Uh oh: Something tells me that the appearance of yet another leak off of Lady Gaga's newest album ARTPOP is going to drive this poor, often naked chica insane. In what is becoming a sad and frustrating album release for Mother Monster, we have one more pre-release sneak peek at what the rest of ARTPOP has to offer. Lady Gaga's "Swine" leaked, and, if the audio and its lyrics are anything to go by, it's mostly confusing. As the chorus goes, "I know I know I know you want me / You're just a pig inside a human body / Squealer, squealer, squeal out, you're so disgusting / You're just a pig inside... swine." Gaga prides herself on concept albums, be they aesthetic or thematic, but our first glimpses of her newest release offer a message that has yet to take a clear form, one that is mixed up with feminism, nudity as vulnerability, and perhaps a rather searing note of sexual harassment, as "Swine" indicates above?
It's clear that the theme of nudity/vulnerability to do with nakedness is at play in ARTPOP — the woman hasn't seemingly worn clothes since her "Applause" VMA performance — but it's hard to really tell what we're meant to get from that. Is it that her body is meaningless, with reference to "Do What U Want"'s message that no one can take her heart or mind, but they can essentially use her body as they/R. Kelly sees fit? Or is it that looking at her naked body is not allowed (as "Swine" suggests)? Oooor is it that her body is her soul, as "Aura" suggests with its refrain of "Do you wanna peek underneath the cover?/Do you wanna see the girl who lives behind the aura"? Maybe as more songs are released, or leaked, we'll get a clearer sense of what Gaga is going for, but as of yet, it's just an awful lot of booty with very little substance.
But getting back to "Swine" — since the track references violation, one inevitably wonders whether there is an undertone of sexual violence at play in the release. And what does that say about Gaga's attitude towards her other half in ARTPOP? The album's songs so far have waxed and waned on whether men/physical contact are repulsive, an object of necessity (for the applause of course, she lives for the applause-plause), or something to mess around with (as in "Aura"). It's slightly schizophrenic. (Plus, joining the club of pop stars who engage heavily with sexuality through nudity is not hard, nor is it something we necessarily expected Lady Gaga to rely on so heavily.)
I still look forward to the rest of ARTPOP, and it's more than possible that the rest of "Swine"'s lyrics will make more clear the meaning of its chorus. But given the material thus far, I hope that, on this album, Gaga engages with more than just how weird it is to be naked (insert whatever metaphor she'll eventually give us in here). She can definitely do better than that, and a naked singer ain't nothing to call home about.