Lady Gaga‘s third album ARTPOP has arrived, and we’ve declared it in our own review to be “her most cohesive work to-date,” adding that it’s “here that she finally cements her ‘sound’.” Other critics find the record to be either smart, a challenge, all over the place or, in some instances, a complete mess. We’ve gathered up a sampling of what The Internet is saying about Mother Monster’s new LP below. Give it a lookover, then let us know your own thoughts on ARTPOP!
:: The Daily Beast states that “ARTPOPis not a bad album. There are smatterings of genius on it, even, though moments of great never morph into songs of greatness,” while later adding that it “is ‘art’ in every way: polarizing, indulgent, and, as is often the case, raises the question, ‘What’s the point?’”
:: Buzzfeed feels the LP lives up to its title: “It remains to be seen whether or not this album will be a major commercial success on par with her previous records, but the album is proof that Gaga hasn’t become out of touch with her best instincts as a pop musician. ARTPOP is interesting in that it’s somehow both deeply weird and conventional at the same time.”
:: Consequence Of Sound finds the album to be faulty: “Her ostentatious style, culled from MoMA art pieces and Madonna, Brooklyn drag fashion and Bowie, no longer has the shock-and-awe power it once did, and so her equally ostentatious musical style, influenced by many of those same factors, suffers from the same problem. On ARTPOP, Gaga lacks forward momentum in the same way she did on Born This Way.”
:: USA Today is on the fence: “One can easily imagine the songs as a sturdy vehicle for her delightfully over-the-top stage shows, and in small doses, they’ll fuel the Little Monsters on the dance floor. But given the scarcity of sing-along choruses, the rhythmic pounding and the absence of nuance in her powerhouse voice, the overall effect is exhausting if you’re listening to the album all the way through. Even the lone ballad, ‘Dope’, is too much of a slog to provide much relief.”
:: The Backlot praises Gaga’s unwavering style, even if, in their opinion, it’s holding her back at this point: “Along with her funny and obnoxious gall, self-awareness has always separated Gaga from contemporaries like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Katy Perry, unerringly safe ciphers who’ve spent the past five years emerging with state-of-the-art singles and throwaway sentiments at precisely the right radio moment. As those vocalists change up their game when trends demand it, Lady Gaga is still brandishing her mic like a disco stick and demanding pop radio adapt to her… And yet, that’s why her new album ARTPOPisn’t as fascinating as it could be: Though the 15-track disc has triumphs and follies aplenty, they’re mostly the same triumphs and follies from her previous three albums, only now they’re crunching and thudding harder in ARTPOP‘s dizzying, somewhat unfounded aggression.”
:: Says Metro, “Gaga remains a pop icon who prompts frequent comparisons to other names; the same was arguably never true of Madonna. The Euro riffs of ‘Venus’ recall 1990s camp connoisseurs Army Of Lovers; the couture-grotesque of ‘Donatella’ feels like an arch retread of Bowie or RuPaul; the ‘don’t want your money, want your love’ refrain of ‘Jewels N’ Drugs’ even weirdly evokes Transvision Vamp. Sometimes, you suspect the same fabulous effect could be achieved with a lot less money.”
:: The Chicago Tribune is also lukewarm on ARTPOP: “For all that firepower, the music is catchy but tame – she’s cozying up to chart-topping formulas rather than disrupting them. The flamenco guitar and noir-movie atmospherics of ‘Aura,’ the anthemic Meat Loaf-isms of ‘Gypsy,’ the Philly soul of ‘Fashion!’ and the jittery synths of ‘Applause’ offer glimpses of the stylistic sprawl Gaga had in mind. But there’s way too much that doesn’t move the dial beyond its well-defined box…”
:: SPIN notes, “‘Applause,’ the charging, atonal ode to being onstage and basking in her fans’ adulation, closes out this sprawling, seemingly flawed-out-of-necessity record. As a final statement, ‘Love me, because I love you’ certainly transcends both art and pop; she remains singularly compelling and lovable as a celebrity, even if her records don’t always match up to her outsized persona. Even at their worst, they only prove that the art is sometimes unworthy of the artist.”
:: Finally, Muumuse sums it all up with this: “In a year when Lady Gaga’s fellow heavyweights didn’t really seem to try very much at all — when Beyoncé inked a $50 million deal with Pepsi to go on a tour to promote nothing in particular and tease snippets of songs in H&M commercials that no one can buy on iTunes, when Britney landed in a helicopter in the middle of the desert for no reason to announce a Vegas residency that she may or may not even want to do, and when Katy Perry released an inoffensive collection of Teenage Dream B-sides for 14-year-olds — pop music’s greatest try-hard gave us the year’s most fabulously over-the-top shitshow that absolutely deserves your applause.”
Let us know your own thoughts on ARTPOP below, and get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.