After much teasing on social media in 2012, Lady Gaga’s next album ARTPOP and her Born This Way Ball Tour were delayed and canceled, respectively, after the singer underwent hip surgery. She did it all in true Gaga style, purchasing herself a 24-karat gold wheelchair that she christened Emma to get through (and around during) her convalescence.

After Gaga posted a photo of herself back in the studio on June 1, all the Little Monsters are hoping ARTPOP could still see the light of day in 2013. We know Gaga has worked with labelmate Zedd to produce a few tracks from the album, but what else might Mother Monster have up her sleeve?

One thing’s for certain: Gaga specializes in mashing up her influences, so whatever she does will have a little of this and a little of that, weaved together under the banner of some greater theme.

The Full EDM Phase

Working with Zedd puts Gaga at the core of mainstream EDM. He is known for his anthemic, fist-pumping and straight-ahead EDM tracks featuring catchy vocals. For some, he’s the antithesis of what dance music should be and to others he’s a hitmaker. If we get Gaga writing and Zedd producing, it’s pretty clear we’ll get club bangers. The two do have a common instrument in the piano, which they are both able to play proficiently and use for composing. Perhaps they’ll use this common ground to eek out a slow piano ballad or two.

 The Ray Of Light Phase 

It’s been said near and far, low and high that Gaga owes a debt to Madonna. It’s also been said that she completely rips her off, wholesale. So if Born This Way used elements of Like A Prayer (so much so that Madonna mashed up “Express Yourself” and “Born This Way” for a tour performance), then the natural progression for Gaga would be to hit the Ray Of Light phase (skipping Erotica and Bedtime Stories). The 1998 album, produced by William Orbit and roundly regarded as one of Madonna’s best, both incorporated and appropriated elements of the sort of late ’90s dance music that’s right up Gaga’s evolutionary alley. It was also Madonna’s growing-up album, where she addressed having her first child and evolving spiritually after finding Kabbalah. So Gaga would have to get much more confessional and seriously personal in her lyrics if she goes this way.

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