Music Stories

‘ARTPOP’: How Lady Gaga Set Off An Atom Bomb Of Energy

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If Lady Gaga has an abundance of anything, it’s ideas. Following The Fame and Born This Way, she sought to craft a more free-form, message-light and upbeat collection with her third album, ARTPOP. But what that album eschewed in terms of anthemic ideologies, it certainly had in terms of Gaga’s characteristic ambition.

Listen to ARTPOP on Apple Music and Spotify.

For some, ARTPOP may at first have seemed like a party album you needed a doctorate to understand. The confrontational Jeff Koons cover art, styling the singer-songwriter as a space-age Venus giving birth to one of Koons’ Gazing Balls, was as bold a visual statement as she had ever made, placing her at a distance from the softer, more accessible tone of the world’s then-fastest rising star, Taylor Swift. It was as if Gaga was deliberately stepping back from that rat race. This was a party you gained entry to only on her terms.

“My artpop could mean anything”

Musically, the sonic energy of ARTPOP’s fizzy, synth-driven EDM bangers remained compelling. Lead single “Applause,” released in August 2013, scaled Gaga’s former peaks, its hi-NRG Europop charm securing it Top 5 chart placings across the globe. A homage to her devoted fans’ support, “Applause”’s battalion of songwriters suggested a wide search for winning ingredients, though notably absent was RedOne, who had steered so many of the early successes that this song drew from. He could, however, be found on “Gypsy” – one of ARTPOP’s best tracks, and an anthemic 80s throwback.

 

Marathon Continues

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