Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lady Gaga 'ARTPOP' is pretentious and reductive

Lady Gaga misteps with ARTPOP

Lady Gaga's ARTPOP finally leaked on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, at least for Lady Gaga's legend of critics, the album isn't a complete disaster. Unfortunately, for her decreasing fan base, it also isn't a very good album either.
The main problem for Gaga is that she is still trying to pass herself off as artistic and original, although she trails far behind the artists that she tries so hard to emulate, especially Madonna and David Bowie.
Lady Gaga continues her 2nd-rate Madonna clone act with a handful of songs on the album. "Fashion" sounds eerily similar to "Holiday," while "Venus" copies the same vocal inflections of many of Madonna's biggest hits. In "Sex Dreams," Gaga's unsexy spoken parts are trying (but failing) to coo the listeners as Madonna's sexy spoken vocals did with "Justify My Love."
When Gaga isn't trying to imitate Madonna, she is trying to emulate David Bowie. She uses the Bowie-inflicted accent on the semi-flop "Applause," and even evokes some of his style in "Manicure" and "Venus." On "Swine," she is in full Joan Jett mode until the EDM beat kicks in. Then, she sounds like P!nk. In fact, the whole ARTPOP album sounds like a kitchen-sink reference to other artists.
Many of the songs show promise. "Gypsy" starts off as a touching ballad until turning into a dance floor anthem it was never meant to be. "Do What You Want" has a good beat, but is ruined by Gaga trying too hard to sound just like Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. The "ARTPOP" song starts off as a dreamy electro chiller, until Gaga starts singing such cheesy lyrics as "We belong together. We belong togeather. ARTPOP!"
It seems like Lady Gaga is trying her best to separate herself from all the Madonna comparisons. But she may not want to steer too far from the Madonna formula that she has exploited just as much as a prostitute exploits sex. It is important to consider that after five years in the music industry, Madonna was putting out some of the most memorable pop anthems ever. After five years in the music industry, Lady Gaga has become a parody of herself. She has turned what could have been a good album into a disjointed (but sometimes listenable) EDM mess.