From her pimped-out [article id="1703544"]golden wheelchairs[/article] to her new high-fashion white paintball mask, Lady Gaga's creative process is one of the mysteries of the musical universe.
But with the announcement on Thursday that she is almost ready to pull back the curtain on her long-anticipated third full-length studio album, [article id="1710440"]ARTPOP[/article], Mother Monster finally gave fans a date to look forward to.
It's been almost a year since Gaga began teasing the album, so MTV News felt it was high time to take a look at what we know so far:
Save The Date
In a statement that raised more questions than it answered, Gaga revealed that the album is out on November 11 and that an as-yet-unnamed single will drop on August 19. She also promised an app (due on the same day the album will be available for pre-order, September 1) that is, "A musical and visual engineering system that combines music, art, fashion and technology with a new interactive worldwide community — 'the auras.' Altering the human experience with social media, we bring ARTculture into POP in a reverse Warholian expedition."
There will also be an "artRAVE" on November 10 that will unveil a number of new Haus of Gaga design projects and collaborations with famous artists.
Serious Studio Time
A confidant told US Weekly that Gaga has been grinding away day-and-night recently in the studio to finish ARTPOP, which sounds about right for the obsessive singer. In January, one of her collaborators, EDM producer Zedd, said [article id="1700630"]MTV News[/article] that after working on a number of tracks together he got honest with Gaga and told her the music was not quite done.
"After the first time we worked in the studio, I just went back and kind of thought about it and I decided that I would just be honest," Zedd said. "It took a day or two to kind of get used to that, but now it's totally fine. I can say, 'That was not good. You can do better.' And when it's good I'll say 'It's great.' "
Speaking to Rolling Stone last month, Zedd was so excited about the tracks they'd worked on he said he "can't imagine" fans would not like them. "To just say it straight up. I think the stuff we've made is pretty f---ing cool," he added. Zedd, who opened for Gaga last year, said they'd finished five or six songs after starting their collaboration on the road.
"Her first idea of how we should approach the music was just to be completely open — nothing is too crazy," he explained. "Whatever is dope is dope. We do whatever we want, and we don't have to make a song that's 3 minutes and 30 seconds just to fit the radio ... We didn't try to make an EDM album — but, at the same time, we didn't try not to make an EDM album. I've done a lot of stuff that's really outside of what I usually do. There was one song that started from her just giving me, like, 10 words to describe an emotion, and then I had to make this into music. It's been a very experimental way of approaching music."
Fresher Than Ever
After her hip surgery earlier this year, manager [article id="1704076"]Vincent Herbert said[/article] the album will be "very, very refreshing," skimping on details of who, besides, Zedd, would be working on it. Last July, a report emerged that the classic rock-loving singer was working with [article id="1690576"]Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich[/article] on tracks, hitting the studio together with Gaga's longtime collaborator DJ White Shadow.
Around the same time, Gaga gave fellow New Yorkers a treat by [article id="1690196"]blasting a new song[/article] from the speakers of her SUV on the street. A fan described the unnamed tune as "very heavy dance/club song" with a beat that was "f---ing insane!" At one point, Gaga said she'd written [article id="1698130"]more than 50 songs[/article] for the album.
Cake Or Princess Die?
Before her Born This Way Ball tour was scuttled due to the hip injury, Gaga had been performing a new song called "Princess Die," which appeared to be another full-on dance track in keeping with her promise to step away from the maturity she displayed on Born This Way. "I feel that on the next album there's a lack of maturity," she said. "It's a tremendous lack of maturity or sense of responsibility."
Around Christmas, she also tweeted that pal and photographer Terry Richardson is working on a documentary about her and the sessions for ARTPOP. "I have looked up to you and your work for so long, it's a dream come true!" she wrote of the project. If that wasn't all enough, Gaga confused everyone in November with the messy Richardson-directed teaser for what seemed like her next single, the [article id="1697638"]grimy rap tune "Cake."[/article]
History In The Making
Whatever ends up on the album, we know one thing for sure: Gaga is aiming for the record books. Longtime collaborator [article id="1696580"]RedOne told MTV in November[/article] that the pair had been trading ideas and that, "it's very focused on writing really good songs and, of course, with the vibe of different sounds, different kinds of productions."
Though he was sworn to secrecy, RedOne added, "My intent is the same thing: make history. If we don't feel like this is part of history again, we're not going to do it, but we're enjoying [the process]. We love doing music, so it will be interesting to see what's going to happen." One thing he did promise, though. "It's always about good songs."