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Fantastic review

http://www.muumuse.c... ... -one.html/

MADONNA, REBEL HEART': TRACK-BY-TRACK (PART ONE)

Madonna, you bitch. You #unapologeticbitch.

Last night well, early this morning, or whenever youre reading this the Queen Of Pop semi-released her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, in a swift, Beyoncé-ian drop on iTunes. Of course, unlike Bey, Madonnas been digitally navigating us through every single song title, lyric and produce included on her upcoming LP for over a year. So, to classify this one as a complete surprise release would be, uh, wrong.

That being said, semi-releasing an album on the Friday night before Christmas, when most of the world was busy traveling home, sleeping and roadtripping (or, in my case, crouched in the corner of a gay bar shaking and crying), wasnt a move most people expected Madonna to make. A rebel heart, indeed.

(To be fair, she did warn us time and time again: Trust no bitch.)

The semi-release was reactionary: 13 rough demos from this record (an entire albums worth!) were leaked onto the Internet earlier this week, including five of the 6 songs made available at midnight. What else was there for a Queen Of Pop to do but to capitalize on the panic in the industry, polish off a few of the records closest to being finished and throw them out to the thirsty masses? And so, she did.

Let us rummage through Madonnas Hanukkah gift EP1, perhaps? with a fairly sleepless (thanks Madge!) track-by-track breakdown.

Living For Love

Within the first few seconds of Living For Love, Rebel Heart is already sonically swerving away from anything shes recorded in over a decade. Is that90s House were hearing? It is. Yet, unlike the teen-pop acts and UK dance troupes paying homage to an era they were barely old enough to remember (self-shade, I know), Madonna lived and loved through that point in time as an actual club queen. And essentially, shes given us a Deeper And Deeper for 2015. The song is transcendent, managing to be entirely in vogue (REFERENCE) with the current 90s House revival at radio today while staying true to all things Material Girl: Big, unapologetically gay throbbing pulsations, uplifting lyricism, religious imagery, perseverance and self-empowerment its all here. Its a total beast of a collaborative effort too, featuring MoZella, Ariel Rechtstaid, Toby Gad, Diplo and Nick Rowe. And yes, thats Alicia Keys singing in the background! **** singing about Tanqueray in the club: This is the Madonna weve always known and lived to love, with flares of the future and nostalgic nods to the past.

Devil Pray

Of all the songs were treated to from Rebel Heart so far, Devil Pray is perhaps the most representative of Madonnas post-Kabbalah enlightened singer-songwriterdom. Backed by a twangy gee-tar, Madge-turned-Esther serves up life lessons wrapped around warm, singalong-friendly melodies crafted alongside Ryan Tedder. Its very American Life but then, there are these fresh and unusual production tics that elevate the track beyond just its guitar-led backbone: A demonic vocoder on loop, orgasmic moans, synths blipping and bleeping throughout its all so weird, but in the best way possible. Mother Mary, cant you help me? Cause Ive gone astray Its a cautionary tale of getting swept up in substance (weed, whiskey and sniffing glue, to name a few), sung by the woman whos most certainly seen, done and Instagrammed it alland lived to tell.

Ghosttown

Ghosttown is the only song that the public hadnt already heard prior to the Rebel Heart semi-release last night and possibly the best surprise. Here, Madonnas giving us the first real power ballad on the record a sumptuous electro-ballad, at that. (And, if the writing credits are to be believed, the only song of the set that Madonna penned with no co-writers!) When it all falls, when it all falls down Do you hear that? Those are sweeping melodies. MEL-O-DIES. If there was any major complaint to be made about Madonnas past few studio albums (and trust, there were many), a lack of memorable songcraft is perhaps one of the most overwhelming offenses. When the worldgetscoldIll be your cover/Letsjustholdonto each other. She cant do this alone we know that well enough, and Ghosttown is a gorgeously earnest, us-against-the-world anthem tailored for two souls wandering alone in this mad, mad world.

Unapologetic Bitch

As one of Madges most frequently hashtagged titles teased from her latest LP, there was already a lot riding on Unapologetic Bitch, which was originally rumored to be the lead single from the set. Its not anymore the more universally appealing Living For Love will go out first instead although the song certainly would have certainly raised a few eyebrows had it gone to radio: The heavily reggae-tinged Diplo track is all sorts of Rihanna-esque phucklessness, sung by a woman who has, historically, not been one to apologize (And Im not sorry) too often. It might sound like Im an unapologetic bitch, but sometimes you know I gotta call it like it is, she quite contently declares across the chorus. Intriguingly, as far as uptempo tracks are concerned, Unapologetic Bitch is the collections most laid-back and breezy. Then again, its a break-up anthem. Sometimes, the biggest middle finger is simply remaining unbothered. (But seriously, can we get a RiRi rih-mix of this one in the near future?)

Illuminati

Kanye West. Madonna. Its Madeezus, bitch. The dark and menacing Illuminati is purely the stuff of Yeezys last LP Yeezus as far as the production concerned, from the stabbing synths to the chilly, bass-heavy beats. But lyrically speaking? Madge is giving us a history lesson about what the Illuminati actually is, going all the way back to the Founding Fathers (she was there, after all) and reminding us of what its not: Its not Jay-Z and Beyonce, its not Nicki or Lil Wayne/Its not Oprah and Obama, the Pope and Rihanna/Queen Elizabeth or Kanye, she sing-raps on the name-dropping, Vogue-like verses. Enlightenment, The Pope and RiRi on the dance floor? Only Madonna would, and Kanye would only be too happy to help shade the distracting deception of the media. Its like everybody in this party shining like Illuminati!

Bitch Im Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)

Its about time the Queen Of Pop decided to embrace her legacy and celebratewell, Madonna. No introspection to be found here, children: Grandmadonna is popping her puss on the dance floor, reminding us of her legacy (You cant mess with this lucky star!), embarrassing and entertaining us all, just as always.The twerk-friendly, clap-heavy club bop is all about popping bottles and getting 2 On. Really, its unhinged: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! she screams throughout. (Hint: You are not Madonna, because she is Madonna.) All of the Diplo and Sophie-produced noises are positively batty, from the Baauer-like beat drops to the tearing sound that rips through the speakers at the end. (Madges leotard busting at the seams after one too many booty drops?) To add to the balls-to-the-wall affair, Queen Minaj arrives at the tail-end to add some fierceness and pay respect to Madonnas bad bitch-ness. (Thats Miu Miu on my shoes or a shout out to MuuMuse, Nicki?) Her appreciation for Madge is well known, which only makes for an even more deliciously reverent assist. Im Madonna, these hoes know.

Madonna fans, we can breathe a sigh of relief: Shes actually giving us all her L-U-V this time around.

To anyone whose main (tired) criticism about Madonna is that the woman is trying to sound current: Well, of course she is, you idiot. What, like Taylor Swift isnt? Thats the entire business of being a pop star.

Yes, shes old now, and thats certainly not going to change. But shes also not done dancing, partying and celebrating, and **** whoever thinks she should be: Madonna is challenging the way a 50+ year old female pop star is perceived in pop culture and how a woman her age should act, whether you like it or not. Sorry, shes not slipping on a gown, belting out orchestral renditions of her greatest hits and quietly fading into obscurity youll have to drag her out screaming from the studio first.

That being said, beyond the bragging and bitchiness of Rebel Heart, the album also promises to be something more introspective. Songs like Ghosttown and Devil Pray even Living For Love come from a place of someone who has truly lived (and loved) life to the fullest. Really, what more can we ask of Madonna in 2015?

This is an eclectic record based on what weve already heard, from 90s House to trap to reggae to twangy acoustic guitar-led balladry: Theres no shortage of sounds to come from Rebel Heart. Unlike Madges more obvious trend-hopping past LPs, from recruiting Timbaland two years too late on Hard Candy to the immediately dated-sounding dance floor foray with MDNA, Rebel Heart feels fresh and forward-thinking, and more faithful to Madonnas #unapologeticartistry. Theres also safety in numbers: With production from acts like Diplo and Kanye, both of whom are far from one-trick production ponies, Madonnas not going to be susceptible to serving up reductive shit.

In fact, for the first time in over a decade, Madonnas sounds like shes blazing trails again, just as an icon should.

And this is only the beginning.

Rebel Heart will be released on March 10. (iTunes)

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Great review. Muu makes a point - why accuse an act of trying to sound 'current' when most chart fodder belongs to pop stars trying to sound current! Today's young music buyers aren't going to demand SAW or Shep Pettibone sounds, for instance.

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To be honest, other than Dean Piper in The Telegraph with his RIDICULOUS article, the reaction seems really positive towards these songs. Everywhere I look, on other forums and blogs, the main commentary seems to agree that it's her best stuff in a decade. Happy times

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To be honest, other than Dean Piper in The Telegraph with his RIDICULOUS article, the reaction seems really positive towards these songs. Everywhere I look, on other forums and blogs, the main commentary seems to agree that it's her best stuff in a decade. Happy times

Link?

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NY POST

Madonna surprises with six new song release

Even after more than three decades in the game, Madonna is still full of surprises.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the New York megastar shocked the world by releasing six brand new songs from her forthcoming album “Rebel Heart” on iTunes. Anyone placing a pre-order will get the half-dozen new songs immediately, more will be available on February 9 and the rest will come on March 10.

Although the move is reminiscent of Beyonce’s surprise release of her self-titled album last year, this wasn’t Madonna’s original plan. The 56-year-old had hoped to release the lead single “Living for Love” on Valentine’s Day, 2015 and the rest of the album in March but she’s been forced into this quick release by several leaks during December – something which she had previously referred to as “artistic rape” and “terrorism.”

“I would prefer my fans to hear completed version of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating,” said Madonna via a new statement. “Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.”

So are they festive treats or lumps of coal? Here’s The Post’s verdict.

‘Living For Love’
★★★
Madge takes us to church with the first song – a euphoric, gospel-tinged dance track that will rejuvenate even the most beaten-down of souls thanks to its “love’s gonna lift me up” refrain. It should be a hit both on the dance floor and the pop charts.

‘Devil Pray’
★★★
The Catholic guilt sounds like it’s returned to Ms Ciccone. After going through a laundry list of possible narcotic adventures and losing herself in a woozy house beat (partially concocted by Drake-collaborator DJ Dahi and Grimes cohort Blood Diamonds), Madonna begs for salvation; “Mother Mary can’t you help me/’Cause I’ve gone astray.” The push-pull between light and dark makes “Devil Pray” an absorbing cut.

‘Ghosttown’
★★½
The first six available tracks of “Rebel Heart” are hectic both musically and emotionally but in the middle is this brief moment of sincerity that seems to find Madonna channelling her maternal side. “When the world gets cold/I’ll be your cover,” she sings on “Ghosttown,” a big synth-ballad of solidarity that is simple but touchingly tender.

‘Unapologetic Bitch’
★★
Back in 2013, Madonna and her-then 25-year-old dancer boyfriend Brahim Zaibat ended their relationship and it’s hard to believe that she’s not referring to it here. The dancehall influenced “Unapologetic Bitch” (one of the several tracks she worked on with producer Diplo) is musically passable, but it’s the lyrical rage that makes you stand up and take notice; “You never really knew how much your selfish bulls**t cost me/But f**k you.” Ouch.

‘Illuminati’
★★★
You can always rely on Madonna to get weird and she certainly does on this Kanye West-produced cut. A sinister beat underscores Madonna’s demonic vocals, which make ambiguous references to President Obama, Jay Z, Beyonce and many more in the perceived New World Order. It’s hard to figure out if Madonna is making fun of the concept of the Illuminati or subtly giving out signals but either way, it’s a song that take her in an exciting new direction.

‘Bitch, I’m Madonna’
★½
Madonna’s headlong dive into the world of modern dance music goes noticeably astray here. “Bitch I’m Madonna” is a messy party anthem that veers wildly from bleepy electro to churning dubstep while also making room for uninspired Nicki Minaj guest spot. The tongue-in-cheek spirit isn’t enough to redeem it from being the clear weak-spot on the first selections of “Rebel Heart.”

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the vocal on LFL verses is deliberatelly..listen Human Nature.

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NY Post reviews used to be four stars max- not sure if that's changed. But, it is the NY Post.

I somewhat agree with Jim Farber- the three tracks he praised most are easily the standouts among the six.

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rebel-heart-540x220.jpg


REBEL HEART


20 DEC, 2014




BILLBOARD REVIEW: MADONNA SURVIVES IN STYLE ON ‘LIVING FOR LOVE’

Billboard.com reviews Madonna’s new single, Living For Love:


When listening to Madonna sing a line like “Took me to heaven, let me fall down/Now that it’s over, I’m gonna carry on” on new single “Living For Love,” it’s hard not to think of the disappointment the pop queen felt earlier this week, when her thirteenth album leaked online in demo form before it was even officially announced. Fortunately for fans, that initial shock is over, and Madge is carrying on with an album release — “Living For Love” previews Rebel Heart, now due out in March, and hints at the defiant pose that the follow-up to 2012’s MDNA may strike after a few overstuffed dance projects.


Unlike Madonna’s previous two lead singles, the pre-EDM banger “4 Minutes” and the cheerleader pep talk “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” “Living For Love” leaves its focus on its lyrics, with the singer beginning over a regal piano line that’s eventually joined by pulsing percussion. The confidence Madonna displays on the track recalls singular classics like “Express Yourself” and “Like A Prayer,” and when the song weaves its way toward a throbbing drop, Madonna continues crooning, refusing to be relegated to the background. “Living For Love” sounds like a giddy combination of Madonna’s past and present, and represents an encouraging sign for a 2015 project that was unexpectedly thrown into jeopardy at the end of 2014.


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MTV sucking up to Madonna again

http://www.mtv.com/news/2032728/madonna-releases-new-songs/

"So what did we learn today? Madonna is and forever will be the reigning queen. You keep doing you, girl."

Wow seriously? I'm surprised, i thought Gaga was "the reigning queen" according to them :newspaper:

Oh well it's not too late for redemption i guess :stir:

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Well, her title is very much cemented on the pop ground. There will always be a fluke wannabe temporarily blinding the industry, but once its all set and done Madonna is firmly seated on that throne.

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MTV sucking up to Madonna again

http://www.mtv.com/news/2032728/madonna-releases-new-songs/

"So what did we learn today? Madonna is and forever will be the reigning queen. You keep doing you, girl."

WTF the picture they choose to illustrate the article :manson:

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