By Clare Driscoll, ’19

Lady Gaga released her sixth solo album “Joanne” on Oct. 21. This new installment to the five-time Grammy winner’s discography is one of her best albums yet. The alternative sound from Gaga shows a new side to the singer from the meat-dress wearing pop star we have grown to love.

“Joanne” has been well-received by fans, reaching number one on Billboard’s top 200 and selling 201,000 albums within the first week.

The inspiration for “Joanne” derived from a small break she recently took from producing music. Gaga spent her time away from the industry with her family which inspired her to name the new album after her late aunt Joanne Germanotta who died of lupus, an autoimmune disease, at 19.

“As I returned to my home life and spending time with my friends and family and getting out of the mainstream limelight for a minute, the experiences of our family and our challenges that make us who we are. It’s everything about Joanne … it’s all the toughness of the pain of losing her that made us all strong and made us who we are. She is the woman of my past who is becoming and helping me bring more of my honest woman-self into the future,” said Gaga.

The idea of challenges making us who we are is dearly expressed in the first song “Diamond Heart” which is an autobiographical song about Gaga’s years working as a gogo dancer to support herself. Through the song, Gaga describes the degrading situation she’s in but explains how it makes her tougher. The song personified the rest of the album’s overall message of rising from your struggles to become a better person.

The album is also a strong advocate for love between everyone. In the world we live in today, people tend to turn cold towards those who don’t share the same views as us, but Gaga’s songs “Come to Mama” and “Hey Girl” promote respecting and caring for everyone regardless of your differences.

“The truth is I want nothing more for both myself and for other people than human connection and love,” says Gaga.

Gaga collaborated with many different artists for her new songs to bring a variety of sound to the album. These include popular names such as Beck, Florence Welch, Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Father John Misty.

The album has songs ranging from pop anthems such as “A-YO” to love ballads like “Million Reasons” and even a techno country crossover “John Wayne”. It also has many alternative songs like “Joanne” and “Dancin’ in Circles” which shows a very different side of Gaga’s musical songwriting and style.

Her most popular songs such as “Bad Romance” and “Just Dance” were more upbeat songs with the intent to entertain while her new songs have been created for people to relate to.

All in all, “Joanne” brings a new phase to Gaga’s musical career and offers a wide range of music with options that every music lover can enjoy.