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I think critics quite like her in recent years. Even MDNA has 64 Metacritic points, which is quite good compared to other pop diva efforts. They used to hate her when she was younger in 80's.

Artpop and Prism have 61, Britney Jean 50 and A.K.A. Only 45.

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Drudge Report already posted the article, others will follow.

Closet case Matt drudge posting anti-M articles for his gay hating right wing base. Too rich.

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Good review overall, though I think he missed the point of DP. Also, I don't know which song mentions ISIS?

Madonna Sings About the Islamic State and Sniffing Glue on Her Great New Album 'Rebel Heart'
December 28, 2014
Associate Editor
On paper, Madonna singing about the Islamic State and the Illuminati sounds atrocious, but Rebel Heart is easily Madge's best album in at least 16 years. The artist initially planned to drop the album in the spring, but after a series of tracks leaked, she decided to release the first six song on iTunes, three months before the whole album comes out in March.

When the songs premiered, gay Twitter naturally exploded—some people were literally downloading the tracks on their smartphones at gay bars—but many fans expected little from Madonna's 13th album. Since her 1998 comeback Ray of Light, Madonna has released five full-lengths, but only two have been truly worthwhile: Music andConfessions on a Dance Floor. In recent years, instead of collaborating with relatively obscure producers as she did on classics like Erotica and Ray of Light, Madonna has hired major names like Timbaland and Benny Benassi. The results, 2008's Hard Candyand 2012's MDNA, sounded tepid. On "Give Me All Your Luvin'," a 2012 song featuring Nicki Minaj and MIA, she sounded downright bland when placed next to the rappers' swag, like the queen of pop was attempting to reclaim her title from female MCs who had never stolen her throne in the first place. Coupled with an awkward Super Bowl performance and a lackluster grinding session with Miley Cyrus, some fans believed Madonna had lost her creative way and become a vampire lusting after her competitors' youth.

Rebel Heart takes this critique and uses it as gasoline for empowerment anthems and vulnerable confessions perfect for the surreal, tragic year known as 2014 . The lead single "Living for Love" discusses surviving after a breakup with a guy Madonna left herself vulnerable to. (The person could easily be her haters.) "I'm gonna carry on," Madonna triumphantly sings. "Living for love / I'm not giving up."

Against a throbbing Diplo beat on a later track called "Bitch, I'm Madonna," her angriest song since 1994's "Human Nature," the pop star sings about "jumping in the pool and swimming with our clothes on" and then imitates the ageist critics who complain about her dressing like a twentysomething. "Who do you think you are?" she angrily asks, before answering herself: "Bitch, I'm Madonna." Next, Nicki Minaj jumps on the track, embodying Madonna. "Ain't got a thing left for me to prove / It's that bottle service all night," she raps. "Bitch, I'm Madonna. These hoes know." Unlike her "Give Me All Your Luvin'" verse, Minaj's vocal swagger compliments Madonna instead of overpowering her. Madonna's anger gives her a charisma we haven't seen since she danced alone in a dance studio to "Hung Up" nearly a decade ago.

On another Diplo joint, "Unapologetic Bitch," she becomes an Anna Wintour–like boss, echoing "Human Nature": "It might sound like I'm an unapologetic bitch / but sometimes, you know I've got to call it like it is," she sings. "You know you never really knew how much you loved me 'til you lost me / Did you? / You know you never really knew how much your selfish bullshit cost me / Oh, fuck you."

As she did on her recent tour, where she flashed her nipple while singing a ballad version of "Like a Virgin," Madonna veers into the ridiculous on "Illuminati." "Rihanna don't know the new world order," she sings. "It's not Isis or the phoenix, cameras of Egypt." The song starts as a vague, confusing meditation on the media, but the song's chorus ("It's like everybody in this party shining like Illuminati") elevates the track from a piece of camp to a great dance banger. Few listeners can relate to a global superstar's analysis of a celebrity-oriented conspiracy theory, but everyone can relate to feeling like a superstar at a club for a few fleeting minutes.

Madonna's surprising relatability sounds like downright vulnerability on other tracks. "Devil Pray" opens with string sounds reminiscent of Madonna's American Life singer-songwriter phase, but avoids the awkwardness of a pop star channeling her inner Liz Phair when a beat kicks in as Madonna sings, "We can do drugs and we can smoke weed and we can drink whiskey." (She goes on to brag about how they could sniff glue and take E. Did I mention she's 56?) Like "Illuminati," the refrain seems absurd, but when Madonna admits she's "getting weaker" and asks to "sing hallelujah" and save her "soul," she sounds honest, even spiritual, and for the first time since Confessions on a Dance Floor, she finally fucking nails it.

The vulnerability crescendos on the standout track "Ghosttown," one of those great dance songs that's moving but not catchy enough to become a single. "Everything's gone to hell," Madonna sings. "All we've got is love." Capturing the mood of the country, she asks how we've got to such an odd, terrible place. During the refrain she sounds like she's painting herself as a savior, belting, "When it all falls down / I'll be your fire when the lights go out." But at the end of the chorus, she reveals she's discussing a one-on-one relationship with the listener: "We'll be two souls in a ghost town."

The trick captures what made Madonna great in the 80s and 90s: her ability to sing cliches ("I am a material girl," "we need a holiday," "you've got to make him express himself") and transform them into both personalized anthems and universal truths. And the slick, expensive production is catchy as hell this time around. What else can you ask for?

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A positive review but how the hell people are having difficulty understanding the lyrics to DP and Illuminati is beyond me. Is everyone in our digital age unable to take anything deeper than face value, or to analyze what is not really a difficult meaning?

And by no stretch is Ghosttown a dance song but whatev.

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Also, I don't know which song mentions ISIS?

Illuminati mentions ISIS

Behind the curtain of the new world order

It's not platinum encrypted corners

It's not Isis or the phoenix, pyramids of Egypt

Don't make it into something sordid

It's not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

It's not the Google of United States

It's not Bieber or Lebron

Clinton or Obama

Or anyone you love to hate

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Illuminati mentions ISIS

Behind the curtain of the new world order

It's not platinum encrypted corners

It's not Isis or the phoenix, pyramids of Egypt

Don't make it into something sordid

It's not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

It's not the Google of United States

It's not Bieber or Lebron

Clinton or Obama

Or anyone you love to hate

But that's a different Isis, no? As in, the Egyptian goddess? I don't think that's the Islamic State (ISIS) she's referring to. At least from the context of the lyric, that's what it seems to me

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Illuminati mentions ISIS

Behind the curtain of the new world order

It's not platinum encrypted corners

It's not Isis or the phoenix, pyramids of Egypt

Don't make it into something sordid

It's not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

It's not the Google of United States

It's not Bieber or Lebron

Clinton or Obama

Or anyone you love to hate

Thanks! I didn't realize it was Obama for a second time after Clinton. I was scratching my head trying to figure out that one.

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Thanks! I didn't realize it was Obama for a second time after Clinton. I was scratching my head trying to figure out that one.

Obama mentioned twice? why that privilege!? :laugh:

It is true, in this context I think the mention of Isis is more related with the Egyptian goddess than the Islamic State, but then again, its association is inevitable.

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How come that Friedman character writes his usual shit and is taken as gospel and picked up everywhere? Ugh

define "everywhere"...and if so, yes this world is crazy!

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Good review overall, though I think he missed the point of DP. Also, I don't know which song mentions ISIS?

Madonna Sings About the Islamic State and Sniffing Glue on Her Great New Album 'Rebel Heart'
December 28, 2014
Associate Editor
On paper, Madonna singing about the Islamic State and the Illuminati sounds atrocious, but Rebel Heart is easily Madge's best album in at least 16 years. The artist initially planned to drop the album in the spring, but after a series of tracks leaked, she decided to release the first six song on iTunes, three months before the whole album comes out in March.

When the songs premiered, gay Twitter naturally exploded—some people were literally downloading the tracks on their smartphones at gay bars—but many fans expected little from Madonna's 13th album. Since her 1998 comeback Ray of Light, Madonna has released five full-lengths, but only two have been truly worthwhile: Music andConfessions on a Dance Floor. In recent years, instead of collaborating with relatively obscure producers as she did on classics like Erotica and Ray of Light, Madonna has hired major names like Timbaland and Benny Benassi. The results, 2008's Hard Candyand 2012's MDNA, sounded tepid. On "Give Me All Your Luvin'," a 2012 song featuring Nicki Minaj and MIA, she sounded downright bland when placed next to the rappers' swag, like the queen of pop was attempting to reclaim her title from female MCs who had never stolen her throne in the first place. Coupled with an awkward Super Bowl performance and a lackluster grinding session with Miley Cyrus, some fans believed Madonna had lost her creative way and become a vampire lusting after her competitors' youth.

Rebel Heart takes this critique and uses it as gasoline for empowerment anthems and vulnerable confessions perfect for the surreal, tragic year known as 2014 . The lead single "Living for Love" discusses surviving after a breakup with a guy Madonna left herself vulnerable to. (The person could easily be her haters.) "I'm gonna carry on," Madonna triumphantly sings. "Living for love / I'm not giving up."

Against a throbbing Diplo beat on a later track called "Bitch, I'm Madonna," her angriest song since 1994's "Human Nature," the pop star sings about "jumping in the pool and swimming with our clothes on" and then imitates the ageist critics who complain about her dressing like a twentysomething. "Who do you think you are?" she angrily asks, before answering herself: "Bitch, I'm Madonna." Next, Nicki Minaj jumps on the track, embodying Madonna. "Ain't got a thing left for me to prove / It's that bottle service all night," she raps. "Bitch, I'm Madonna. These hoes know." Unlike her "Give Me All Your Luvin'" verse, Minaj's vocal swagger compliments Madonna instead of overpowering her. Madonna's anger gives her a charisma we haven't seen since she danced alone in a dance studio to "Hung Up" nearly a decade ago.

On another Diplo joint, "Unapologetic Bitch," she becomes an Anna Wintour–like boss, echoing "Human Nature": "It might sound like I'm an unapologetic bitch / but sometimes, you know I've got to call it like it is," she sings. "You know you never really knew how much you loved me 'til you lost me / Did you? / You know you never really knew how much your selfish bullshit cost me / Oh, fuck you."

As she did on her recent tour, where she flashed her nipple while singing a ballad version of "Like a Virgin," Madonna veers into the ridiculous on "Illuminati." "Rihanna don't know the new world order," she sings. "It's not Isis or the phoenix, cameras of Egypt." The song starts as a vague, confusing meditation on the media, but the song's chorus ("It's like everybody in this party shining like Illuminati") elevates the track from a piece of camp to a great dance banger. Few listeners can relate to a global superstar's analysis of a celebrity-oriented conspiracy theory, but everyone can relate to feeling like a superstar at a club for a few fleeting minutes.

Madonna's surprising relatability sounds like downright vulnerability on other tracks. "Devil Pray" opens with string sounds reminiscent of Madonna's American Life singer-songwriter phase, but avoids the awkwardness of a pop star channeling her inner Liz Phair when a beat kicks in as Madonna sings, "We can do drugs and we can smoke weed and we can drink whiskey." (She goes on to brag about how they could sniff glue and take E. Did I mention she's 56?) Like "Illuminati," the refrain seems absurd, but when Madonna admits she's "getting weaker" and asks to "sing hallelujah" and save her "soul," she sounds honest, even spiritual, and for the first time since Confessions on a Dance Floor, she finally fucking nails it.

The vulnerability crescendos on the standout track "Ghosttown," one of those great dance songs that's moving but not catchy enough to become a single. "Everything's gone to hell," Madonna sings. "All we've got is love." Capturing the mood of the country, she asks how we've got to such an odd, terrible place. During the refrain she sounds like she's painting herself as a savior, belting, "When it all falls down / I'll be your fire when the lights go out." But at the end of the chorus, she reveals she's discussing a one-on-one relationship with the listener: "We'll be two souls in a ghost town."

The trick captures what made Madonna great in the 80s and 90s: her ability to sing cliches ("I am a material girl," "we need a holiday," "you've got to make him express himself") and transform them into both personalized anthems and universal truths. And the slick, expensive production is catchy as hell this time around. What else can you ask for?

I found this review to be dripping with snide little digs throughout. When reviewing new songs, do people have to always bring up past albums they did not like. Also, calling her Superbowl performance awkward was unwarranted and goes against the great reaction she received everywhere. Plus, the writer seems to miss the point about things. ISIS in this song is referring to the Egyptian Goddess and the drug references in Devil Prays is actually an anti-drug message.

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How come that Friedman character writes his usual shit and is taken as gospel and picked up everywhere? Ugh

Yes, it is shocking that his putrid article is now being quoted more and more in other parts of the media.

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http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/music/madonna-s-spiritual-and-earthy-sides-clash-in-new-songs-1.1182050

Leave it to Madonna to rhyme "illuminati" with "party," as she does on "Illuminati," from her upcoming album, "Rebel Heart."

Like Prince, she has always been obsessed with both earthly pleasures and spiritual transcendence. But rarely have these two themes collided in such a head-on manner as they do on the six "Rebel Heart" tracks she recently released after unfinished versions of some album tracks leaked; since then, 14 more unauthorized songs have surfaced on the Internet.

("Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift," she said in a statement, though she is selling them online, not giving them away for free. The full album will be available March 10.)

So what’s on Madonna’s mind? Just about everything. On "Devil Pray," a song about trying to overcome addiction, she sings "Take my sins and wash them away/Teach me how to pray." Yet "Bitch I’m Madonna," which features a guest rap from Nicki Minaj, is one of the most simplistic party anthems she’s ever done: "We’ll be drinking, ain’t nobody gonna stop us/And well be kissing everyone that’s around us."

"Unapologetic Bitch" is an angry breakup song, while "Living for Love" is a gospel-inflected anthem about the healing power of love, and "Ghosttown" is about retreating from the harshness of the world with your lover.

Granted, Madonna, 56, has never been particularly interested in thematic coherence on her albums. But these tracks are really all over the place. "The reason I wanted to call the record ‘Rebel Heart’ was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality," Madonna told Billboard.com. "The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me. In my mind, it was almost like I wanted to do a two-record set."

"The music leads me – so I get lost in the sound of the music, and that creates a kind of emotional palate," she elaborated to RollingStone.com. "I found as I would look back at my songs and witness what I had written, I was coming from two very distinct places. … I was observing, ‘Oh, these are two very strong sides of me that I need to express.’ "

Not including Madonna, who co-wrote and co-produced each song, 14 co-writers and 10 co-producers are credited on these six tracks. Alicia Keys co-wrote and played piano on "Living for Love," and Kanye West co-produced "Illuminati." Diplo – whose co-produced M.I.A.’s "Paper Planes" as well as hits by Usher, Chris Brown and Alex Clare — is the dominant collaborator, with four co-writing and three co-producing credits.

Each song lives in a stylistic world of its own. "Living for Love" is the most ecstatic dance number, "Devil Pray" is moody mid-tempo semi-acoustic pop, and "Ghosttown" is an atmospheric, warmly crooned ballad. "Unapologetic Bitch" is ska-rap, and on the chilly "Illuminati," Madonna’s voice is processed to the point where it doesn’t really sound human. "Bitch I’m Madonna" has a swirling, futuristic sound, and Madonna sings here with a childish sing-song quality, punctuated by angry outbursts.

And yet, despite their differences, these tracks have one thing in common: With their strong hooks, they all have the potential to be successful singles. And that kind of consistency hasn’t really been a hallmark of Madonna’s most recent albums.

Madonna may have been forced into releasing these songs, and she’s not happy about it, having called it "a form of terrorism" and "artistic rape." But it’s going to work to her advantage, since these six tracks create a very good first impression of the "Rebel Heart" album.

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My god, some people really think that it's ISIS (the Islamic State) that she refers in Illuminati? :laugh:

It's clearly the egyptian goddess, she even sings "pyramids of Egypt" in the same sentence. Journalists are getting more and more ignorant these days... :cries:

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My god, some people really think that it's ISIS (the Islamic State) that she refers in Illuminati? :laugh:

It's clearly the egyptian goddess, she even sings "pyramids of Egypt" in the same sentence. Journalists are getting more and more ignorant these days... :cries:

They are beyond pathetic.

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I found this review to be dripping with snide little digs throughout. When reviewing new songs, do people have to always bring up past albums they did not like. Also, calling her Superbowl performance awkward was unwarranted and goes against the great reaction she received everywhere. Plus, the writer seems to miss the point about things. ISIS in this song is referring to the Egyptian Goddess and the drug references in Devil Prays is actually an anti-drug message.

I agree. The review of the new album was overall positive, but there were digs about M's past work and also inaccuracies (for example the nipple flash in the MDNA tour was during Human Nature, not Like a Virgin).

I liked the way the Boston Globe referenced MDNA: "a ruminative dance record for Ciroc-sippers in a Parisian discotheque". It summarized why that album might not have clicked with the general public without putting it down.

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i tweeted the guy.. i think he corrected it because i don't see it on his article anymore. :)

That's great! Can you imagine if other media outlets started running with the story that she was making light of ISIS by putting it into a pop song?

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http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/music/madonna-s-spiritual-and-earthy-sides-clash-in-new-songs-1.1182050

Leave it to Madonna to rhyme "illuminati" with "party," as she does on "Illuminati," from her upcoming album, "Rebel Heart."

Like Prince, she has always been obsessed with both earthly pleasures and spiritual transcendence. But rarely have these two themes collided in such a head-on manner as they do on the six "Rebel Heart" tracks she recently released after unfinished versions of some album tracks leaked; since then, 14 more unauthorized songs have surfaced on the Internet.

("Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift," she said in a statement, though she is selling them online, not giving them away for free. The full album will be available March 10.)

So whats on Madonnas mind? Just about everything. On "Devil Pray," a song about trying to overcome addiction, she sings "Take my sins and wash them away/Teach me how to pray." Yet "Bitch Im Madonna," which features a guest rap from Nicki Minaj, is one of the most simplistic party anthems shes ever done: "Well be drinking, aint nobody gonna stop us/And well be kissing everyone thats around us."

"Unapologetic Bitch" is an angry breakup song, while "Living for Love" is a gospel-inflected anthem about the healing power of love, and "Ghosttown" is about retreating from the harshness of the world with your lover.

Granted, Madonna, 56, has never been particularly interested in thematic coherence on her albums. But these tracks are really all over the place. "The reason I wanted to call the record Rebel Heart was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality," Madonna told Billboard.com. "The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me. In my mind, it was almost like I wanted to do a two-record set."

"The music leads me so I get lost in the sound of the music, and that creates a kind of emotional palate," she elaborated to RollingStone.com. "I found as I would look back at my songs and witness what I had written, I was coming from two very distinct places. I was observing, Oh, these are two very strong sides of me that I need to express. "

Not including Madonna, who co-wrote and co-produced each song, 14 co-writers and 10 co-producers are credited on these six tracks. Alicia Keys co-wrote and played piano on "Living for Love," and Kanye West co-produced "Illuminati." Diplo whose co-produced M.I.A.s "Paper Planes" as well as hits by Usher, Chris Brown and Alex Clare is the dominant collaborator, with four co-writing and three co-producing credits.

Each song lives in a stylistic world of its own. "Living for Love" is the most ecstatic dance number, "Devil Pray" is moody mid-tempo semi-acoustic pop, and "Ghosttown" is an atmospheric, warmly crooned ballad. "Unapologetic Bitch" is ska-rap, and on the chilly "Illuminati," Madonnas voice is processed to the point where it doesnt really sound human. "Bitch Im Madonna" has a swirling, futuristic sound, and Madonna sings here with a childish sing-song quality, punctuated by angry outbursts.

And yet, despite their differences, these tracks have one thing in common: With their strong hooks, they all have the potential to be successful singles. And that kind of consistency hasnt really been a hallmark of Madonnas most recent albums.

Madonna may have been forced into releasing these songs, and shes not happy about it, having called it "a form of terrorism" and "artistic rape." But its going to work to her advantage, since these six tracks create a very good first impression of the "Rebel Heart" album.

:wow:

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Some people just itch to write bad things about her so badly that they manifest the negative shit in their minds lol

I don't see how they can get off on Madonna's supposed misfortunes. What horrible lives they must live in.

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My god, some people really think that it's ISIS (the Islamic State) that she refers in Illuminati? :laugh:

It's clearly the egyptian goddess, she even sings "pyramids of Egypt" in the same sentence. Journalists are getting more and more ignorant these days... :cries:

And they call themselves critics/journalists....

1300559_1383703671938_full.jpg

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Everyone is so preoccupied with Gaga that no one has commented on the post above re: Jim Farber in the NY Daily News going so far as to review the demos. I would be annoyed if I was Madonna, although at least he is positive. I had to skim the article as I don't want any spoilers.

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Everyone is so preoccupied with Gaga that no one has commented on the post above re: Jim Farber in the NY Daily News going so far as to review the demos. I would be annoyed if I was Madonna, although at least he is positive. I had to skim the article as I don't want any spoilers.

I previously posted this article in the demos thread. I purposely posted there instead of this thread because I know some people don't want spoilers.

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I previously posted this article in the demos thread. I purposely posted there instead of this thread because I know some people don't want spoilers.

That was very thoughtful of you! I hope it can be removed from here so others don't see it.

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It is funny with reviews, though. They come out sometimes nearly a month before an album. I had probably read 20 reviews of MDNA (mostly good) before I heard a single thing other than GMAYL and GGW.

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Some people just itch to write bad things about her so badly that they manifest the negative shit in their minds lol

They've been dragging her for thirty years. And like that maya Angelou poem, she rises.

It's almost like it's the natural course of things.

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They've been dragging her for thirty years. And like that maya Angelou poem, she rises.

It's almost like it's the natural course of things.

I love that you just compared M to an Angelou poem. So fitting <3

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