We all can tell that the music is good when you feel a chill up your spine and the hair on your arm stand on end; the music of Lady Gaga manages to have this affect on me no matter how many times I listen to her songs, old and new.

ARTPOP is Gaga’s third album and was fully released November 11th, 2013. In order to make up for the postponed release from earlier this year that was rescheduled due to her hip surgery, Gaga teased her fans with the release of “Do What U Want” featuring R Kelly, “Venus”, and “Dope” in the weeks prior, raising anticipation for the full album. This combination of art and pop (which relies heavily on the “pop” aspect) contains 15 tracks chock-full of funky beats and catchy lyrics sure to get the heads of even the non-Little Monsters bopping.

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After being out for almost the entire year, Lady Gaga has returned with a bang and is ready to rock the pop universe.

The big theme of the album is the adrenaline rushes and highs one can experience in life and doing the things they love, as well as emulating the well known objective: don’t be afraid to be yourself. When Gaga sings, “It’s not a statement as much as just a move of passion,” in the first song Aura, she’s letting everyone know that she’s going to pour her heart into everything she does and let no one stand in her way.

The album’s only ballad “Dope” may appear like just another song about someone who turns to drugs after their heart is broken. Although this song is about the struggles she has had with boyfriend Taylor Kinney, and contains many tear-jerking lines (“My heart would break without you”) Gaga certainly doesn’t have to fuel her career with repeated songs about people who aren’t good enough for her (*cough cough* Taylor Swift).

While continuing with her usual sounds in songs like “G.U.Y.” and “Donatella”, similar to those found in previous hits “Bad Romance” and “Just Dance”, Gaga took a few risks my adding some new flair to her otherwise pop-centered presence. Just by looking at the featured artists such as T.I., Too $hort, and Twista, in “Jewels N’ Drugs”, fans knew they could expect something with a little more R&B flair and bouncier beats. Other added twists to the album include “Swine” and”Aura” which contain funky, though almost headache-inducing, dub-step sounds, something that the Mother Monster isn’t quite known for.

Though life can be full of good and bad highs and lows, one can never forget to be true to themselves and just embrace individuality; for these are the main characteristics of ARTPOP. Be it her clothes, attitude, voice, style of music, you name it; Lady Gaga truly does “live for the applause,” and makes it a point to share this with fans through her music any chance she gets. Score: 9/10.

Strongest tracks: “Venus”, “Applause”, “G.U.Y.”,

Weaker tracks: “Fashion!”, “Jewels N’ Drugs”, “ARTPOP”

Emily Goldbach / Opinion Editor

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