She’s back in the cross hairs of public scrutiny again. For many, she never left. One of the most polarizing, but tremendously talented and extremely intriguing personalities in the world of pop culture has just released her newest full-length recording. Artpop (stylized as ARTPOP) is the third studio album by recording artist Lady Gaga.
Artpop was released on November 6 in Japan by Streamline and Interscope Records; released in Austria, Finland, New Zealand, and Australia on November 8; and released worldwide on November 11. Work on the album began shortly after the launch of Born This Way in 2011, and consumed much of 2012. Gaga recruited a variety of producers to help engineer Artpop, including Madeon, Zedd, and longtime collaborators RedOne and D.J. White Shadow. It features guest appearances from R. Kelly, T.I., Twista, and Too $hort.
Initially slated for an early 2013 release, a hip injury Gaga sustained during the Born This Way Ball Tour sidelined the project for several months. Described as a “a celebration and a poetic musical journey,” Artpop represents a musical departure from Born This Way. Two singles have been released from Artpop thus far. Its lead single, ‘Applause,’ was released on August 12, and peaked at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The second single, ‘Do What U Want’ (featuring R. Kelly), was released on October 21.
Critical response has been mixed, but Artpop has received generally positive reviews from music critics. Adam Markovitz from Entertainment Weekly praised the album for being “well-executed” and praised its “strong melodic lines.” Jerry Shriver from USA Today gave the album 2.5/4 stars, stating it was “undeniably relentless,” and “ready for the dance floor”; however, mostly intended for Gaga’s fans. James Shotwell from Under the Ground praised the album, commenting that it “surpassed her previous efforts.” Sal Cinquemani from Slant magazine gave the album 3.5/5 stars, commenting “when Gaga revisits more conventional pop sounds and structures, the results are often sublime—and surprisingly revealing.” Jason Lipshutz from Billboard gave the album an 84/100 rating and praised Gaga’s effort for making “absolute certain that every inch of her craft evolves and innovates.” Robert Copsey from Digital Spy commented that “thematically, stylistically and lyrically it’s all over the shop,” and that the album contained more “hits” than “misses.”
Billboard magazine had reported at press time that: “Lady Gaga’s Artpop album seems destined for a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart, securing the diva her second chart-topping set.” In case you missed her numerous appearances recently, including hosting and performing on Saturday Night Live Nov. 16, and her iHeartRadio Release Party Special on Nov. 19, she will be performing live at the American Music Awards show with R. Kelly on ABC, on WKRN in Nashville, Sunday, Nov. 24 from 7-10 pm, CST. Monday, Nov. 25 Gaga returns to The Ellen DeGeneres Show—locally at 3 pm, CST, on WTVF.
“I was so excited when ABC called me about doing a holiday special this year,” Lady Gaga said. “I knew it just wouldn’t be a complete night of laughter and memories without the Muppets!” Thursday, Nov. 28 from 8:30-10 pm, CST, on Thanksgiving night, ABC will air the 90-minute TV special, Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular, locally on WKRN. Not only will Gaga perform songs from her new album (she’ll sing ‘Applause’ with several of the Muppets and have a duet with Kermit the Frog), but Sir Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and RuPaul will have duets with Muppets as well. Adding to the star-studded program is Kristen Bell, who will star in a sketch alongside Gaga and the Muppets.
“Can’t wait to see the gang again, and I hope Miss Piggy’s still not mad about Kermit,” she said. “We’re just friends!”