AURA: It’s a perfect introduction to the album and is definitely a great representation of this era’s sound. The instrumentals, which echoes “Americano”, from her 2011 effort “Born This Way” and also reminscent to Islamic musical cultre, and lyrics support the movie “Machete Kills” very well, as this is used to promote it (she also makes a cameo in the film). This is club friendly and could easily get you moving on the dance floor. The work of Zedd is evident with the use of EDM throughout the song. Overall, this is a good dance track that is electrifying and liberating.
VENUS: This is her least radio-friendly track on the album, in my opinion. The arrangements of the vocals and instrumentals is over produced and is just too much happening in one song. And as hard as she tries to summon the gods and planets that seem to fill the music of Venus, it’s not impressing me at all. However, it is a nice effort for a dance track and in no doubt will get you on the dance floor, it’s just not single nor radio friendly.
G.U.Y: This song is so captivating and definitely makes you want to be that G.U.Y. She covers the topics of sexuality, gender roles and equality with instrumentals throwing you back to ‘The Fame” era. I love how she plays with the current world with the reference of “Re-Tweeting” her sexual desires.
SEXXX DREAMS: The name is suggestive, the song is erotic, seductive and the orgasmic sounds that echoes throughout the song definitely makes you feel sexy. It has a similar message to her own song “So Happy I Could Die” in terms of sexual imagery. At the “I can’t believe I’m telling you this…”, Gaga makes her audience gasp for air, for a further erotic dance ’til the duration of the song.
JEWELS N’ DRUG FT. T.I, TOO SHORT & TWISTA: Along with “Venus”, I’m not feeling this song, at all. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been used to Gaga in a hip-hop/trap genre, but the song overall isn’t appealing to me.
MANICURE: The claps in the very beginning relives the “Artpop” esque sound from the previous track, and could potentially be a successful single. The clap-along beats reminds me of the British duo The Ting Tings’ “That’s not my Name”.
DO WHAT U WANT FT. R. KELLY: Their collaboration is so unexpected and when I first heard about their collaboration, I was a bit weary of whether or not I’ll like the outcome of the song. But gladly, it proved me wrong and it exceeded my expectations, the high belters of Gaga amazingly compliments each other along with the synth instrumentals. R. Kelly’s verse was just as good and challenges both their vocals. This is a great slap in the face to Gaga’s critics and “haters” who have slated Gaga the past year, for her weight gain, drug abus, injuries etc. The song replacing “Venus” as Gaga’s second single is probably her best decision for this era so far.
ARTPOP: WEAK. This was a weak representation of the Artpop era. I expected another great dance track with exciting vocals and lyrics but the arrangement of the song in general seem to be reminiscent of an 80s track.
SWINE: Similar to “Venus”, the track is over produced. Too much was happening at one time, and generally gives me a headache.
DONATELLA: Here, Gaga seems to just be boasting about her riches and body. And gives an ambiguous message about Donatella Versace. However, this is great promotion as Gaga is working with Versace for several of their clothing.
FASHION!: Gaga also plays with the Fashion world, however, making this track more ear freindly, claiming she’s “feeling good and looking fine”. The album’s quality seems to be deteriorating as we come closer to the end.
MARY JANE HOLLAND: Gaga finds dabbling in a sea of squelchy rhythms, which eventually pull back and float over the admission, “I know that Mom and Dad think I’m a mess/But it’s all right, because I am rich as piss.” The track would have fitted better in “Born This Way”, and serves as not an stand out track, but more of an out of place track.
DOPE: “Dope” is her rawest song in the album, with her croaking vocals, and piano instrumentals. However, the ballad is perhaps the most underwhelming track on thge album when surrounded by heavy dance tracks and creative production and doesn’t give life to the album as a whole.
GYPSY: Gaga winks in the chorus of this sing-along, which draws from the classic rock palette of her “Born This Way” album and only gets more cocksure as it races toward the end. Gaga’s vocals on the track are reminiscent of her song “Marry The Night,” with the singer declaring, “I don’t want to be alone forever, but I can be tonight.” The song serves as a story of sorts for life as a performer for Gaga, who travels the world over in order to perform in front of her legion of fans.
APPLAUSE: The album’s lead single serves as an appropriate bookend to the “Artpop” tale. Released in the summer, the song’s catchy, clap-along chorus and odd verses encapsulate everything Gaga attempts to convey on “Artpop,” combining all aspects of art and music in one final note — one that, indeed, deserves applause.
Overall, I give the album 7/10 VS faces.