Lady Gaga – ARTPOP Liveblog
Whenever there’s a disaster, there’s always someone liveblogging it; so why not with a disastrous album? Some records don’t warrant several listens and a lot of consideration; your gut reaction to the cavalcade of awfulness is enough. One such record is Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP? I listened the whole damn thing and wrote my reactions as I went along. I did the same for her last album, Mother Monster’s Fame Goblin (or whatever it was called), and I thought it worked pretty well. You don’t need to listen to the album as you read this blog; hopefully it’ll work well enough on its own…
0.15 So far, it sounds like she’s going for a mariachi band sound. Bit of a change of direction, but better than her other stuff.
0.50 Maniacal laughing now. She’s finally cracked. It was bound to happen.
1.15 Ooh, I think that was what the kids call a ‘drop’. Exciting! I think this might be Dubstep.
2.45 [Reading the lyrics sheet] Oh, this song is all about wearing a burqa. She’ll get letters.
3.45 Overall, this sounds like some gawd-awful Balearic club hit that made its way to civilisation.
0.50 It’s all very sci-fi, this one. Clearly she’s a huge Trekkie.
2.45 Now she’s just naming planets. Also Pluto, which is no longer classed as a planet, but a planetoid – fact fans!
3.05 “Uranus! / Don’t you know my ass is famous?” We’ve reached a new low. It isn’t even pronounced that way; it’s more like “Yourannus”.
3.30 What rhymes with Venus? She hasn’t made that joke. Yet.
0.15 She’s now narrating an audiobook about sex. It’s like a pervy Hitchhikers’ Guide.
0.50 We’re only into the third song and her Madonna impression reappears. It’s very “Vogue”-ish.
1.30 Apparently, “G.U.Y” stands for “Girl Under You”. Took me a while to get that. Whatever happened to “Girls on Top”?
2.20 Oh, she says: “I don’t need to be on top to know I’m wanted.” That clears that up, then.
3.00 “I’ll lay down face up this time.” She’s got a one-track mind, this woman.
4) Sexxx Dreams
0.00 Yet more sex! Sorry, sexxx. Which I guess is even ruder.
0.30 This is like a grubby Human League song.
2.00 Judging by the references to touching herself, she’s clearly a fan of The Divinyls.
3.00 I think I heard a slap bass. What is this, Seinfeld?
3.30 Not much to say about this track really; she’s just trying to make teenage girls giggle and their parents scowl. Irritating.
5) Jewels N’ Drugs (feat. T.I., Too $hort, Twista)
0.00 This is the first track with guest stars. “T.I.” – I’ve heard of him; he’s a line blurrer.
0.45 It’s been someone rapping thus far. No sign of the lady herself.
0.55 Oh, here she is. Joy.
1.10 “I don’t want your jewels, I want your drugs.” That’s alright, then. Drugs are probably cheaper to replace.
1.50 Another guest star. Maybe this is “Too $hort”. That name makes me think of Skee Low. “I wish I was a little bit taller…”
2.15 “Good p*ssy in the passenger seat…” Charming as ever, these rappers.
2.30 Did I just hear her say “Slap honey on your pancake”, or is this boredom-induced psychosis?
3.00 Fast rapping! Slow down; we can’t hear who you’re demeaning.
0.15 The beat is a bit like “My Sharona”. The Knack were obviously a huge influence.
1.00 “Touch me in the dark / Put your hands on my body parts.” She’s at it again!
2.00 When she shouts “MANiCURE!” she sounds just like Geri Halliwell. Not that I listen a lot of Geri Halliwell, mind.
2.25 “I’m gonna be MANiCUREd / You wanna be MANiCUREd”. Oh, what could she be talking about? Again.
3.00 There’s a guitar solo now, just like in a real song! Do you remember when we had real songs?
7) Do What U Want (feat R. Kelly)
0.00 Why are people still working with the odious R. Kelly? They must have short memories.
0.40 “Do what you want with my body…” Don’t say that around R. Kelly, Gaga! God knows what he’ll do with you. Second thought: you’re probably too old for him.
1.30 R. Kelly is now rapping about how busy his life is. By rights, he should be busy doing hard labour. Also, he name checks Tom Ford, who seems to be the go-to guy to plug, these days.
2.10 Now he’s talking about “roughing people up”. Wasn’t he also arrested for battery, as well as all that other stuff? [Yes, he was.]
0.00 It’s the title track; it must be good.
1.30 It’s not that bad, actually. It’s more like the pop she’s famous for, than all that techno nonsense. Maybe I’m just coming down with Stockholm Syndrome.
2.15 I thought she was singing about iPods, but I guess it’s “artpop”. That makes more sense, what with that being the title of song.
3.15 “I just love the music, not the bling.” That’s clearly nonsense.
3.30 This would make a tolerable Pet Shop Boys song. In fact, didn’t they have an album called ArtPop? [Nope, it was PopArt. I was close.]
0.00 I wonder if this is a PSA about swine flu.
1.00 “You’re just a pig inside a human body.” She’s clearly a fan of George Orwell.
1.15 She seems to be affecting an English accent, so that’s yet another similarity to Her Madgesty.
1.50 She’s literally just hiccupping now.
2.00 Observation: Her lyrics read like some weird programming language:-
There might as well be a “GOTO 10” line.
3.00 Another observation: There hasn’t been any mention of “molly” or “twerking” so far. There’s plenty of time left, I suppose.
0.20 “I’m blonde, I’m skinny / I’m rich, and I’m a little bit of a bitch”. Well, at least she’s self-aware.
0.30 Versace is referenced. Tut, tut, more brands being name-checked.
1.10 Wait, there’s a person called Donatella Versace! Google Image Search informs me that she might be the blonde, skinny bitch in question. This song is making more sense, now.
1.50 There’s a lot of clichéd talk about fashion, but the campiness of it works quite well. “Walk down the runway but don’t puke” – for some reason I actually quite like that line.
3.00 Does Ms. Versace know she’s being talked about this way? Oh, Google tells me that Gaga is the face of her Spring collection. The line “What do you want to wear this Spring?” seems like a cheap tie-in with that.
0.00 The exclamation point is very important. Think of Oliver!
0.45 This song has a similar theme to the previous one. That’s happened a lot on this album. I have an awful feeling that she intends to adapt it into a musical. God help us all.
2.30 “I’m looking good…” Are you really, though?
3.15 Someone’s now speaking French. That’s always classy. I’m a little rusty, but I think she might have been asking directions to the library.
12) Mary Jane Holland
0.0 Mary Jane – that might be a drugs reference.
0.20 I’ve just done a Google and it seems that there isn’t a person called Mary Jane Holland. It’s almost certainly a drugs reference.
0.50 She doesn’t sound like she’s on weed, as this is yet another up-tempo dance song. If she was, she’d be making stoner rock. I wouldn’t listen to that.
1.30 Referring to marijuana using the secret codename “Mary Jane” is something people did in the seventies. Why bother today? You can literally write songs about shooting people and no one will bat an eye. See: gangster rap.
2.30 Holland – because Amsterdam is in Holland. Quick on the uptake, me.
3.10 “I’m as rich as piss” – That might be the worst line so far. Is piss rich?
3.20 “Introducing… Mary Jane Holland!!!” Oh, this is going to be some gawd-awful alter ego à la Sasha Fierce isn’t it? She’ll probably turn up on Letterman dressed as a bong.
0.00 Is she singing about heroin now? That escalated quickly. Weed is clearly a gateway drug.
0.30 This actually sounds like a proper song. There’s even a (reasonable approximation of) a piano!
1.45 “I need you more than dope” – A lyrical triumph about the addictive nature of love, there.
3.15 It’s quite singer-songwriter-y. I could imagine this being played in some shit-awful Portland coffee shop.
0.00 Fleetwood Mac did a song called Gypsy. I wonder if this is a cover version.
1.00 This is basically a ringtone that you can dance to.
1.30 There’s a mention of “Dorothy”, “the Yellow Brick Road”, and “ruby slippers”. Do you think she might be cynically aiming for the gay audience?
2.30 I’m losing the will to listen. I honestly think my ears are producing excess wax to try and block it all out.
3.00 “I’m a man without a home” – She’ll reignite transsexual those rumours, again.
0.15 A bit of Chiptune now, to appeal to the nerdy crowd.
0.45 “I live for the applause…” – Well, be prepared to die, because I don’t think many people will be clapping.
1.15 I think she’s created a new genre: Unhappy Hardcore.
2.15 I’m having flashback to Ibiza in 1998, and I wasn’t even there; I was too young.
3.10 Is this seriously the end of the album? What a limp ending (which followed a limp beginning and middle).
3.33 Fin. Without the silly costumes to look at, there really isn’t much to Lady Gaga at all, is there?