Lady Gaga is calling it a “pop music emergency,” but the rush release of her new single “Applause” is more like an early pop music Christmas present.
The lead-off track, with its spiky, new wave verses and uptempo, super-smooth chorus, sets expectations high for her “ARTPOP” (Interscope) album, due out Nov. 11. It was set to be released on Aug. 19, leading up to its debut live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Aug. 25. However, as Gaga alerted her fans Sunday in an all-caps call-to-arms on Twitter, “DUE TO HACKERS [and] AN ABUNDANCE OF LOW/HIGH QUALITY LEAKS ... MONSTERS SPREAD THE WORD MY NEW SINGLE 'APPLAUSE' IS OUT TODAY.”
She quickly released the song to radio, which began playing it within 15 minutes. However, her move to get it on iTunes didn’t move as quickly. By late afternoon, it still wasn’t showing up as available, though she expected it to be solved by Monday night.
The song will, no doubt, be a quick seller. Gaga weaves together complex art-school concepts and sing-along – even spell-along – lines that carry her idea that she sits at the intersection of art and pop. One minute she’s singing, with maximum Lene Lovich-like drama, “I've overheard your theory: Nostalgia’s for geeks.” The next she’s commanding, “Put your hands up, make ‘em touch.”
“Applause” captures Gaga’s unique combination of purposes, where she looks to push the artistic envelope while still maintaining the love and support of large hordes of her Little Monsters. That’s a tough maneuver, but with “Applause” she certainly pulls it off. (App users, view the video at http://bit.ly/165Ki9n)