Lady Gaga’s Polarizing ‘ARTPOP’ Demo “Aura”: Review Revue

Mike Wass | August 6, 2013 12:51 pm

The first bite of Lady Gaga‘s much-hyped ARTPOP landed on our plate last night and left something of a bitter aftertaste. “Aura” (or “Burqa” depending on who you listen to) picks up where some of Born This Way‘s weaker cuts left off — by prioritizing kookiness over catchiness. It’s never easy to judge an unfinished demo but the song isn’t the knock-out punch we’ve come to expect from Mother Monster.

However, the great thing about pop music is that one listener’s misfire is another’s flawless gem. In our round-up of reviews, opinions were largely negative but some critics could hear a nugget of Lady Gaga magic hiding beneath the excess. Head below to see what other’s had to say.

:: SPIN called the burqa-themed club-banger “a grasping EDM mess” but described the chorus as “memorable enough that it might be legit”. They also picked up on Lana Del Rey overtones in the intro.

:: Music Times says Gaga’s latest “starts much shakier than it ends”. They generally praise her willingness to experiment but note that “the second half is a little more radio friendly”.

:: Pop Justice took a cryptic approach, labelling the track “quite something”. We’re not sure if that’s a compliment or not.

:: Stereoboard warned fans that they are “in for a grim surprise” before adding: “we’re sure that if this does turn out to be an actual ARTPOP track, she won’t be receiving such high ‘Applause’.” Geddit?

:: Paper couldn’t make head nor tail of it, declaring: “controversial and mildly clever lyrics set to a throbbing, almost-grating dance beat that’s at times great and at times horrible.”

:: MuuMuse was diplomatic, saying: “this is just a demo… so any sort of hair-trigger analysis is unfair considering the demo of ‘Bad Romance’ sounded pretty terrible, and then the real version became one of the best pop songs of the decade.”

:: Popdust was cautiously optimistic. They expressed reservations about the intro but maintain that the hook is “as big as anything on The Fame Monster“.

:: Chart Rigger noted Gaga’s experimentalism and held off final judgement until hearing the finished version but quipped: “would it kill Lady Gaga to just give us another good old-fashioned verse-chorus killer, circa Fame Monster?” Yes, she would probably combust.

:: We Are Pop Slags kept it short and sweet, opining that: “the demo contains all the elements one expects from Gaga, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if the finished product is entirely different.”

Which reviews got it right? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!