“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
This meat-dress wearing alien from planet
MTV, Lady Gaga, has rapidly mastered the art of making cookie-cut pop for the
masses. She knows how to make her music catchy, fun and danceable. I’ve never
liked Gaga BECAUSE I’M A FUCKING HIPSTER. Well, to be totally honest, I have
had the odd track burrow itself in my brain and induce humming in the shower
but no-one needs to know about that little secret (oh …darn it! too late…)
Gaga’s last album, which I didn’t listen to,
managed to sell pretty well I believe. Gaga even had surgery before the album’s
release, transforming herself into a half-motorbike, half-human mutant. The
things people do for their fans.
Kill it with fire!
Now, Gaga has decided to release Artpop, her
third studio album. She’s had the genius idea of merging art and pop (because
no-one’s ever tried that before…).
To give her some credit, Lady Gaga is an
intelligent girl. I’ve seen interviews with her and I get a sense she’s
brimming with creativity, but that she chooses to pump this creativity into her
image rather than her sound. Artpop sees her coming out of her shell a bit,
playing with odd instrumentals such as on the title track “Artpop” and 80s
inspired electro sounds on “Do What U Want”. However, when it comes down to the
lyrical content, Gaga is still choosing to play it dumbed down, clinging onto
her pop sensibilities with choruses like “Mary Jane Holland”. I get it, it’s a song
about smoking pot in Holland and oh, songs about drugs are soooo controversial, but what's it all really about? Where’s the poetry? The depth? The answer is that there
isn’t any, because Gaga fears that her mainstream listeners will abandon her if
she gets too poetic, if she gets too deep.
I think sometimes it works to have a song
that’s straight to the point. Sexxx Dreams
is very daring in this respect, lacking in innuendo, going for a succinct
approach to sex. Men are always getting overtly sexual, and the moment a female
artist tries to tackle the same slant, they get slut-shamed. Props to Gaga for
having the guts to do it.
I did like some of the tracks, namely the
club banger “Swine” and funky, girly, guilty-pleasure-of-a-track “Fashion!”. They were both pretty fun.
That’s what this album does well: its fun. However, none of the tracks speak to
me in the way I like music to. Gaga has tried to make her sound meet her wild image,
but it still feels very restrained.