Poor Lady Gaga. Despite the ludicrously pretentious launch shows, the entertaining SNL sex dances, and that whole flying dress thing, Artpop hasn’t exactly made the impact the popstar would’ve hoped for. I mean, type “Art-flop” into Google and scroll through the endless search results. Following its underwhelming release last month, the album went on to suffer the biggest second-week sales drop of the year (an 82 per cent dive, according to Nielsen SoundScan). “Gaga’s prior album, Born This Way, sold more than three-and-a-half times Artpop‘s first two weeks combined,” The Wrap revealed earlier this week.
So what’s the reason for Artpop‘s poor reception amongst the pop-consuming public? Are people turned off by her incessant weirdness? Are people over the cabaret-ish, Euro-trash schtick? Well, Gaga thinks you just need some extra background info to really appreciate the whole thing. “It’s about the adrenalin of sitting in my apartment in Chicago and eating pancakes and pouring honey all over them, the adrenalin of getting ready to go out to bang a chick or guy…”, she explained during a track-by-track rundown of the album’s inspirations and motivations on Sirius Satellite Radio over the weekend.
Let’s take a quick glance at the session’s highlights; if they don’t make you enjoy the album more, they’ll at least make you near piss yo’ pants laughing/roll your eyes a lot.
“In this song I say, ‘Do you wanna see the girl who lives behind the aura?’… My aura is the way that I deal with my insanity, and I feel quite insane so this song sounds very insane… I’m kind of a complex personality, a very intense personality, so this song is both of those things.”
“I sing, ‘Goddess of love, take me to your leader, take me to your planet, take me to your leader, take me to your Venus.’ So this song is really about sex, but it’s about sex in the most mythological way.”
‘G.U.Y. (Girl Under You)':
“What I really like about ‘G.U.Y.’ is that it’s about third wave feminism, which is that we don’t feel the need to be on top all the time or be in charge or take control like a man. I’m a power bottom, I like to be underneath.”
“‘Sexxx Dreams’ is about sexxx dreams. Shocker!”
“This song is actually written in a couple of different ways. It’s written on the album as CAPITAL M-A-N, lower case i, CAPITAL C-U-R-E. So it’s either ‘Manicure’, ‘MANiCURE’ or ‘MAN CURE’. This song is about getting ready to go out and catch a man or catch a girl to fool around with.”
‘Do What U Want':
“The lyrics are about the way that I feel sexually now as a woman in my life; it’s kinda like one of the greatest gifts you can give to a man that you love, just like, ‘Do what you want with me, I don’t care.'”
“‘Artpop’ is really an inferno, and it’s the only song on the record that I didn’t really want it to go anywhere or explode or orgasm, because in a way that would be like composing something that’s just like every other orgasm I’ve ever had.”
‘Mary Jane Holland':
“I was in Amsterdam and I started writing and then I dyed my hair brown. Like, literally, out of nowhere, I just was like ‘Freddie!’ — he’s the guy that does my hair — ‘I don’t wanna be blonde anymore! I feel like the world owns my blondeness and it’s not mine anymore and I don’t wanna be owned!’
So he dyed my hair and I went out and I just got super stoned and drank a bunch and we went out to my favourite sex clubs and strip clubs and had a great time, and all night I kept calling myself ‘Mary Jane Holland’. It became this alter ego of who I became when I smoked weed. It became a source of comfort for me… Whenever I smoke, I forget that I’m famous. I really love that.”
“Then you get to the sad end part of that story, which is that I became addicted to marijuana… I started to use it as a coping mechanism for my anxiety, and I’d smoke like 15-20 joints a day, just numbing, numbing, numbing my body, my spirit and everything… I lived high for like a whole year doing that… I wrote this song as an ‘I’m sorry’ to all the people in my life that I really love.”
“When I was on tour and my hip was breaking and I didn’t know why because I was smoking up a storm making sure that I couldn’t feel a thing all day long, I realised that it was the applause of my fans that really kept me going.”
So that’s basically the ‘Behind-The-Music’ story of Artpop: broken hips, 15-20 joints a day, and sexxx dreams. Geez, no wonder it’s a fuckin’ mess.