"Aura" begins with spaghetti Western-style guitars ripped straight from Django. Gaga sings about "killing her former friend" and leaving "her in a trunk on Highway 10." She sounds like she may be on Percocet. Then there's maniacal laughter, a D-league EDM beat thumps, and by the time the fake British accent and autotuned verses kick in, a single trail of blood will have trickled out of your ear. (Gaga may come over and collect it for her perfume.)
"Bad Romance" wasn't bad. "Telephone" didn't suck, either—it was catchy, okay? But "Aura," whether it's truly "a half-finished demo" or not, is so fundamentally misguided, busy, and (literally) phyically painful to hear that it wouldn't surprise me if the song winds up becoming the first death toll of Gaga's career.
For someone who made a career out of copying Madonna, she had a good run. ARTPOP is released November 11, 2013.