Poor Lady Gaga. When it comes to Artpop, meant to be a new era in her music chart domination, she is not having a good time at all. Out-twerked by Miley Cyrus, outsold by Katy Perry, and outdone by her own hubris, the poor dear ended up pulling down her pants and showing everyone her womanly bits (in the name of art, of course), and still the world barely takes notice and instead continues to watch and make YouTube parodies of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball.
She can only blame herself. Artpop is such a pretentious abortion that it is difficult not to throw mud at such blatantly stupid attempts at fake profundity. She tells everybody that listens, that Artpop promises a “reverse Warholian” experience… only because she decides to switch “Pop art” around to give the title of this CD. That’s like me having a hard time passing stool on the toilet and deciding to make a YouTube video of my experience because the experience connects me to Elvis Presley at his final moments of revelation.
And just look at the hideous cover art! It’s supposed to be artistic, because she paid Jeff Koons money to create it, but the end result is an ugly tableau of Lady Gaga popping out a blue ball from her honey pot to a background of something that looks like it was the result of a thirteen-year old’s first experiment with Photoshop.
The songs, needless to say, are nothing remotely artistic. They are all stock pop anthems that have been done many times before. Actually, they have been done many times before, as Lady Gaga’s tendency to borrow, sample, and outright lift musical elements from the 1980s continues here. She just adds in space-like sound effects and words about drugs and sex to make them her own. Therefore, tracks like G.U.Y. and Sexxx Dreams resemble both tracks from her previous albums and “homage” to the New Romantics era.
Her efforts at more contemporary sounds fare worse. Her collaboration with R Kelly, Do What U Want, is so transparently calculated to shock that it invites eye rolls more than anything else. Applause is a laughably banal laundry list of every “serious” art culture references that Lady Gaga looked up on Wikipedia. The sole moment that seems devoid of Lady Gaga’s wannabe pretensions is Dope, a refreshing big ballad that, for once, doesn’t see her trying too hard to sound far more intelligent than she actually is. Then again, given that she’s singing about wanting someone more than she craves dope, there may be a joke in there somewhere.
If Lady Gaga had just stopped with releasing this album as another collection of her efforts to replicate the 1980s music scene, then this one would have been an average effort. With her laughably out of place efforts to hype this album as something far more profound than it actually is, however, she only highlights and accentuates the banality of her songs. If this continues, she is going to turn herself into a bigger punchline than she already is.