Lady Gaga rush released her debut single from ARTPOP (remember, the album name has to be stylised as this, the queen demands it so!) this week due to low quality snippets leaking like wildfire across the internet. ‘Applause’ is everything you would expect from a Gaga single, and then some!
At 3 minutes 33 seconds, ‘Applause’ is perfectly radio friendly and it’s instantly clear why this was selected as the first single. It’s catchy, memorable and in-your-face, everything that we have come to know Gaga for. Bursting synth beats introduces it before her deep vocals erupt over the catchy beats. The song then momentarily dies down as the pre-chorus begins, before revving right back up to 11 as the chorus cries out. It’s instantly catchy and it’s instantly memorable. The chorus is simple in terms of lyrics, but then again so is most of her choruses and that’s exactly what makes them memorable. Gaga knows how to produce a hit.
The verses are more lyrically in depth, discussing exactly why she wants applause while harkening back to ‘The Fame’ by saying she wishes that fame had an IV so that she could get a direct hit. Some critics have already stated that she is “channelling” Bowie here, in both the lyrical content and the way in which she delivers her lines. I disagree with this personally, but if some people can see this it is easy to understand why. Gaga recently said that during the ARTPOP era she isn’t any “one icon. I’m every icon.” She may be channelling Bowie in some aspects, an obvious pop icon (perhaps THE pop icon) as she has stated numerous times that Bowie is a massive influence for her.
But back to ‘Applause’. It is going to be a hit. It is already a hit. It’s perfect for radio, standing at the “required” length of three-and-a-half-minutes, and it is undeniably catchy. The lyrics aren’t obscure either which means that it is going to get plenty of plays. But even if it didn’t there is no denying that ‘Applause’ wouldn’t be a hit. The Little Monsters will make sure that it is, and Gaga is long overdue a number one hit in the UK after the criminally under-received ‘Born This Way’ releases. It isn’t what I expected from her though; in numerous interviews Gaga has stated that ARTPOP is going to be experimental and yet ‘Applause’ could be described as your generic EDM tune. But it works perfectly as the debut single because of this and it will easily generate interest in the aforementioned album. And anyway, Gaga’s lyrics and delivery vastly outweigh the somewhat generic beat created by DJ White Shadow! (But maybe it would be time to drop him, just saying…)
With Katy Perry also releasing a song this week (‘Roar’) there is going to be an obvious chart battle arising. I sincerely hope that Gaga wins because she deserves it. ‘Applause’ is amazing. ARTPOP is going to be amazing. The Queen is back. Put your paws up.