A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
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that have passed since her last release, her abrasive electro sound has taken over the mainstream, leaving her sounding out of date or at least generic.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?