A Song-by-Song First Reaction to Lady Gaga’s “Artpop”

I was all about Lady Gaga back in 2007, when she was waving her disco stick at everyone and singing songs about being filthy broke and hot. I imagine that Lady Gaga was a little bit sticky and probably smelled like the floor of a strip club bathroom, but I loved it. That Lady Gaga was basically the soundtrack to bad decisions as a college sophomore, before we had Ke$ha to show us what a true hot mess really was.

But then things got weirder.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Lady Gaga. I happily sent my BFF a “Happy ARTPOP day!” text at 7 a.m. (note that I even used the proper stylized all-caps ARTPOP), and I’ve been itching to listen to it since. While I know Gaga fans – Little Monsters (see, I know my shit) – are basically the most rabid bunch of people, and will likely egg my house and maybe even kill me (Wouldn’t that be a fabulous death? I bet there would be so much glitter.) if I talk too much shit about ARTPOP, but, alas, this is me we’re talking about so I’m not holding back. Sorry, weirdos.

Below are my initial reactions to Lady Gaga’s latest album, the one she’s pretending to be a mermaid for. Or is it a pig? A swine? I can’t keep up. Listen with me.

“Aura”
All I can think of is Quentin Tarrantino. Why is there so much auto-tune? This girl is actually a good singer. “I’m not a wandering slave, I am a woman of choice.” Oh? Now she’s singing about dick sizes. My hypothesis for what is happening in this song: Lady Gaga takes 74 different sentences, tosses them into a hat, and pulls them out and then sings them. Because none of this shit makes sense.

“Venus”
There’s a line that says “DON’T YOU KNOW MY ASS IS FAMOUS?!” Listen to that part and then go to the next song.

“G.U.Y.”
You know that art history teacher you had in college that kept trying to relate everything back to sex? “That variant of color in this Rembrandt signifies the forest’s fertility!” That’s what Gaga is doing in most of this song. The beat on this song isn’t horrible, so I mostly recommend taking a few painkillers before this song and you’ll enjoy it a lot more. It was at this moment that I asked myself – is this album meant to only be listened to while high? Because then I totally get it.

“Sexxx Dreams”
If you were a Gaga fangirl back when she was famous for “Poker Face,” then you’ll love this song. The spoken word “I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but I’ve had a couple drinks…” THIS IS YOUR AUDIENCE, GAGA. They are a slew of normal young people who might have minor drinking problems and are trying to figure their lives out! They aren’t space people or mermaids or swines or whatever the fuck you’re constantly pandering to!

“Jewels N’ Drugs”
I literally had to check to see if this was actually a Lady Gaga song, or if Spotify malfunctioned and sent me to a faux-gangsta Miley Cyrus track. There’s T.I. There’s Too Short. There’s Twista (congrats on coming back to relevancy, bro!). I kind of love this. You guys can judge me for that. She’s singing about how she doesn’t want jewels, she wants your drugs. Oh? Basically this album should have just been called “Oh?” because that’s the only reaction I can muster most of the time.

“MANICURE”
I thought she was saying “MANCHERRRD!” for 90% of the song. (That’s “MANCHILD!” in the Gersberms voice.)

“Do What U Want”
I mean, R. Kelly is in it, so it goes from what would probably be a 4 to a 7. Also, I can’t stop saying “DO WHATCHU WANT WIF MAH BODAYYY,” so props for earworms. The actual nature of the song is a little Christian Grey-rapey (I mean R. Kelly IS on it, so at least he stayed on brand), so that’s a little gross.

“ARTPOP”
This song played for 2 minutes and 49 seconds before I even noticed it. Next.

“Swine”
I can’t imagine myself in a club dancing, werqin’ it out to this jam, and then blurting out “SWIIIINE!” This song is so catchy, but I don’t want to repeat the words in public because they make me feel gross. You know when the guy is cleaning chimneys in Mary Poppins and he comes out and he’s REALLY REALLY REALLY DIRTY? That’s how my mouth feels when I say “SWIIIIIIIINE!”

“Donatella”
Every single girl you hate is going to make this her Facebook status in the next few weeks. Just a forewarning.

“Fashion!”
I mean, it’s a direct Bowie rip-off (I really hope he gets the credit/royalties for that, and if he doesn’t, damnnnn that burns), but I don’t hate it. I think Hilary Duff could have sang it for a Disney movie circa 2001, but that actually kind of makes me like it more. It makes me want to wear long silk gloves and a fascinator and walk down a runway, and then maybe do a bunch of drugs.

“Mary Jane Holland”
I assumed this song would be about marijuana (I mean, for obvious reasons), but apparently it’s the stage name of a made-up “Russian hooker.” I imagine this part of Gaga’s concert would be a really magical Sasha Fierce-inspired alter ego scene.

“Dope”
This is Lady Gaga as a depressed Courtney Love.

“Gypsy”
This song will be performed by a LOT of drag queens. I also want Cher to cover it. It’s saccharine bouncy music, and I’m okay with that.

“Applause”
We’ve all already heard this song 928349234 times, yet I don’t yet want to rip my ears off. Well done, Gaga.

Basically, a lot of these songs sound the same. But it’s good guilty fun. I know I’m going to listen to this album significantly more than I should, and I expect it will melt a good amount of my brain cells why I do it. Do I wish Lady Gaga would stop being a total weirdo? Not totally. I would love for her to tone it down and never make me say “Swine” again, but her “IDGAF” attitude is fun.

What did you think of ARTPOP?