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Revisiting ARTPOP, 10 Years Later

My review on Lady Gaga’s album, Artpop.

Many people know Lady Gaga, international superstar, for her widely celebrated global hits, like Bad Romance (2008), Born This Way (2011), and Shallow (2018), along with many others. However, with the recent anniversary of her lesser known album, Artpop, it’s time that more people are aware of it.

November 6th marks the 10th anniversary of ARTPOP, Lady Gaga’s third studio album. The album is defined by its highly experimental and electronic songs. It’s definitely Gaga’s strangest and “campest” album throughout all of her five studio albums, so it’s no surprise that Artpop goes practically unnoticed by the general public, despite being ahead of it’s time in my opinion.

Throughout the songs, they un-apologetically explore fame, technology, and sexuality through upbeat and rave-esque beats and synths. It makes the album an interesting listen, with lyrics like: “Brushes of darkness won’t help you create your destiny of self, but ARTPOP could mean anything,” disguised in a techno beat, with piano and guitar mixed in.

The song’s meaning can be interpreted in many different ways, but most agree that it is about the merging of art and pop, and how important celebrating yourself is, even in dark times.

The album itself is a great display of Gaga’s versatility and, in my opinion, is one of the best exhibits of her creativity through her fashion and performances of that era.

However, the album was not well received by critics at the time. One reviewer says, “The sad news is that there is no killer blow on Artpop – no Bad Romance, basically – that will automatically glue Gaga to her pedestal.”

I beg to differ. Artpop is an amalgamation of many different sounds that all together make the album a very upbeat, sometimes even refreshing listen, even ten years after it’s release. However, I do agree the difference in the songs can be kind of confusing. For example, Dope, a song about Gaga’s addiction during one of her previous tours, is a very bare, minimally-produced song, that is definitely the “black sheep” of the album, compared to songs like Swine, which is very upbeat and a type of song you’d hear at a rave.

Years later, Artpop still holds up. Subgenres like EDM, hyperpop, and even a revival of house music, are more mainstream than they were 10 years ago. In 2021, the song even hit number 2 on the iTunes chart, proving its cultural relevance despite being almost 8 years old at that point.

During production, Gaga and producer DJ White Shadow originally considered Artpop to have up to 50 songs, but it was later cut down to 15.

The album had high hopes by Gaga and her team, and while it didn’t necessarily gain her acclaim with the general public, it is still one of my personal favorites and a wonderful display of her artistry.

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About the Contributor
Chevy Palmer
Chevy Palmer, Writer
Chevy is staff writer and a senior at MHS. When she's not writing, she's at home with her cat.
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