Lady Gaga's latest labor of love, "ARTPOP," is ready to take fans on a journey where art and music collide.
Following Gaga's major hip injury, which forced the singer to undergo surgery and cancel the remaining dates on her "Born This Way Ball" tour, fans have been eagerly awaiting new music from their favorite avant-garde performer with bated breath.
On "ARTPOP," Gaga takes her music and artistry into a wild, frantic and deranged new direction, differing vastly from the star's wildly successful 2011 album "Born This Way" and its predecessors, "The Fame" and "The Fame Monster." The album's overall tone is decidedly less serious than the anthem-driven "Born This Way," however, it still touches on themes regarding self worth, love and empowerment.
Gaga collaborates with producers new and old on the 15-track LP, including RedOne, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair, David Guetta, Will.I.Am and Anton "Zedd" Zaslavski. The album's array of producing and DJ talent provides the disk with a range of new sounds for fans, yet staying true to the singer's dance-pop roots.
"ARTPOP" is available on iTunes (Warning: songs contains explicit language). Check out a track-by-track review of the standard edition of the album below.
1. "Aura" -- The track opens with guitar tinges reminiscent of the singer's 2011 track "Americano." The eerie dance track, which was also featured in the film "Machete Kills," prefaces the album's overall theme as new and unique from previous Gaga releases, with the singer declaring, "I killed my former and left her in the trunk on highway 10."
2. "Venus" -- Gaga channels the Gods and the planets on this immense dance track, one Gaga produced on her own for the first time. Lyrics for the song include, "When you touch me I die, just a little inside / I wonder if this could be love." The song, which features callouts to each planet during the song's bridge, is a standout on the album.
3. "G.U.Y." -- In one of the album's most immediately catchy tracks, Gaga describes wanting to be the perfect girl for the guy she loves. The track, which is an acronym for "Girl Under You," features a dizzying, clap-along chours, prefaced by the odd spoken-word verse, "Touch me, touch me, don't be sweet / Love me, love me, please Re-Tweet..."
4. "Sexxx Dreams" -- Gaga gets sultry and seductive on this song, which finds Gaga dreaming of a lover. Gaga, herself, seems surprised by her candor on the track, giggling during the song's bridge, "I can't believe I'm telling you this but I've had a couple of drinks and, oh my god."
5. "Jewels N' Drugs" featuring T.I., Too $hort and Twista -- In perhaps the strangest track on the album, Gaga experiments with trap-style hip-hop, in a song that sounds like three songs in one, with each layer fit to each unique collaborator. The song is a standout on the album for being the most drastic and different from anything the singer has recorded previously.
6. "MANiCURE" -- Gaga turns up the sass on this clap-along track, with the opening lyrics demanding action: "Put some lipstick on / Perfume your neck and slip your high heels on." The tracks clap-along beat is reminiscent of 2008's "That's Not My Name," made popular by British duo "The Ting Tings."
7. "Do What U Want" featuring R. Kelly -- Released as the second single from the album, "Do What U Want" stays true to Gaga's overall song writing formula, a mixture of empowerment and innuendo. Lyrics from the song include, "You can't stop my voice 'cause you don't own my life / But do what you want with my body." Rapper R. Kelly makes an appearance in the song's second verse and blends well with Gaga's unique vocals.
8. "ARTPOP" -- Gaga declares "my ARTPOP could mean anything," serving as a blueprint for the album's overall creative direction. The dance track, which features 80s-inspired beats, is underwhelming as a title track, offering less pizzazz and interest than previous tracks.
9. "Swine" -- This song is club-ready, featuring immense EDM production during the song's chorus. Lyrics for the song include, "I know, I know, I know, I know you want me / You're just a pig inside a human body." The song is a standout on the album, for its aggressively dance driven beat that is sure to be a hit at nightclubs across the world.
10. "Donatella" -- In a homage to Versace designer Donatella Versace, Gaga takes a turn for the cheeky and over-the-top, declaring, "I am so fab / Check it out I'm blonde / I'm skinny / I'm rich / And I'm a little bit of a [expletive]." The song is meant for catwalks and clubs everywhere, one that is sure to be a favorite among fans.
11. "Fashion!" -- In another song that idealizes the fashion world, Gaga is "looking good and feeling fine" on this mid-tempo track. When compared to "Donatella," the song serves as a, sort of, cousin to the designer-loving tune.
12. "Mary Jane Holland" -- The rock-inspired track, which would have rested nicely among 2011's "Born This Way" album offerings, Gaga yearns to channel the persona of a character named Mary Jane Holland. The song's production lends to a smooth transition to live performances, one that is sure to be a favorite in concert.
13. "Dope" -- The ballad, one of the few slower moments on the album, is also perhaps the most underwhelming track on "ARTPOP." When surrounded by heavy dance tracks and creative production, "Dope" fails to provide the same excitement as the rest of the album.
14. "Gypsy" -- 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.
15. "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.