Madonna’s much anticipated 13th studio album, Rebel Heart has arrived! And six leaked songs of the 19 track record which released March 10th 2015 arrived earlier than expected. And…
Wait for it…
Her last two outings Hard Candy and MDNA, for me, left much to be desired. The writing had matured but somehow lacked the trademark Madonna spunk. Both great commercial success, but then B!%@H, she’s Madonna. The genius of this woman to blend her music with what’s hot today is un-paralleled and with Rebel Heart, she’s back. Quintessentially Madonna.
It’s been a rocky start though. The demo versions of rebel heart leaked in early December. The queen was shattered. Who wouldn’t be? The tracks were unfinished and incomplete. She had earlier said “I can’t serve you a half-baked cake”. Well, in this case destiny had other plans.
Not one to accept defeat, she turned this disaster into a business plan. Madonna and her team worked overtime and released 6 tracks on iTunes on December 20th 2014. “Consider this an early Christmas gift” she said. The fans almost choked on their coffee and cornflakes. A record scheduled to be released in April was now here. Well, at least six tracks of it.
It debuted at number one in 39 countries.
That being said let’s talk about the music.
“Hoe down pop meets pulsing house!” This track makes you want to turn up the volume. The track boasts of strong haunting piano chords and darker arrangements, courtesy: Avicii, who has co-written and produced it. With Blood Diamonds, DJ Dahi and Carl Falk, this collaboration sashays from soul to supersonic. Riddled with drug references though en-route to something deeper; the press is going to have a field day with this. You on the other hand, will find yourself heading for the repeat button.
This could be her best ballad in ten years. It reminds you of the “Live To Tell” Madonna. The warmth of her voice does full justice to this beautifully written track. It has a “feel good factor”. I suspect, this one’s going to be a chart topper.
Gospel meets pop meets house meets Madonna! Think “Like A Prayer” or “Ray Of Light”. Strong piano chords by Alicia Keys [also co-writer] it features Ariel Rechtshaid (Sky Ferreira, Haim) and producer, Diplo among others. This one’s for the clubs. Disco balls and fairy dust, can’t wait to dance to this one on my next night out not to mention her live rendition…
An upbeat reggae meets pop effort grows on you. Diplo anchors the keyboards on this one. A tad over produced but once you catch on to the lyrics you want to sing aloud to the rest of the world, “I got to call it as I see”. Touché.
Much has been said and written about “the Illuminati”. Produced by Kanye West [co-produced by Mike Dean], Madonna gives her take on this urban legend name calling everyone from Oprah to Obama. Dark but not broody this one’s going to hit the streets head on. Can’t wait for the remixes.
Overtly synthesized with a rap thrown in by Ms. Minaj you’re either going to love or hate it. Madonna taps into her narcissistic self and reminds us she is “Madonna”. GAGA, I’m looking at you. Parts of this track sound like it was produced on a space craft with alien intervention. Is that a good thing you ask? Well you decide. Like one catty writer commented over the title, “Relax honey no one is ever likely to forget”
There you have it Madonna 2015!
Rebel Heart, you are music to my ears.