single, Gaga notes she "lives for the applause," which can be understood as she loves the attention from both fans and critics.
There is a lot of techno and electronica sound infused throughout the album. Gaga only has one ballad on the album, and she even includes a song – "Jewels and Drugs" – that incorporates rap and trap sounding music, which includes heavy rap and hip-hop sounds that are usually popular in southern rap.
Delving deeper into the lyrics of the songs, one can see Gaga puts a great deal of emphasis on love and sex in "ARTPOP." She mentions "Himeros / God of sexual desire, son of Aphrodite" in her song entitled, "G.U.Y." and makes numerous references to Greek mythological characters. Her song "Venus" references the Roman goddess and alludes to the beauty every woman has within.
The ballad on the album, "Dope" is one of the best. The song focuses on a love Gaga has experienced. She sings, "My heart would break without you / Might not awake without you / been hurting low, from living high for so long."
The song is clearly about a heartbreak Gaga is going through and touches on a relatable topic for many.
Her album includes a few guest appearances from other artists, such as R.Kelly, T.I., Too Short and Twista. The musical makeup of the album is very diverse and unique, compared to her other albums.
"Do What You Want," the second single, features artist R. Kelly. This song focuses on sexuality and consent with Gaga singing, "Do what you want / What you want with my body." She also sings, "Write what you want / Say what you want about me / If you're wondering / Know that I'm not sorry," which implies she doesn't care what the media will say or write about her, either for embracing her sexuality as a woman, or just in general.
"ARTPOP" provides a wide variety of sound for anyone to listen to. The album includes rap, pop, hip hop, rock, techno and electronica, as well as a ballad. This album is definitely one that will outrank the others this season.