Wednesday, November 13, 2013

ARTPOP: First Impressions

Gaga, I want my $11 back!

That was a post by my Facebook friend Savannah on Monday, of course in regards to Lady Gaga's much anticipated ARTPOP, which came out on Monday.  Now, these were far from my own feelings about the album, but still, I knew what she meant.  

It really takes time to get to know music, no matter who it is, and I think it's rare for someone to like all of the songs on an album on first listen, unless you happen to be a fanatic of the artist.  This is part of the reason why it sometimes takes me awhile to review an album, aside from the fact that I am not a professional reviewer and I do not get advanced copies to learn beforehand. I've learned that oftentimes first impressions do not hold true with new music once you take the time to listen to it enough, especially if it's something you think might have been worthwhile in the first place.

 I think "Born this Way" is better than "Artpop"

That was a follow-up by Savannah two days later, and although I tend to agree at this very moment, I'm not necessarily sure this will hold true for long.  I do think that there are several songs on ARTPOP many of us will end up loving in the near future, only we've got to become more familiar with them.  After all, I remember it taking a long, long time for me to like many of the songs on Born This Way (with the exception of the title track, which I loved at first listen...can anyone say Madonna?).  Yet I love many of the tunes on that one now.  

I'm going to save the actual reviewing for when I've gotten to know the tunes a bit more, but here are some of my first impressions of ARTPOP:
Applause - This lead single is not nearly as good as the lead single from the previous album, but after enough listens I have come to like it....enough for it to stick in my head long after a listen (like right now!).  Not her best, though!  (4 stars)

As for the rest of the record, I like to take notes on my first impressions as I take my first listen and here are some of the things I jotted down as I did:

Aura - Middle Eastern-sounding...kind of cool! (3 stars)

Venus - Dancey, a little silly, but I like it!  (4 stars)

G.U.Y. - Very up tempo, very dancey, very it!!!! (4 stars)  (P.S. - Looking forward to dancing to this one!

Sexxx Dreams -   Funky....rhythmic....nice!  (4 stars)

Jewels n' Drugs (with T.I., Too Short and Twista) - With not one, nor two, but three rappers, this one's very hip hop....not my favorite! (2 stars)

Manicure - Yeah baby!  I love, love, love this funky, dancey track! (5 stars)

Do What You Want (with R. Kelly) - All I can say is wow!  It's so funny that a couple of years ago people were saying that Christina Aguilera was copying Gaga with her video for Not Myself Tonight (with good reason!), but things really turn around with this one!  The first time I heard this, the album's second single, I thought it was a new X-Tina tune snuck onto my iPod.  The voice similarity is almost uncanny in parts.  That said, it's a pretty good song! (4 stars)

ARTPOP - Electronic...industrial....steady, hypnotic beats...Gaga!  (4 stars)

Swine - Another electronica-infused tune, a little more up tempo than the previous track.  The lyrics, though?  Hmmm!!!!! (3 stars)

Donatella - Ultra-funky!  Not all that different from many of the songs on Born This Way (Judas, Black Jesus, Electric Chapel perhaps).  Catchy, hypnotic fashion club music.  Probably one of my favorite tunes off the album!  (5 stars)

Fashion - This one's pretty cool, almost a 70's feel to it.  (3 stars)

Mary Jane Holland - I don't think I've looked into this one enough to make a real call, especially on the subject matter.  It's mid tempo and it's just okay at first listen. (3 stars)

Dope - The only authentic ballad on the record really hooked my friend Kyle, but I am not so sure.  I loved You & I, so...(3 stars)

Gypsy - Just as I say what I say about Dope, I come across this nice, slower tune that speaks to me much more than Dope...that is, until the crescendo of the chorus kicks in.  Love it!  (5 stars)

So there you have my first impressions of Lady Gaga's ARTPOP...loving Donatella and Gypsy the most so far.  In the end, I don't quite agree with Savannah.  I think I like more of these songs better than I did at first listen to the ones on Born This Way...and I now love most of those.  So imagine how I will love many of these, too!  

Stay tuned as I tackle this one track by track... 

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