For years, Little Monsters the world over have anxiously anticipated the release of Lady Gaga‘s sixth studio album. And now, the wait is almost over.
Earlier this week, Gaga announced her upcoming album Chromatica, due out April 10 via Interscope Records. The news came on the heels of Gaga’s release of “Stupid Love,” her joyous new banger that had fans everywhere rejoicing at the prospect of a proper pop album from Mother Monster.
With rumors swirling around the sparse details Gaga has shared about her upcoming full-length, Billboard decided to put together a wish list for Chromatica’s hotly anticipated arrival. Here are five things we want to see on Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album, Chromatica.
A full-fledged return to pop
Every time Lady Gaga has released a new project, it’s felt like she’s introduced the world to a brand new sonic version of herself. Whether it was Artpop’s experimental melodies, Born This Way’s rock-infused sound or even Joanne’s folk-rock twinge, Gaga has constantly reinvented herself as her dedicated fans wait with bated breath. But with “Stupid Love,” the star did something truly unexpected: she reintroduced fans to her undeniable dance-pop origins.
We’re not looking for Gaga to step entirely back into her old sound — it is 2020 after all, and a rehash of her The Fame Monster-era sonics would likely feel dated. But with “Stupid Love” as her jumping off point, Gaga is perfectly poised to make a welcome return to the thumping, synth-tinged landscape of pop music that she came up in. With everything that’s changed in pop music since 2013’s Artpop (the last time Gaga spent an entire album playing with pop tropes), we’re ready to see Gaga offer her unique take on all of it, from bubblegum to disco-laced dance.
A colorful concept
Gaga has never been one to shy away from a heady concept. When you look at past works like The Fame Monster, where each of the EP’s eight tracks were based on one of the singer’s fears, or Artpop, where she deliberately confronted the intersection of art and pop culture, Gaga has made it her job to give detailed context when creating new music. And we’re ready to see her work as a concept artist once again on Chromatica.
On its face, Chromatica is already a loaded album title; according to Merriam-Webster, the root word “chromatic” is an adjective with multiple meanings. The term could be defined as “of, relating to, or giving all the tones of the chromatic scale,” referring to the musical scale that contains 12 notes, each one separated by one semitone. Or, “chromatic” could also be defined as “of or relating to color or color phenomena or sensations.”
The multitude of meanings are not lost on Gaga — in her interview with Zane Lowe upon the release of “Stupid Love,” the star touched on both the colorful and musical definitions of the word when referring to her album, adding that “we’re talking about inclusivity and life.” Pair that with her story-driven music video for “Stupid Love,” her insistence that Chromatica is a place where she lives (because “Earth is cancelled”), and her use of different symbols for the various “tribes” featured in “Stupid Love,” it seems more than likely that Chromatica features the star’s most fully-realized concept to date.
Some all-star collaborations
Throughout her discography, Gaga has featured a number of major guests, including Florence Welch (of Florence + the Machine), Flo Rida, T.I., Tony Bennett, and of course Beyoncé. But with Chromatica, we would love to see some massive star power fill out some guest slots.
Rumors have already begun circling among Little Monsters about two potential collaborators on the album — Ariana Grande and Blackpink. Bringing in two titans of pop music would be an absolutely stellar decision for Gaga’s pop resurgence. We have some other ideas for big-name talent we want to see on Chromatica. First of all, Gaga did in fact joke on Twitter that her sixth album would be titled “Adele,” so it stands to reason that the pop superstar could make an appearance somewhere on the Chromatica, perhaps for a classic power ballad. We’d also love to see Mother Monster team up with Grimes on a hyperpop jam (and it’s more than possible, considering Grimes’ friend and collaborator BloodPop is one of the co-executive producers of Chromatica).
More new producers
With “Stupid Love,” Gaga has already made some slight changes to her usual lineup of producers — while continuing to work with one of her main Joanne producers BloodPop, along with Artpop collaborator Tchami, the superstar also brought in hitmaker Max Martin as a co-writer on her single, giving the song its classic, pop-focused sound.
Along with having Martin join on as a producer, Gaga told Zane Lowe that in the process of making Chromatica, she opened herself up to letting more people in on the creative process in order to deliver the best possible product. “There were so many different iterations of these songs because we all wanted it to be perfect and literally nobody cared who put their fingerprints on it, as long as it was the dopest thing that we could give the world and that it was meaningful, authentic and completely me,” she said.
So whose fingerprints, exactly, would we want to see on Chromatica? It is Lady Gaga after all, so the sky is the limit — superstar producer Louis Bell could offer up a fresh modern take on Chromatica, as could Grammy winner Finneas. BloodPop has also teased a potential collaboration between Gaga and PC Music breakout star Sophie (which Sophie herself appeared to confirm back in 2018), which would make for one hell of an interesting pop track.
Let Gaga get weird
One of Gaga’s greatest assets has always been her performance of fame. Especially through her high-concept fashion and music videos, the singer has always used her music as a means to comment on the weird and wild circumstances of being famous through an equally weird and wild artistic lens. After Artpop, though, Gaga seemed to tone down some of her stranger tendencies — with the release of her jazz album Cheek to Cheek, followed by the countrified Joanne and her acting turn in A Star Is Born, Mother Monster was less Monster and more Mother.
That has changed as of late. With the debut of her Enigma residency in Las Vegas, her appearance on the red carpet of 2019’s Met Gala, and especially with her music video for “Stupid Love,” Gaga has embraced the bizarre once again. Our only hope is that she continues the trend — keep the oddities coming, Gaga. Make some more videos as an intergalactic peacekeeper in a hot pink bikini. Tell us more about Kindness Punks. Turn some perplexing looks in the run-up to Chromatica. And most importantly, don’t hold back — we’re here for whatever you have to offer us.