ARTPOP is the third studio album by pop singer Lady Gaga. It was released on the 6th November 2013 by Streamline and Interscope Records.
The album has features from R. Kelly, T.I., Twista, and Too Short. Described by Gaga as a “a celebration and a poetic musical journey”, Gaga felt ARTPOP represented a musical departure from Born This Way.
The first single from the era Applause was released in August 2013 and went top 10 in over 20 countries. The second single Do What U Want featuring R&B superstar R. Kelly has also been a top 10 success around the world.
*ARTPOP was tracking towards sales of 260,000 physical units in the United States as of November 17, 2013, about 75% less than its predecessor, 2011’s Born This Way.The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 258,000 copies sold in its first week, earning Gaga her second consecutive number-one album and becoming the third-largest sales week for a female artist in 2013, following Katy Perry’s Prism and Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz. On the first day of sales in Japan, charts provider Oricon reported ARTPOP selling 18,109 physical albums, reaching the number-two position. This was 5,000 copies underneath Jin Akanishi’s #Justjin and, out-performed Avril Lavigne’s self-titled album by 4,000 copies. It went on to sell 58,493 copies to debut atop the Oricon Albums Chart.
*In Australia, ARTPOP debuted at number two on the ARIA album chart, with sales of 15,685 copies, being kept from the top spot by rapper Eminem’s eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 which held atop the chart for a second week with sales of 20,096 copies. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 65,608 copies, making Gaga the third female solo artist in chart history to top the chart with each of her first three studio albums, following Lavigne and Susan Boyle.
Track by track review:
- Aura – Gaga at her most creative. Guitar, dance and pop all rolled into one. 8/10
- Venus – So catchy. When that chorus comes in you are completely sold that this is one of her best songs. 8/10
- G.U.Y. – That beat at about 20 seconds enchants you, as if you’re in for a treat. The lyrics are so fun and snappy. Parts of the song remind me of songs from her debut album. 8/10
- Sexxx Dreams – The chorus is very Prince meets Janet Jackson. Its sexy, electronic and free. 8/10
- Jewels N’ Drugs – Not the best song at all. In fact its one of the worst she’s ever done but I give props for Gaga to put T.I., Twista and Too Short on the track together like its 2003 all over again. 5/10
- MANiCURE – Typical Gaga on this one. For some reason I feel like I’ve heard it all before on this one, it’s nothing new but it is good. 7/10
- Do What U Want – One of the best songs she has ever done. Everything about the song fits so well together, the beat, lyrics, Gaga and R. Kelly’s delivery. Its just flawless. 10/10
- ARTPOP – Another favourite of mine. The beat and her voice go so well together and the chorus has such a sweet feeling to it. 9/10
- Swine – Not crazy on this one. The beat starts to get a little too much and starts to give you headache. 5/10
- Donatella – The lyrics are so fun and care free. I feel like the beat should have been more like this on Swine. 7/10
- Fashion! – I was surprised that this was produced by wil.i.am because the production on this is really great. The chorus is very Bowie with a mix of his two songs ‘Lets Dance’ and ‘Fashion’. Great stuff here. 7/10
- Mary Jane Holland – Reminds me of a few tracks from Born This Way, mixed with the new ARTPOP sound. 8/10
- Dope – The first ballad we hear on the album. The piano in the background is really beautiful and on first couple of plays I found Gaga singing on it a little annoying but the track is such a grower. 7/10
- Gypsy – This song is so Marry The Night 2.0. Such a high and positive vibe to it. I can imagine this as a single. 8/10
- Applause – When first premiered I was not feeling this song at all, but this has now become one of my favourite Gaga songs. The beat is contagious and the lyrics are super catchy and fun. I see this as the last track on the album because its the end of the album we’re all here applauding Gaga on this great album. 9/10
Overall album rating: 8/10
Key tracks: Venus, G.U.Y., Do What U Want, ARTPOP, Applause.
More POP than ART but Gaga has delivered again.