Before I get started..
No, I am not going to say 10 out of 10 and end the blog just because she is my idol; I plan to give my honest opinion about the album 😛 Secondly, if you do not like Lady GaGa or Artpop or wish to slate it, please do not do so on my blog comments as I do not take kindly to GaGa insults!
Right, so we have already heard a few songs, a few samples and have heard GaGa perform some of the tracks at the iTunes Festival, however as this is the finished product – I am going to review it as the final piece in order of the tracks on the album 🙂
Lady GaGa – Artpop
Aura – I like that Aura is the opening track. It is the track that caused some controversy because of the ‘Burqa’ references. This was the first song I heard before the release of the album. It leaked before any others and it caused quite a stir. But quite honestly, controversy is what GaGa is wonderful at, and whether you love or hate GaGa wearing a fashion Burqa; she got people talking about the topic. I absolutely love this track, however from the leaked unfinished version to the final album version there have been some changes made that I do not like. It seems as though there is an overlay on her voice that sounds a little less real and some of the keys are different and the notes are cut shorter. Saying that, I do utterly love this song and may just listen to the initial leaked version!
Venus – Dissimilarly, I heard Venus live before I heard the album version but now much prefer the album version. I was a bit skeptical about this one after seeing it on the X Factor show, however after giving it a committed listen; I am in awe. It may be one of my favourite songs on the album. It has a real happy vibe and sounds pseudo-8O’s like which I also thought about a few others on the album. It has a a real dance vibe and you kind of loose yourself in the song- it is a bit of a jump up and down and spin with your eyes closed sort of number! Absolutely beautiful ❤ ‘I can’t help but keep on dancing’ You just can’t! Ahh the Passion!!
G.U.Y. – G.U.Y. stands for Girl Under You. The opening of this follows on from the Galatical feel of Venus – the album seems to evoke a spacey sort of ambiance. G.U.Y. is a true builder, and then crashes into an awesome sing-a-long chorus. It is a bit more dirty and I just absolutely love this track! The verses are a bit more heavy and punchy, and then the bridges and chorus go softer; such an amazing track 🙂
Sexxx Dreams – Now this dirrrty little number.. Starts off quite sexy, and a little mysterious. It has quite a dark club feel, but then when the chorus kicks in, it turns a bit more upbeat to juxtopose the naughty subject matter 😛 I also really like this track; it is not as strong as the previous tracks but it is still such a great song. It has a wonderful easy vibe but again has that passion that just makes you want to get up and dance 🙂
Jewels N’ Drugs – I love you Lady GaGa, but I have nothing to say about this song…
MANiCURE – Now this is an amazing clap-along, dance-along, scream-along track! From the opening beat; it has punch, it has power and it is so upbeat! If you dissect the lyrics they are a little dirty, however it is one of those tracks that you literally want to jump up and down and feel the track consume you, that you don’t know what you are singing along to! ‘MANiCURE!!.. Heeeeaal Me, ‘Cause I’m addicted to Love’ OMGG Tooo Good <3<3 No negatives for this one! In fact when reviewing this song, I had to pause my writing to put it on again and jump around like maniac!!
Do What U Want – This is the second single released from Artpop. I was a little confused at first when I heard that the male vocals were supplied by R.Kelly.. But they work so well! I think GaGa was going a little more for 90’s r’n’b which is what the song is – albeit a little more contemporary – but completely works for me. We have the punchy chorus, the dirty slowed down bridges and the utterly passionate notes when GaGa really means what she is saying! Ahhh! I absolutely love this message, seeing as GaGa has gotten a bit of backlash recently. ‘You can’t have my heart and you won’t use my mind, but do what you want with my body.’ It is wonderful for someone of such power to relinquish control of her public perception because she knows what she holds inside is hers. This is such an amazing song. Cannot wait to see the video 😀
Artpop – Now up until this point, I had held it together.. but this is when the tears started to surface 🙂 I really do have such a passionate love and respect for Lady GaGa. And this album was really started to fill me with so much joy 🙂 I also reiterate that reason that I love GaGa so much is that she just gives you an affinity to continue and push forward into the world of joy that is where your heart wants to be. This song is magical. It is a little slower and it is a song that you vibe with rather than jump about to. I found myself doing the dance that GaGa performed at the iTunes festival – once again, bringing about a sense of unity within the people that feel like outcasts. This is also the track that GaGa explores the relationship between her music and art – it really is just beautiful.
Swine – Now this track.. I saw Lady GaGa perform a version of this track at the iTunes festival also. I say version, because the final release that is on the album just isn’t what it was before. I am really rather sad about this, because this is the track that I was most excited to get the “real” track of. The live version opened with an acapella chorus and an electric guitar which has been cut out. But something has happened to the beat. The back beat is drowned out too much but the heavy main beat and the recording is really off- the vocals sound strange as well. Additionally the build-up beat before the chorus drops, goes on for way to long. The song is absolutely incredible, I can’t even tell you! It was so raw and intense and GaGa was making all these squealing, piggy noises and the vocals were like singing screams of pain and passion that have all been cut out and replaced with some weird dubstep beat. It seems as though it is a little more commercial than the gritty version that she performed at the iTunes festival. Once again, I think I will just listen to the live recording track as it makes me a little sad to hear this track “cleaned up.”
Donatella – This has GaGa’s signature “talking” in the opening. The title tells me already that this track is going to be about fashion so I am already excited and it does not disappoint! It is a true dance track but a little darker and has a bit of an electronic backing, much like a lot of the other tracks on the album. It has a really beautifully sung slow bridge then smashes into an amazing dance heavy chorus. It is almost a mockery of fashionistas although the irony is, of course that GaGa is devoted to fashion. This track is so amazing – you really just want to sing along and make some kind of insane choreography just so you could bust it out in the club if it came on! Love this one!
Fashion! – This song follows on from our fashion theme and we are back in the vibe mode. I feel as though this number is a little bit of a filler. It is a perfectly nice track, but just not as inspiring as many of the other tracks. It has some pretty impressive singing though 🙂
Mary Jane Holland – This song is really lovely. It has a joyfulness about it and it really is just a happy track. I, of course love a good happy, inspirational track. And the breakdown, Oh My, is pretty spectacular!! ‘I know that Mom and Dad think I’m a mess, but it’s alright because I am rich as piss’ You sing it GaGa! And she does, with so much goddamn conviction! Makes for some seriously hot air-grabs!! I enjoyed this track greatly 🙂
Dope – Hmm now this track was another let down after the iTunes festival. This was entitled I wanna be with you. Perhaps GaGa changed it because of the recent slamming of her marijuana use but the lyrics and theme of the track have been completely altered 😦 Originally (we learned after her intro) this track was about her love for her fans and the stage. It was about yearning for things that she can never have as long as she is Lady GaGa but choosing the stage. This really resonated with me as I have given up so much to live out my dream, but I always choose the stage. I had some tears when I first heard it.. But sadly this version has been changed. The lyrics are different- they are about choosing someone over dope which doesn’t for me, really have the same impact. The recording is also not nearly as good as the live version. The vocals were so powerfully impressive live and her voice sounds a little warbly in this recording sadly. I think the love of the stage was more relateable as it seemed so real on stage and all us monsters respected her so much more as we felt as though she had chosen us. Back to the live recording once again for this number 😛
Gypsy – I was already excited about this one just reading the title! I have been saying lately that I feel like a Gypsy as I travel a lot and I feel as though I am bouncing around from stage to stage. It is strange how GaGa has seemed to have read my mind in this more recent album.. or she has been stalking me 😛 This is another power-singing, jump up and down, sing-along track. ‘I don’t wanna be alone forever, but I love gypsy life’ So effing incredible! What a track! Very GaGa and very happy; it just warms my heart. It has been a struggle for me to be alone and devote my life to the stage and choose to embrace the weirdo in me wholly at the sacrifice of many other things. But it is amazing how a simple track can make you feel as though somebody is with you and you have a support system wanting you to succeed and be who you are. I may have shed a few tears for this one also 🙂
Applause – I don’t know that I need to go into depths about how much I love this track because we all know! It is the inspiration and music for my most recent Burlesque routine.. This track is powerful, is passionate and brought me back to life. It really is the best song on the album and I like that it is the final track.
All in all, despite being a little disappointed in the recordings of some of the tracks after I had heard them performed live at the iTunes Festival, I thoroughly enjoyed Artpop. It is everything that Lady GaGa stands for and everything that I stand for; power, passion and positivity. It really has given me something to look forward to for months and has inspired me to continue to creatively push myself to reach a point where I am happy in my work. What a great album and what a magnificent amount of respect and love I still hold for my Mother Monster ❤
Stay Strange and Keep it GaGa
Aurora ❤ xx
Aurora Galore – Applause
I wanna be with you (Re-named Dope) – Live at the iTunes Festival
Swine – Live at the iTunes Festival
Artpop Cover – Artwork by Jeff Koons