Gaga’s ‘Artpop’ features rainbow of producers

By Carl Nadig

It’s easy to accept Lady Gaga as one of the most explicitly raucous musical performers of the decade.

With her third studio album released today, “ARTPOP” exhibits Lady Gaga’s dominance in electronica and Euro house music. Unlike her previous albums, “ARTPOP” comes bubble-wrapped in pounding breakdown bass and drenched in futuristic synth that portray musical guest stars like R. Kelly’s musical career as trivial. The most value found in the album is the inclusion of multiple musical producers, including Infected Mushroom and

The album’s newest single, “Applause,” is a track directed to music critics. With musical guests T.I., Too $hort and Twista in “Jewels N’ Drugs,” the incorporation of scit-scatting rap lyrics create techno-styled rhythms. This song illustrates the freshness in Lady Gaga’s album. I won’t be surprised when I hear DJs remixing these hits in the weeks to come.

In “Sexxx Dreams,” Gaga’s vocals sound like an older, kinkier Katy Perry. With the single “ARTPOP,” the Mother Monster sounds like a dirtier and robotic Madonna.

Besides the musical production of the album, “ARTPOP” doesn’t break into new territory. At best, Lady Gaga’s newest album provides enough oomph for the dance floor and dexterity for interpretative live performances. For aesthetic value of the record, it is how the flavors are mixed that provide this brand of bubble gum with enough kick to keep me chewing, and not the flavors themselves.

That doesn’t mean “ARTPOP” isn’t a weak link in the artist’s discography. With five Grammy awards on her resume, what can Lady Gaga do to surpass herself? If a performer continues with the same routine year after year, it can be difficult to shock the audience in fresh ways. Gaga implicitly answers any criticism with lyrics at the heart of her album: “I tried to sell myself, but I am really loud. Because I just love the music, not the bling.”

Regardless of whether she will survive the next decade in the music industry, Lady Gaga has created a persona with an honest voice that’s rarely found in today’s music market. That honesty is something to listen to and respect.