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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Lady Gaga's ARTPOP

Lady Gaga is obviously feeling very Andy Warhol these days as she attempts to weld commerce and art for her latest #1 album, Artpop. This may not be as fresh a concept in pop music as the artiste would have us believe. Ask Grace Jones. Despite the Jeffrey Koons album art (I do recommend getting the cd for this reason, as well as for the liner notes and lyrics), the extraneous Greek mythology pretensions and the title coming at us graphically in all capitalized letters, this effort succeeds musically with typical Gaga moments of sheer brilliance.

The hit single, "Applause," is the album's concluding track. "ARTPOP" (the album's eighth track) is well-written and beautifully delivered, frankly, showcasing Gaga's skills as songwriter and vocalist.

Artpop opens with "Aura," not at all melodic though it certainly sets up the album's conceit. "Venus," the second track and expected single, owes a debt to the B-52s. I must admit that I love the lyrics: "Uranus/Don't you know my ass is famous?"

Stefani Germanotta is, if nothing else, a very accomplished songwriter as demonstrated by songs like the dancefloor-intended "G.U.Y.," "Sexxx Dreams," "MANICURE" (which I envision being inspired at a NYC Korean nail salon) and "Mary Jane Holland." "Swine," however, is a misfire industrial-disco number.

I found "Dope" to be quite a raw and touching ballad. "Gypsy" is a dance number that seems close to the heart in its yearnings. These songs truly exemplify Gaga's songwriting expertise.

Can you get gayer than the satirical "Donatella"? Gaga as fashionista. Yes, we're talking Versace. You'll swirl to this, bitches! Expect it, ultimately, on your club floors. "Fashion" is another hot disco tune with a similar theme. Drag queens, please take note.

"Jewels N' Drugs" is the hip hop tune on Artpop, another expected single. It has a very retro-progresso quality to it that endeared itself to me. "Do What U Want," a duet with R. Kelly, is smooth but undistinguished. Expect it to be an urban radio hit, though, as it has all the right hooks.

All in all, ARTPOP is a hot album this cold season. Highly recommended, especially to dance music lovers.


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