1. Medellin: I can see why it was chosen as the first single. It’s one of the most radio friendly song on the album together with Loca and Faz gostoso. I really like it and it sounds much better in the context of the full álbum. I also think its placement as track one is adequate and sets the tone and mood for what’s to come: a dream-like journey.
2. Dark ballet: Not gonna lie, it wasn’t an instant love for me. The part prior to the vocoder part that builds up reminds me of the part prior to Isaac’s last chorus. I really enjoyed it overall and I think it will age well hopefully.
3. God control: Just…wow. My wig was snatched and I didn’t see this coming. The vocals on the first part of the song are very reminiscent of the vocals in American life album, one of my top-3 albums, which makes me forget about the clinched-teeth thing some mentioned. This is the most left-field Madonna went to in a long time. I understand why some see it more as an interlude than an actual song.
4. Future: Love the transition from God control to this. It’s definitely in my top 5 favorite songs from the record. Loved it since I first heard it. The reggae vibe is just so uplifting and joyful. I can’t understand why some people don’t like it or even hate it. The chorus gives me so much life.
5. Batuka: Unexpected. Even though I like how the autotune sounds here, I can’t help but wonder how it would have sounded with more natural, unprocessed vocals. I like it but I don’t see it as having too much replay value. The lyrics are nothing majestic but the instrumentation, choir, chants and rhythm really elevate the song and distinguishes from the rest. It has a distinctive flavour that adds to the album. I agree with some that said it feels like an essential part of the record, though I can’t explain why. Not feeling the ending.
6. Killers: Loving the melody and arabic style. Loving the portuguese lyrics too but not so much the English ones. The different layers of vocals in the portuguese chorus are appreciated since they were long gone in the last albums.
7. Crave: Love the transition from Killers to this. One of my top 3 favorites from the record. I agree with one reviewer that said it’s the closest to a love song on the album. Although the sound didn’t convince me at all, I am now very happy it was chosen as the second single.
8. Crazy: Nice one but nothing special. Her voice sounds incredible in it and the rhythm is great too.
9. Come alive: Simple in its complexity. Love the urgency of the rhythm. Even though the song it’s very repetitive, I love the pre-chorus and the vocals in the chorus. The autotune has been used best in this song in my opinion, and the various layers of vocals are again very well appreciated.
10. Extreme occident: Beautiful but unconventional balad. So intriguing and mysterious. The lyrics are great but the melody is the best part in my opinion. The piano is marvelous and blends beautifully with her voice. The ending is cinematic.
11. Faz gostoso: This version definitely elevates the song and takes it to another level. This is THE bop of the album. So energetic and dancey. I really hope it gets a music video, but I don’t see it happening. I just hope it’s not left out of the tour. It would be such a miss opportunity. The world needs to listen to it.
12. Loca: It’s not my taste but it’s the sound that’s trending now in Latin America, so I can see why she included it. More instant than Medellin. The rhythm is infectious. The lyrics are typical reggaeton lyrics. A bit too sexual for my taste and not something I imagined I would ever hear Madonna sing, but somehow works out. It’s one of my least favorites but not a complete disaster like some said. I love the ending chit-chat between the 2. Contrary to most, I’m loving Maluma’s laugh at the end.
13: I don’t search: The melody is reminiscent of Deeper and deeper. The spoken part is the best part of the song. One of the best song endings of the album. If included on tour, I see her remixing it with some Erotica bop.
14. Looking for Mercy: Beautiful, conventional balad.
15. I rise: My favorite balad of the album. I love the processing Mirwais did on the vocals, especially at the end. I love that the lyrics are some of the longest in the album.
16. Funana: I like the vocal processing on this one. Love the ‘Let’s go dancing’ parts. Don’t care about the name dropping. Agree with someone who said this could be in a Disney soundtrack movie. The ‘happiness my darling’ got to be one of the best lines of the record. The only of the 3 bonus I would put into the standard or deluxe.
17. Back that up: Love the transition from Funana to Back that up. I hate how the chorus has changed and doesn’t finish the original lines of the demo. This is the ONLY song that in my opinión SCREAMS filler. I appreciate the instrumentation, especially in the second part of the song. I love the flutes but I prefer the simplicity, rawness and natural vocals of the demo, even though this final version is not a complete mess. I guess I got accostumed to the demo, which is one of my favorites from RH era.
18. Bella ciao: It’s too long for my taste and too much music without vocals. The few vocals that it has sound amazing. I just hope there were some more lyrics in it. The melody is addictive and the man’s voice sounds great and blends well with M’s voice. It’s OK as a b-side though.
Favorite songs: Medellin, Future, God control, Crave, Extreme occident, Faz gostoso, I rise.
I need time to digest the songs as I have just finished listening them for the first time. The album is very varied in styles but somehow all the songs blend in a good way, something that doesn’t happen in RB in my humble opinion. This sounds more like a cohesive piece and message. However, I don’t think it’s as great as most say it is. Definitely better than the last 3 records, but not better than Music, Ray of light and American life, my 3 favorite albums. I disagree that she chose the worst tracks for pre-release. I think she chose some of the best and also the most commercially appealing ones. Most of the songs on the record are not what the GP expects of M, which is not a bad thing at all. I see why this record will be divisive among fans, with some disliking it all together. Overall it’s a great piece and I’m happy we have a new Mambo record to blast to non-stop. It’s a solid 7/10 for me.