Lady Gaga’s Discoball Outshone as ‘Applause’ Rushed Out

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Source: Interscope via Bloomberg

The cover of Lady Gaga's new single "Applause." The song is the first released from the star's third studio album called “Artpop” due out in November.

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Source: Interscope via Bloomberg

The cover of Lady Gaga's new single "Applause." The song is the first released from the star's third studio album called “Artpop” due out in November. Close

The cover of Lady Gaga's new single "Applause." The song is the first released from the star's third studio album... Read More

Source: Tess Henley Music via Bloomberg

The cover of Tess Henley's "High Heels & Sneakers." The Seattle star started learning piano at three years of age. Close

The cover of Tess Henley's "High Heels & Sneakers." The Seattle star started learning piano at three years of age.

Photographer: Jim Wright/Warner Music via Bloomberg

Ashley Monroe during the photoshoot for the cover of her album "Like a Rose." The country star, from Knoxville, Tennessee, duets with Blake Shelton on "You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter)." Close

Ashley Monroe during the photoshoot for the cover of her album "Like a Rose." The country star, from Knoxville,... Read More

Photographer: Colin McPherson/Caroline England via Bloomberg

Caroline England, a singer-songwriter from north-west England. Her album "Who Said All Is Fair in Love and War?" is on iTunes. Close

Caroline England, a singer-songwriter from north-west England. Her album "Who Said All Is Fair in Love and War?" is on iTunes.

Photographer: Claire Nathan/Thea Gilmore/Full Fill Records via Bloomberg

Thea Gilmore, U.K. singer-songwriter. She has made more than 14 albums since 1998 including "Rules for Jokers" in 2001 and her latest, "Regardless," released in 2013. Close

Thea Gilmore, U.K. singer-songwriter. She has made more than 14 albums since 1998 including "Rules for Jokers" in... Read More

Source: Tracey Browne via Bloomberg

Tracey Browne, from Manchester, U.K. Her album "Everyone Is Ordinary" features backing vocals from Thea Gilmore. Close

Tracey Browne, from Manchester, U.K. Her album "Everyone Is Ordinary" features backing vocals from Thea Gilmore.

Source: Purple PR via Bloomberg

Rita Ora, who will release her second album in late 2013. The singer's debut "Ora" mixes dance and pop music genres. Close

Rita Ora, who will release her second album in late 2013. The singer's debut "Ora" mixes dance and pop music genres.

Lady Gaga’s new single “Applause,” rushed out a week early after Internet leaks, jumps from the speakers like a disco dancer pumped up with vodka Red Bull.

The track is better than suggested by the initial leaks of its slightly downbeat chorus, which calls for applause -- and got little on Internet blogs and Twitter.

The slight song is as bouncy as a trampoline, or maybe a 1970s Space Hopper. Gaga is back on the relentless bandwagon of retro disco that’s been so successful for Madonna, Daft Punk and the Pet Shop Boys.

Incendiary material for the dance floor, shiny disco ball not included. It’s also disposable Eurotrash. Rating: **.

Gaga’s “Artpop” is due on Nov. 11. The leaks of new Gaga and Katy Perry singles have taken the spotlight off other stars readying their albums.

Janelle Monae’s “The Electric Lady” on Sept. 10 will be much more interesting if it’s anything as creative as Monae’s outstanding “ArchAndroid” from a couple of years back.

Another songwriter to watch is Britain’s Thea Gilmore, who is getting praised by Bruce Springsteen, no less. Her most recent CD, “Regardless,” matches her best work.

Tracey Browne’s music comes from the same territory, though with more than a hint of the late great Kirsty MacColl. Her “Everyone is Ordinary” album is heartfelt and melodic. On Browne’s website, Gilmore calls her “the real deal, an exciting new talent.”

The description of “the real deal” is also being applied, at least by her publicists, to Ashley Monroe, a country singer from Tennessee. She has written with Guy Clark and Vince Gill, who produced her “Like a Rose.” Think young Dolly Parton with added articulacy and attitude.

Tess Henley’s “High Heels and Sneakers” is a soulful fusion with mainstream rock that works best on “From the Get Go.”

Caroline England has music on iTunes, a pure voice and a delicately beautiful video called “Tumbleweed” that deserves a wider circulation. Her latest, “On Reserve,” has another classy video and came out a couple of days ago. Ratings for all: ****.

Some great singers are making determined comebacks: Mari Wilson (yes, she of beehive-hair fame), Alison Moyet (the voice of “Only You” and “Love Resurrection”) and Agnetha (the blonde one in ABBA).

Dido’s “Girl Who Got Away” keeps her in the gentle mainstream, with her folky edge blurred with ambient and dance sounds. India’s A.R. Rahman joins in and adds a children’s choir from Mumbai.

Dance has always been foremost for Katy B, who is working on a second CD after the dubstep classic “On a Mission,” which was nominated for the U.K.’s Mercury Prize in 2011. Judging by her live shows, Rita Ora’s next CD will also improve on her debut, the poppy “Ora.”

Ratings: **.

(Mark Beech writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts, Scott Reyburn on the art market, Catherine Hickley on music and Frederik Balfour on books.

To contact the writer on the story: Mark Beech in London at mbeech@bloomberg.net or http://twitter.com/Mark_Beech.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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