Aura (song)

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"Aura"
Song by Lady Gaga from the album Artpop
Recorded 2013; Record Plant Studios;
(Hollywood, California)
Genre EDM
Length 3:55
Label
Writer
Producer
Artpop track listing
"Aura"
(1)
"Venus"
(2)

"Aura" is a song by American recording artist Lady Gaga, taken from her third studio album, Artpop (2013). It was written by Gaga herself, along with Zedd and psychedelic trance duo Infected Mushroom. The song was performed live during Gaga's iTunes Festival headlining and it was used in the trailer for Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, in which Gaga co-stars. Even though it was not released digitally, nor to the radio, "Aura" managed to enter the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs.

Composition and release[edit]

Infected Mushroom in Russia in 2011

The lyrics of the song discuss Gaga's artistry and the way she expresses herself. She reasserts her agency as a female, a human being, and as someone who owns her own sexuality. Gaga confessed that she does not wear the burqa as a political statement, but rather because she feels she identifies with others who wear a burqa.[1] She concludes the song chanting the name of the parent album, Artpop. The song leaked early on before the release of the album, and led many to believe that it was a final album edit, but Gaga confirmed that the leak was simply a demo. "Aura" was in consideration as the second single from Artpop, when Gaga released a poll, asking fans what song they'd rather have released as single,[2] in which "Aura" won; however, "Venus" was chosen instead by Gaga herself. Gaga confirmed that it would serve as a promotional single instead, although plans on making it a single in the future.

Reception[edit]

Critics were divided in their reviews of "Aura". Many reviewers highlighted it as one of the strongest tracks on Artpop, while others criticized it for mention of the burqa. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine was highly positive towards the song, favoring it over the lead single "Applause".[3] The mention of the burqa made the song controversial, with some Muslims accusing Gaga of degrading their garment by sexualizing it.[4][5] Umema Aimem of Washington Post was critical towards the song's lyrical content, stating that "[t]he song actually started out well [...] but then you lost me when you proceeded to turn such a sacred symbol of [Islam] into an exotic costume. It is not something you can wear to your Halloween party".[5] Spin magazine called the song "a grasping EDM mess" and "all over the place".[6] Max Kessler of Paper gave a mixed review, stating the song had "all the classic Gaga attributes", including "controversial and mildly clever lyrics set to a throbbing, almost-grating dance beat that's at times great and at times horrible".[7]

Promotion[edit]

Gaga performing "Aura" during ArtRave: The Artpop Ball in 2014.

On September 1, 2013 Lady Gaga opened the 2013 iTunes Festival in London, at Roundhouse. She performed a few songs from the confirmed tracklist of Artpop. She opened the show with "Aura", wearing a black suit with a black scarf and a knife that wrote "HOLLYWOOD", in reference of one of her lyrical statements.[8] Upon the performance, the Huffington Post commented "Arriving onstage a fashionable 26 minutes late, Gaga opened with previously leaked track 'Aura', which sounded more pulsating and crazed than the unfinished demo. (...) she belted out from a cage suspended above the audience, her lyrics setting the tone for the rest of her set.[8] Gaga also opened her performance at Le Poission Rouge in New York City with "Aura".[9]

To promote the movie Machete Kills, in which Gaga has the role of La Chameleón, the creators used the song in a promo commercial. They also decided to create a lyric video for the song, which was uploaded on Vevo and YouTube on October 9, 2013. The lyric video contains various images and clips from the movie itself, as a form of promo and advertisement.[10]

Charts[edit]

Due to streaming activity, the song debuted at number 28 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs for the week-ending October 26, 2013.[11] Following the release of Artpop, "Aura" again re-entered the chart at a higher position of number 14.[12] "Aura" was present for a total of six weeks on the chart.[13]

Charts (2013) Peak
position
South Korea (Gaon)[14] 60
US Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs[12] 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lady Gaga – Aura Lyrics | Rock Genius
  2. ^ "Lady Gaga Asks Fans To Pick New 'ARTPOP' Song Release". Capital FM. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  3. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (August 12, 2013). "Single Review: Lady Gaga, "Applause"". Slant Magazine. Retrieved August 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Muslim Women Speak On Lady Gaga's Song 'Burqa' And Its Portrayal Of Their Culture (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Huffington Post. August 23, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Dear Lady Gaga, ‘Burqa’ sends the wrong message". Washington Post. washingtonpost.com/blogs. August 19, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lady Gaga's 'Aura' Leak, if Real, Is a Grasping EDM Mess | SPIN | SPIN Mix | Songs
  7. ^ PAPERMAG: Lady Gaga's New Song Is About Burqas and Dancing (Of Course)
  8. ^ a b "Lady Gaga iTunes Festival Review: Mother Monster Previews New 'ARTPOP' Tracks At London's Roundhouse". Huffington Post. September 2, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ Last Night's Parties: Lady Gaga Honors Stephen Gan With A Performance At Le Poisson Rouge, Rihanna Steps Out For Alex Wang's NYFW After Party & More!
  10. ^ Lady Gaga Releases Aura Music Video From Machete Kills—Watch Now! | E! Online UK
  11. ^ Murray, Gordon (October 17, 2013). "Diplo, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga Debut On Dance Charts". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/code/5800503/lady-gagas-artpop-debuts-atop-danceelectronic-albums
  13. ^ "Dance/Electronic Songs: December 11, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ GAON DIGITAL CHART (2013년 11월 4주차) (in Korean). gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved November 23, 2013.

External links[edit]