Artpop

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
Artpop Music Poster Image
Pop provocateur's joyless album sends iffy messages.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Although Gaga has long claimed her music is some form of social commentary, it's very hard to see where the pop ends and the art begins. Vague references to misogyny and body positivity are lost in a sea of mixed messages. For instance, in one chorus she alternates between saying, "Don't want your jewels / I want your drugs" and "Don't want your money / want your love."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although Lady Gaga has long been an alleged human rights champion and inspirational figure to many, the songs are very self-centered and hypersexualized, propping up materialism and celebrity as ideals to chase.

Violence
Sex

The album as a whole is very sexual and seductive, with several songs directly focused on sexual fantasies, including "Sexx Dreams" and "G.U.Y. (Girl Under You)." The guest rappers on "Jewels and Drugs" are particularly vulgar, including a reference to "good p---y in the passenger seat."

Language

 "Jewels and Drugs" includes the words "f--king," "bitch," "ho," and "p---y." Other tracks occasionally include the words "s--t" and "bitch."

Consumerism

It's hard not to see Artpop as a very promaterialism album. There's a song dedicated to design icon Donatella Versace ("Donatella"), which praises the upper class and mentions luxury designer Christian Louboutin, as well as an ode to fashion ("Fashion!"). Guest R. Kelly also mentions go-to tuxedo master Tom Ford.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many of the songs either directly or indirectly refer to Gaga's struggles with addiction (which is supposedly limited to excessive marijuana consumption), particularly the cheeky "Mary Jane Holland," which mentions "magic truffles" (presumably filled with psychedelic mushrooms). There are also mentions of ecstasy, "the green in your blunt," smoking "Marlboro Reds," and drinking Champagne.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lady Gaga's album Artpop is a mildly provocative exercise in hypersexuality and half-hearted feminism. As with her previous records, Gaga seems to be going for shock value or some misguided critique of pop music but inevitably falls into the trap of actually making the type of music she claims to decry. There are seductive dance-floor songs encouraging someone to "do what you want with my body," a track fantasizing about sleeping with a guy's girlfriend, and a crude number about wanting to be the "girl under you." There's profanity, including "f--k" and "p---y" in one song, and lots of promaterialism songs that mention luxury brands. Many of the songs refer to Gaga's struggles with addiction and mention marijuana, other drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written byJWilliams303 November 19, 2013

Not her best work...and this is coming from a little monster

I am a very big fan of Lady Gaga and have always listened to her ever since her first single "Just Dance". I was very excited for this album to come o... Continue reading
Adult Written byevolinag October 18, 2014

Disappointing and uninventive Gaga album had some iffy content

The worst thing that an album can do is starting off with the best track. "Aura", the opening song, is an irresistable psytrance inspired excellent li... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bySodaDog November 22, 2013

Another work of Art from Lady Gaga....Lay off, GSN Hatena & CSM..

This album lives up to everything i hoped for. It's a really good choice for any Lady Gaga fan! It may have sex and profanity, but it isn't THAT inapp... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byIvanforeva December 26, 2016

INCREDIBLE

This is a great Lady Gaga Album, although it may not be appropriate, it sounds amazing and the songs are great to dance too. 5 stars.

What's the story?

ARTPOP is the long-awaited third studio album from electro-pop superstar and tabloid queen Lady Gaga. The record features production from such EDM heavyweights as Zedd and Madeon as well as guest appearances from R&B crooner R. Kelly and rappers T.I., Too $hort, and Twista.

Is it any good?

Gaga's devoted fans, known as "Little Monsters," may be able to find something to love in this overproduced, trashy dance music, but it'll be hard for everyone else to locate any redeeming value. Some of the music is sort of exciting if you don't really pay attention to the lyrics, but most of the songs come off as loud and obnoxious. Gaga's voice has never been her selling point, but she at least used to stand out. In the years that have passed since her last release, her abrasive electro sound has taken over the mainstream, leaving her sounding out of date or at least generic.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the blurry line between art and pop. What separates music intended as an artistic statement from that constructed for purely commercial purposes? Is there really a distinction?

  • What sort of statement do you think artists like Lady Gaga and M.I.A. are trying to make with their chart-topping dance hits that they claim are social criticism?

  • Is Lady Gaga a superstar because of her talent or because of the image she has cultivated or both?

Music details

For kids who love dance parties

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