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Lady Gaga Gets Serious at Disco With Crazed ‘Artpop’ CD

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Lady Gaga
U.S. rock star Lady Gaga is following her hit albums "The Fame" and "Born This Way" with "Artpop." She also plans a duets album with Tony Bennett, due to be released in early 2014. Photographer: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” has serious artistic pretentions, right from the album’s title and cover: a Jeff Koons statue of the star with a Botticelli montage.

Gaga has described the album as “a celebration and a poetic musical journey.” Yeah, right.

Well, at least “Artpop” -- out on Nov. 11 and already leaked online -- is more ambitious than its predecessors.

Rihanna, watch out: She’s trying hip-hop. Beyonce, beware: Gaga’s ripping off R&B. She’s even got soul in a duet with R. Kelly, “Do What U Want.”

For all that, the hour-long collection stays mainly in the electronic-dance overdrive mode of the crazed opener “Aura.”

The only respite from disco is a piano ballad, “Dope.” This Rick Rubin-produced track shows, at the very least, that Gaga can out-sing Madonna. While that may not be saying much, she’s grabbed Madonna’s glitter ball, too -- a necessary cover-up for that naked Koons statue.

Lady Gaga is still fascinated by celebrity, the fame monster she’s created, and above all, herself. She asks at the start, “Do you want to see the girl behind the aura?”

Assuming you do, some slick melodies follow, though few are as memorable and catchy as previous hits such as “Just Dance.”

Rating: ***.

What the Stars Mean:
*****      Exceptional
****       Excellent
***        Good
**         Average
*          Poor
(No stars) Worthless

“Artpop” is released on Nov. 11 on Interscope priced $11.99. An international deluxe edition is also available on Nov. 19. Information: http://www.ladygaga.com/news

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

Muse highlights include Catherine Hickley on German art, Jason Harper on cars, Rich Jaroslovsky on technology, Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night and Katya Kazakina on art auctions.

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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