^I know, she tried to "return to the electro pop" sound with Artpop and it seemed like too little too late. She's at a very tough point in her career - if she changes things up, she will be scrutinised for continuing to abandon her core sound. However if she goes the pop route she has to be very careful not to attempt any rehashing or people will see through it and plus it's not really that popular anymore.
Actually, I think her career moves from Atrpop have served her well and helped her career. The jazz album collab she did was a total step away from the pretentious, charmless effort of her last proper album and was a success. As Mario said around the time, if it was a flop it was 'only' a team up project so her ass was covered. If it prospered, she could claim it and bask in the positive acclaim.
Her turn in American Horror Story has also been a smart and well received move, as has her Sound Of Music performance.
She's taken onboard several projects past Artpop that have all been high profile and restoring her image in well received ways with the public. She's certainly on a lot firmer ground post-Artpop than she would have been had she not taken on these aforementioned projects. From such a flop, I don't think her career is in a tough spot. She's basically position herself well with strong side projects and stepped back enough from the pop market to create a real sense of demand for her return (whilst forgetting the Artpop disaster).