It's been a minute since the last A.U.I.M.E. post and since then my ears have been saturated with new material from old favorites and new discoveries from new talent.
Lady Gaga-Artpop...okay, so maybe I'm a closeted Monster, but it can't be helped--bitch can sing and she makes me dance. I'm not always here for her crazy sartorial antics, but I think she consistently delivers music worthy of heavy rotation. However, some questions arose while listening to her latest offering: Does she know Pluto is no longer a planet? Is she as into golden showers as R. Kelly? And most of all, is "artpop" going to be a new genre onto itself? If so, I'm here for it. Fave tracks: Aura, Swine, Jewels N' Drugs, and Do What U Want.
Katy Perry-Prism...I have to admit Katy's album didn't immediately pull me in like Gaga's or some of the other artists featured here, but she still gave me a well-executed dance pop album with some very notable standouts. Fave tracks: Legendary Lovers, Dark Horse, International Smile, By the Grace of God.
Natalia Kills-Trouble...Natalia is quietly changing the pop game. She's dark, she's edgy and she's completely unapologetic. The visceral imagery of her lyrics combined with catchy hooks and a distinctive vocal give her this incredible allure that I've never seen in any other pop artist and it doesn't come off as contrived, just raw and real. Her previous effort, Perfectionist is also a wonderful listen with some amazing standout tracks, but I think Miss Kills definitely stepped it up with Trouble, it's one of the most perfectly composed pop albums I've ever heard. Fave tracks: Stop Me, Problem, Controversy, Rabbit Hole, Marlboro Lights... (honestly, the whole thing is a gem).
Thirty Seconds to Mars-Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams...another symphonic rock pop (or whatever) album from the band with the sexy frontman. The only thing I don't like is how the number has been turned into a word because that's improper AP style, but the album is fantastic so I'll let it go. Fave tracks: The Race, Conquistador, Do or Die, Up in the Air.
Marina and The Diamonds-Electra Heart...apparently Electra was a fictional persona and now she is dead...? Despite that morbid detail, this album is tons of fun and has tracks that can lift me out of a bad mood any day. I love her husky vocal and the feminist-y concepts in some of her lyrics. Fave tracks: Fear and Loathing, Radioactive, How to be a Heartbreaker, and Lies.
The Weeknd-Kiss Land...so I guess Michael Jackson was reincarnated as a black, chubby, dreadlocked Canadian. This kid is insanely talented and I've always found his profane, creepily sexual music very compelling. I actually first encountering his syrupy vocals while shopping at Urban Outfitters years ago and I had to ask the salesgirl who was singing because I'd never heard anything like him before. Very few artists can take me to another world and his unique ability to do so pleases my ears--and my loins. Fave tracks: Belong to the World, The Town, Pretty, Tears in the Rain.