Lady Gaga's much-hyped third album 'ARTPOP' finally gets released next week and despite what you may have heard, it's pretty much had the thumbs up from music critics around the globe.
The general consensus is that whilst 'ARTPOP' might be a bit all over the place (subtle, it ain't) and overly long, the album also has some genuinely thrilling musical moments contained within.
But don't just take our word for it, here's what the critics had to say...
"As it careers to a luminous climax, you briefly forget that what you're listening to is patently not what Lady Gaga claims it is. That said, nor is 'ARTPOP' the car crash her detractors are willing it to be. It's a decent, if flawed, pop album, its good bits good enough to keep her filling stadiums as big as the gulf between her ideas and her music."
"The 27-year-old’s third studio album is a high-octane barrage of pounding dance beats and pulsing Euro-pop styles, with the occasional detour into gritty hip-hop and melodramatic balladry… There are times, however, when Gaga seems so hellbent on overwhelming the listener with a wall of noise that she loses sight of the subtle nuances that once underpinned her songwriting."
"Musically, there’s a lot going on: it’s like wandering drunk around a vast, labyrinthine club, and peering into a disorienting series of darkened rooms in which she tries on various musical genres as if they were hats. She doesn’t do anything wildly original with them, but she has fun."
"It's hard not to feel underwhelmed by 'ARTPOP' – but then, that's the danger of hype, especially hype allied to an artefact that's only partially about music.
"'ARTPOP' does feel like the culmination of all the themes that Stefani Germanotta has trawled since she emerged as Lady Gaga in 2008; everything is set to OTT and every track is presented as a glitzy showstopper… Like Gaga’s previous albums, this is a disjointed collection but it courses along in an enjoyable power-chord blitz of electronica, rock, funk, hip hop and dub, with a belting ballad twist on 'Dope'."
"The amount of hits on 'ARTPOP' considerably outweighs the misses (there's a brilliant 10-track album to be found in it); though not all of them will necessarily present themselves on first listen. If her mission was to bring artistry back to pop music - a genre all-too-commonly labelled 'soulless' - then for the most part she's succeeded. It's hectic, overflowing with ideas and at times impossibly self-indulgent; just like the work of so many greats before her."
"Much rests on 'ARTPOP', and for the most part it delivers. It’s as annoying, frustrating and contradictory as its author but it’s also as brilliant, provocative and as thrilling as she can be. At 15 tracks, it’s too long and too stodgy. A more rigorous editor would have trimmed the interminable title track and the feeble duet with R. Kelly, 'Do What U Want'. But at its best, 'ARTPOP' is an exhilarating musical bungee jump."
"Coherently channeling R&B, techno, disco and rock music as a pop artist while discussing sex, drugs, lust, God, fame and creativity, Lady Gaga has offered fans her most sonically and lyrically diverse album to date. 'ARTPOP' is imperfect, but so is its creator. It is a complicated album that should be applauded (pun intended) for inspiring interpretation, as well as telling fans that it's also okay to just dance."
"Gaga’s new music owes a lot more to pop than to art. It’s catchier than it is deep, with songs more eager to knock you out than to bore far inside."
"As pop, the album is a well-executed and entertaining tour of Gaga's tried-and-true tricks. But as art, it falls short when it comes to one basic function: making an impression."
"We all knew Gaga was a horn-dog but on her third album 'ARTPOP' she really lets her freakiness flow. Most of the 15 tracks are high-energy dance-pop numbers but listen close to some of the lyrics and you’ll hear that the New Yorker’s mind is also on plenty of post-club activities."