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After disappearing for several months because of her hip injury, Mother Monster’s return was marked by her VMA performance in July. Lady Gaga has been known as the “Queen of Pop,” due to her extravagant costumes, and catchy singles like 2009’s “Just Dance”. Since then, she has exploded into stardom and won a whopping five grammy awards.
One of the songs she performed at the VMAs was “Applause,” which topped the charts throughout the world, yet it lacks lyrical complexity, a defining note of the entire album. ARTPOP doesn’t have the same inspirational tone as past works like “Born This Way.” Some are even taking offence at her lyrics. Her song “Aura” has faced accusations of being insulting to muslim women due to lyrics that criticise the wearing of a burqa. The lyrics in “Sexxx Dreams” are about struggling to have a legitimate relationship with sexual thoughts and dreams. The song has some 80s elements, as well as “Artpop” which sounds like a song by Madonna.
Drugs seem to be a theme in ARTPOP. One of her songs, a rap actually, is called “Jewels and Drugs” featuring T.I., Too Short, and Twista. The rap is unexpected from Lady Gaga and the robotic vocals spark excitement. Another “Mary Jane Holland” is about her love for marijuana. Then again, she admitted at a Howard Stern interview on July 11, 2011, “I did it all alone in my apartment, while I wrote music. And I regret every line I ever did. So to any little sweethearts that are listening…don’t touch [cocaine], it’s the devil.” Seems like she says to do otherwise in her lyrics. For the most part her lyrics about sex and drugs are typical of mass-market pop.
“Do What U Want” features R. Kelly and shows a soft version of Lady Gaga since it has a good slow R&B feel. It is definitely one of the best on the album. “Guy” is a good techno party song where she explains how she wants more authority in a relationship. However, the ideal party song has to be “Donatella” which is about the spoiled life of the upper class. Lady Gaga seems like she is flattering herself once again, just as she had in “Applause.”
Being a Lady Gaga fan myself, I wasn’t too impressed with the album. I expected more from her. It seemed like she tried too hard and the lyrics were repetitive. Despite that, I do like how she’s trying something new and her dance songs are still filled with unique beats and are fun to dance to. ARTPOP is full of many genres, like her song “Manicure” which has a guitar solo and “Dope” which is a lyrical ballad, where Gaga shows off her vocals. It is actually possible that because of the variety, there will be more new Little Monsters.