ARTPOP Review: Jewels N’ Drugs
It’s too easy to dismiss ‘Jewels N’ Drugs’ as the worst song on the record purely because of it’s ill-fitting genre. Hip Hop Gaga wasn’t an ego we had expected prior to her iTunes performance and ‘Cake’-gate. The negatives, to get them out the way, are that it draws attention to itself with it’s styling change – something that slightly disrupts ‘ARTPOP’ – and it’s penchant for devoting more time to the guest rappers than the lady herself might frustrate a few fans. But that’s about it on the downer front.
At it’s core, the song is surprisingly accomplished. It’s cringe moments begin and end with ‘slap honey on a young pancake’ – elsewhere, Gaga adopts a believable swag-coated persona, something necessary to checkmate the featured rappers – T.I., Too $hort and Twista. If one thing was missing, and this is minor, it may be the excited squeals of the rappers’ names that pumped a little more adrenaline into the live set. Her declaration of T.I. being a poor thing can wait at the door, though.
The most instantly obvious triumph in ‘Jewels N’ Drugs’ is Gaga’s tremendous hooks. A double shot, no less. The former matches the vicious beat – finely produced but smeared with a coating of filth whilst the latter finds Gaga tackling a higher range and providing an addictive counterpart to the grimy first refrain. The best thing about the song echoes the best thing about the record that homes it – your favourite bit will change by the minute. I’m quite enjoying the part where T.I. coughs over distant strings at the moment. ‘Iconic’.
Words: Simon McMurdo