Lady Gaga is too smart to get caught in someone else's trap. She's not interested in competing with Miley Cyrus for outrage and attention or Katy Perry for sales and airplay. She wants to do her own thing.
On "ARTPOP" (Interscope), which arrived in full on iTunes Radio Tuesday and gets released worldwide Monday, Gaga creates her own wild world -- masterfully bending a variety of styles from hip-hop to '80s new wave to the latest EDM to her will. Rather than creating something as eclectic as her "Born This Way" album, Gaga has focused "ARTPOP" on keeping everything (aside from the powerful ballad "Dope") club-ready.
As zany as the first single "Applause" is, Gaga is far more impressive on "Do What U Want," which combines early Nine Inch Nails electro with a '90s R&B groove supplied by R. Kelly. On "Jewels N Drugs," she holds her own with T.I., Too $hort and Twista in a slick bit of hip-hop that rivals Kanye West in craftiness. And on "Donatella," her wild tribute to Donatella Versace, she manages to trump Britney Spears and keep a sharp sense of humor.
"I own the world!" Gaga declares in "Fashion!" a dizzying mash-up of styles ranging from Madonna's "Holiday" to Chicagohouse and Daft Punk disco. And on "ARTPOP," she really does. It's a much smaller world than the one the platinum-in-a-week "Born This Way" conquered, but this one really is all hers.