Lady Gaga's new album, ARTPOP, doesn't officially drop until Nov. 11, However, it's now streaming on iTunes, so the early reviews are starting to come in.
Most are positive, with many pointing out that the album is more an exercise in pure pop than art.
Here's what the critics are saying:
In his three-star (out of five) review, the New York Daily News' Jim Farber says it "explodes with sound and action," adding, "It's a (nearly) nonstop disco blast, with beats that pound, synths that dart, and vocals that fire like a blowtorch."
Entertainment Weekly's Adam Markovitz gives ARTPOP a B rating, writing, "The irony of this latest album is that while Gaga is shape-shifting faster than ever, her music hasn't evolved much." He concludes, "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."
Over at Refinery29, Leila Brillson opines, "To put it simply: If you are a fan of Lady Gaga, you will adore this album. If you find her antics ham-fisted or derivative, you won't."
John Aizlewood at the London Evening Standard gives it four stars (out of five), but notes, "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."
The Guardian's Michael Cragg was one of several U.K. journalists who got an advance listen in the studio last week. "Lady Gaga isn't stupid and ARTPOP stays very true to the second part of that awkward compound word. Almost every song comes with at least five hooks and two choruses, sometimes crowbarred into the song's jackhammer production," he writes.
Over at Dazed Digital, Oren Myers compares Gaga's latest to her last, Born This Way, writing, "At 15 songs ARTPOP is similarly sprawling, but with a higher quota of inventive radio-hits-in-waiting." Later, he adds, "If this album were 10 songs long and Twista hadn't been allowed within a 100-metre radius, we'd probably be calling this the pop album of the year. As it is, it's an album with five excellent tracks, four solid deep cuts, and a few misfires. Inevitably, ARTPOP will be compared to Katy Perry's cautious Prism and Miley Cyrus' uneven Bangerz, and in the main it triumphs with its monster hooks, sheer conviction, and genuine out-of-the-box oddness. She's still the most interesting pop star we have. "
While most reviews are at least somewhat positive, over at Examiner.com, Angela Cheng, who listened to the album on a lo-fi leaked file, slams Gaga hard in a one-star (out of five) review, with a headline that calls it "one of the worst mistakes in pop music history," adding in the body of the review, "Think Michael Jackson's Invincible, Madonna's American Life, or Prince's Lovesexy, multiplied by three in the bad factor."
She adds, "ARTPOP could very well be the end of Gaga's musical career."
And the final insult: She hopes that Lady Gaga "gets the help she needs."