Will ‘Joanne’ Be Lady Gaga’s Saddest Album Yet?

Though you wouldn’t be able to guess it from the stomping, ridiculous first single “Perfect Illusion,” all signs point toward Joanne being Lady Gaga‘s saddest album to date. In an interview with the New York Times, Mother Monster kept coming back to the fact that she’s shooting for the middle ground between being a rebel and being “her father’s daughter.” It looks like Joanne is going to step away from the bombast on which Gaga made her name and give us a bit of a Behind The Meatdress peak at how Stefani Germanotta thinks of herself.

“It’s maybe a woman thing. As you get older, you start to realize that you are enough on your own,” she said.

And the idea of maturation into someone who doesn’t need to couch her thoughts and songs in high fantasy carried throughout the interview. When she was asked why she did a straight-forward album of jazz standards with Tony Bennett in 2014, she returned to the idea of growing up.

“I wanted to become a woman,” she said. “My audience went, ‘Wait, why is she singing jazz? What’s going on?’ And then they went, ‘Oh, because she can. Because she loves it.’ And jazz, a music invented by the African-American community, is the greatest art form, I believe, to have ever come out of this country.”

One of the biggest signs that Joanne is going to be a bit more mellow and reflective comes from the name of the album. It’s her middle name (which Gaga likens to the middle path between dueling sides of her personality), but it’s also the name her aunt who tragically died at the age of 19. Throughout the video that accompanied the interview she recites lyrics from the title track addressed directly to this late relative.

“Every part of my aching heart, needs you more than the angels do,” she said while clacking out the lines on a typewriter.

Earlier today, Gaga shared a handclap-driven new track called “A-Yo” which is borderline country and definitely upbeat — so maybe the album will have a few high moments after all.

Stay tuned, folks. It looks like “Perfect Illusion” was just that, a ruse tricking us into thinking we were getting yet another blown-out Gaga album when what we’re probably going to get is the first Stefani Germanotta album. Buckle up for some tear-jerkers.