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5 minutes ago, Future feat Quavo said:

Is there a score?

No!

It's The Variety type of review without a score.

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3 hours ago, Herfaceremains said:

I think it’s important to remember that traditionally music critics have been straight male, rock-oriented, unprogressive, and anti-pop. I don’t see much of an evolution in this, other than in the way we’ve see nerds transform into hipsters because they adhere to the uniform society has prescribed and they went to the gym thanks to the tech industry’s economic clout and subsequent cultural takeover! The very notion of genre-shifting gives these people hives, and so Madonna is mostly not seen as an artist, but as a pillaging, cultural-appropriating, mediocrely talented entertainer who has simply skated over the zeitgeist as if by sheer force of narcissistic determination. These, I believe, are the assumptions of the writers of each 3/5, and some of the 4/5 reviews we have seen.

There has nearly always been a resistance to the notion that Madonna is creative and original. Instead, the only explanation for her success has to come from her deft manipulation and deceit. It’s the very essence of the patriarchy and its pernicious misogyny, and while the popular genres are no longer rock and soul, critics seem to approach Madonna as if she were still defined by another era when that was the case. 

My main point regarding critics and why I personally find them all essentially disappointing is that, as journalists, you’d expect them to seek a unique perspective on their subject. However, nearly every review is written as if based off of some version of a Cliff Notes bio born outside of context and the broader scope of investigation. This leads to a very monotonous, seemingly lazy approach to understanding the music, and most certainly to understanding Madonna herself; it’s as if the writer and reader require a revisionist history lesson in order to even begin to grasp who Madonna is and what she has done, the most irritating common thread in the collective narrative being that Madonna was once an iffy trendsetter by design, but has been assaulting the world with an uneven and mediocre output of trend-chasing albums since she was whipped into submission post-American Life. Ironically, you’d get the feeling that some of her fans agree with this narrative, thus reinforcing my theory that there are a good deal of masochists among us to have chosen to endure something they don’t actually appreciate for more than a decade! It’s as if Madonna has a requirement to be purely confessional, or limited to the naïveté of the anthemic disco-stomper. If her music and lyrics don’t address this need more obviously she has failed: she didn’t become Joni Mitchell, so how dare she pick up a guitar and write words that aren’t tantalizing, veiled confessionals; she didn’t grow grey, and become the wistful, nonchalant vagabond, writing enigmatic academic poetry like Patti Smith, and so how dare she manifest as a real sentient human being on a real human journey towards awakening and enlightenment. Oh! And we mustn’t forget that she is the only human being alive to wish to preserve her youthfulness. She should just stop investing in herself altogether beyond her past, acceptable accomplishments, and she should especially unplug from all technology because, well, she’s been old for over ten years and must stop challenging herself and the general public through this outrageous desire to invent, to innovate, to inspire and to be inspired. Otherwise, no matter how interesting it seems, it is “BIZARRE”.

Is it bizarre? Sure, it’s a narrative that deserves to be explored to a degree, but if you repeat something enough, it becomes the truth. “Madonna must fit into the quirky box now if she wants us to qualify this output”! It’s both disheartening and hysterical all at once! 

I have read very little of value that deserves to become the truth in these reviews. I can make up my own mind about what is good and bad, and Madame X is quintessentially Madonna at her best. Whether or not that is good enough for someone else doesn’t interest me much at all unless they are able to tell me why with knowledge, passion and intelligence, which is what a music critic is paid to do after all! I’m still waiting. 

 

Fantastically written with insightful observations. The words 'nail' and 'head' spring to mind! Well done!

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3 hours ago, Herfaceremains said:

I think it’s important to remember that traditionally music critics have been straight male, rock-oriented, unprogressive, and anti-pop. I don’t see much of an evolution in this, other than in the way we’ve see nerds transform into hipsters because they adhere to the uniform society has prescribed and they went to the gym thanks to the tech industry’s economic clout and subsequent cultural takeover! The very notion of genre-shifting gives these people hives, and so Madonna is mostly not seen as an artist, but as a pillaging, cultural-appropriating, mediocrely talented entertainer who has simply skated over the zeitgeist as if by sheer force of narcissistic determination. These, I believe, are the assumptions of the writers of each 3/5, and some of the 4/5 reviews we have seen.

There has nearly always been a resistance to the notion that Madonna is creative and original. Instead, the only explanation for her success has to come from her deft manipulation and deceit. It’s the very essence of the patriarchy and its pernicious misogyny, and while the popular genres are no longer rock and soul, critics seem to approach Madonna as if she were still defined by another era when that was the case. 

My main point regarding critics and why I personally find them all essentially disappointing is that, as journalists, you’d expect them to seek a unique perspective on their subject. However, nearly every review is written as if based off of some version of a Cliff Notes bio born outside of context and the broader scope of investigation. This leads to a very monotonous, seemingly lazy approach to understanding the music, and most certainly to understanding Madonna herself; it’s as if the writer and reader require a revisionist history lesson in order to even begin to grasp who Madonna is and what she has done, the most irritating common thread in the collective narrative being that Madonna was once an iffy trendsetter by design, but has been assaulting the world with an uneven and mediocre output of trend-chasing albums since she was whipped into submission post-American Life. Ironically, you’d get the feeling that some of her fans agree with this narrative, thus reinforcing my theory that there are a good deal of masochists among us to have chosen to endure something they don’t actually appreciate for more than a decade! It’s as if Madonna has a requirement to be purely confessional, or limited to the naïveté of the anthemic disco-stomper. If her music and lyrics don’t address this need more obviously she has failed: she didn’t become Joni Mitchell, so how dare she pick up a guitar and write words that aren’t tantalizing, veiled confessionals; she didn’t grow grey, and become the wistful, nonchalant vagabond, writing enigmatic academic poetry like Patti Smith, and so how dare she manifest as a real sentient human being on a real human journey towards awakening and enlightenment. Oh! And we mustn’t forget that she is the only human being alive to wish to preserve her youthfulness. She should just stop investing in herself altogether beyond her past, acceptable accomplishments, and she should especially unplug from all technology because, well, she’s been old for over ten years and must stop challenging herself and the general public through this outrageous desire to invent, to innovate, to inspire and to be inspired. Otherwise, no matter how interesting it seems, it is “BIZARRE”.

Is it bizarre? Sure, it’s a narrative that deserves to be explored to a degree, but if you repeat something enough, it becomes the truth. “Madonna must fit into the quirky box now if she wants us to qualify this output”! It’s both disheartening and hysterical all at once! 

I have read very little of value that deserves to become the truth in these reviews. I can make up my own mind about what is good and bad, and Madame X is quintessentially Madonna at her best. Whether or not that is good enough for someone else doesn’t interest me much at all unless they are able to tell me why with knowledge, passion and intelligence, which is what a music critic is paid to do after all! I’m still waiting. 

 

Fantastic post 👏👏👏

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Okay, so I've listened to the album in its entirety and I must say I'm thoroughly impressed. What an experience! It's such a diverse and satisfying collection of songs of consistently high quality. There are so many stand out tracks - especially God Control, I Don't Search I Find, Crazy, Come Alive. and Faz Gostoso. Within the context of the album Medillin sounds even better and more danceable! I'm struggling to find any filler on the deluxe version of the album!

Let's face it - there isn't anyone else in the industry releasing albums of this calibre nowadays. To think this is the same woman who released her eponymous first album followed by Like a Virgin and to realise just how much she has grown and evolved artistically since then is breathtaking. I'm so proud of her and proud for being a fan for the last 35 years. She is a gift to us all! Bravo Madonna!👏🙏

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6 hours ago, Samo said:

I'm surprised it's that high, her worst album by far. I still remember when my paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, trashed AL and gave it a rare 1 star review

I would love to know what you consider to be her best. 🙄

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AllMusic Review by 

4/5

https://www.allmusic.com/album/madame-x-mw0003274282

Madame X is the rare album from a veteran artist that puts earlier records in a different light. Ever since the 1980s, the conventional wisdom about Madonna claimed she brought trends from the musical underground for the purpose of pop hits, but Madame X -- a defiantly dense album that has little to do with pop, at least in the standard American sense -- emphasizes the artistic instincts behind these moves. The shift in perception stems from Madonna embracing a world outside of the United States. While she's been an international superstar since the dawn of her career, Madonna relocated to Lisbon, Portugal in 2017, a move that occurred two years after Rebel Heart -- an ambitious record balanced between revivals of old styles and new sounds -- failed to burn up any Billboard chart outside of Dance singles. These two developments fuel Madame X, an album that treats America as a secondary concern at best. Madonna may address the political and social unrest that's swept across the globe during the latter years of the 2010s, but her commentary is purposely broad. Perhaps Madonna errs on the side of being a little bit too broad -- on "Killers Who Are Partying," she paints herself as a martyr for every oppressed voice in the world -- yet this instinct to look outside of her experience leads her to ground Madame X in various strains of Latinx sounds, trap, and art-pop, music that not only doesn't sound much like the American pop charts in 2019, but requires focused attention in a manner that makes the songs not especially friendly to playlisting.

Madame X has its share of colorful neo-disco numbers and shimmering chill-out tracks, but they're painted in dark hues, and they're surrounded by songs so closely cloistered, they can play like mini-suites. Case in point is "Dark Ballet," an ominous number that descends into a sinister, robotic rendition of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Reed Flutes" section from The Nutcracker -- an allusion that recalls not the future, but the dystopian horror show of A Clockwork Orange. Such darkness hangs heavy over Madame X, surfacing fiercely in the clenched-mouth phrasing on "God Control," but present even on the bobbing reggae of "Future." The murk does lift on occasion -- "Come Alive" gains levity from its clustered polyrhythms -- but the somber tenor when combined with fearless exploration does mean Madame X can be demanding listening. The rhythms are immediate, but the songs aren't, nor are the opaque productions. While this thick, heady confluence of cultures and sounds may demand concentration, Madame X not only amply rewards such close listening, but its daring embrace of the world outside the U.S. underscores how Madonna has been an advocate and ally for left-of-mainstream sounds and ideas throughout her career.

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A friend of mine said he is enjoying every moment of this release because he doesn’t know how many of them there will be to come.  And I responded that I think we will see her recording music for years to come as she is so inspired and never wants to retire.  She may slow down, but I predict we get three albums in her 60s and they will all rank among her best as Madame X surely does.  And then she will release a masterpiece in her 70s mark my words!

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3 minutes ago, Msig said:

AllMusic Review by 

4/5

https://www.allmusic.com/album/madame-x-mw0003274282

Madame X is the rare album from a veteran artist that puts earlier records in a different light. Ever since the 1980s, the conventional wisdom about Madonna claimed she brought trends from the musical underground for the purpose of pop hits, but Madame X -- a defiantly dense album that has little to do with pop, at least in the standard American sense -- emphasizes the artistic instincts behind these moves. The shift in perception stems from Madonna embracing a world outside of the United States. While she's been an international superstar since the dawn of her career, Madonna relocated to Lisbon, Portugal in 2017, a move that occurred two years after Rebel Heart -- an ambitious record balanced between revivals of old styles and new sounds -- failed to burn up any Billboard chart outside of Dance singles. These two developments fuel Madame X, an album that treats America as a secondary concern at best. Madonna may address the political and social unrest that's swept across the globe during the latter years of the 2010s, but her commentary is purposely broad. Perhaps Madonna errs on the side of being a little bit too broad -- on "Killers Who Are Partying," she paints herself as a martyr for every oppressed voice in the world -- yet this instinct to look outside of her experience leads her to ground Madame X in various strains of Latinx sounds, trap, and art-pop, music that not only doesn't sound much like the American pop charts in 2019, but requires focused attention in a manner that makes the songs not especially friendly to playlisting.

Madame X has its share of colorful neo-disco numbers and shimmering chill-out tracks, but they're painted in dark hues, and they're surrounded by songs so closely cloistered, they can play like mini-suites. Case in point is "Dark Ballet," an ominous number that descends into a sinister, robotic rendition of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Reed Flutes" section from The Nutcracker -- an allusion that recalls not the future, but the dystopian horror show of A Clockwork Orange. Such darkness hangs heavy over Madame X, surfacing fiercely in the clenched-mouth phrasing on "God Control," but present even on the bobbing reggae of "Future." The murk does lift on occasion -- "Come Alive" gains levity from its clustered polyrhythms -- but the somber tenor when combined with fearless exploration does mean Madame X can be demanding listening. The rhythms are immediate, but the songs aren't, nor are the opaque productions. While this thick, heady confluence of cultures and sounds may demand concentration, Madame X not only amply rewards such close listening, but its daring embrace of the world outside the U.S. underscores how Madonna has been an advocate and ally for left-of-mainstream sounds and ideas throughout her career.

I knew All Music would come through!  This and Boston Globe and The Line of Best Fit all within 12 hours!

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50 minutes ago, Shane said:

I knew All Music would come through!  This and Boston Globe and The Line of Best Fit all within 12 hours!

I can't find the Boston Globe review, can you post it?

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1 hour ago, frzndrwnwrld said:

I would love to know what you consider to be her best. 🙄

Like a Prayer, Ray of Light, Confessions, Rebel Heart are top 4

 

True Blue, Erotica or Bedtime Stories for 5th

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11 minutes ago, acko said:

I can't find the Boston Globe review, can you post it?

https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2019/06/13/madonnaalbum/IdjGquaCB1mDYgXgawpIGJ/story.html

Madonna unbound on ‘Madame X’

By Maura Johnston Globe Correspondent,Updated June 14, 2019, 12:00 a.m.

 

Madonna has always been pop’s reigning chameleon, with each album (and movie) in her body of work representing a specific epoch in her MTV-era reign over the genre. But on “Madame X,” her 14th studio album, she makes her multifaceted nature explicit, linking the title character’s many guises (secret agent, dancer, equestrian, nun, et cetera) to the hooky album’s overall concept.

“Madame X,” released on Friday, begins with Madonna whispering the cha-cha beat, the opening to first single “Medellín.” That song, when it debuted in April, was notable not only for its incorporation of Latin pop but for its relatively chilled-out vibe; Madonna, her voice digitally tweaked yet still bearing wistfulness, sang of feeling like a teenager once again, reveling in her naivete and, ultimately, feeling as if she’d freed herself from the shackles of constant scrutiny. Given that Madonna has been the pop-music equivalent of Don DeLillo’s most photographed barn in America almost since her crash-landing into MTV nearly four decades ago, feeling free of expectations — whether they’re to collaborate with the American pop chart’s current big names, as she did on her previous three albums’ lead singles, or to age “gracefully,” whatever that might mean to the person saying it — is a liberation with great consequence.

And, truthfully, Madonna’s recent work has been at its best when she’s allowed herself to get a little weird; take the kaleidoscope-dream aura of her “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” tie-in song “Beautiful Stranger,” the gnarled synths on her James Bond theme “Die Another Day,” or even the giddy soy latte-shouting rap on her 2003 single “American Life.” A good chunk of “Madame X” has Madonna collaborating with Mirwais Ahmadzaï, the producer-slash-muse who worked with her on the latter two songs, and their creative spark provides some of the album’s most compelling moments. “Dark Ballet,” another Ahmadzaï collaboration and the song that follows “Medellín,” is a chilly indictment of the world where Madonna is channeling Joan of Arc while also taking on 2019; its back half, which hinges on a synth-sparkle rework of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Reed-Flutes,” hints at ominous things to come, imploring the cognoscenti wearing clothing by the cult streetwear brand Supreme to wake up, before returning to its refrain of “it’s a beautiful life.”

It is, to be sure, a lot. But it’s also nice to hear Madonna taking the lead in charting out pop’s possibilities after a few albums where she worked with collaborators who were almost too close to the current zeitgeist (Timbaland and Pharrell on 2008’s “Hard Candy”; Diplo and the late Avicii on her last album, 2015’s “Rebel Heart”). Latin beats and influences from her adopted homeland of Portugal abound. She does dip into the current zeitgeist of trap — on “Crave,” a collaboration with Swae Lee of the brotherly hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, but she bends it to her will, adding acoustic guitars and a wounded vocal performance to the genre’s insistent snares. But for the most part, “Madame X” lets Madonna run wild, whether it’s between the disco and the anti-gun protest on “God Control” or around the manic atmosphere of “Faz Gostoso,” a reworked version of the Brazilian-Portuguese singer Blaya’s hit. “Come Alive” is a steely protest song that opens up into a gorgeous chorale, its titular plea tweaked to sound like it’s resonating throughout the world.

 

Madonna may be pop’s pinnacle of shape-shifting, but she’s never stopped believing that pop songs can change the world. While it chafes against pop-musical expectations and outright defies them at times, “Madame X” does embrace that planet-altering ideal lyrically as well as musically, making it Madonna’s most compelling album in years.

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I hope those that have shown disapproval or disdain Towards those who heard the official tracks a few days prior to a world wide release dont listen to any leaked demos from previous eras. I believe she would hate that instead.

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I was just looking at Metacritic and saw this:

Madonna Madame X

Metascore: 73 Users Score: 91

Bruce Springsteen Western Stars

Metascore: 86 Users Score: 74

I think it's clear how biased are all these so called "professional critics", always underrating women while men get the higher rates easily. 

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2 minutes ago, Macromad said:

I was just looking at Metacritic and saw this:

Madonna Madame X

Metascore: 73 Users Score: 91

Bruce Springsteen Western Stars

Metascore: 86 Users Score: 74

I think it's clear how biased are all these so called "professional critics", always underrating women while men get the higher rates easily. 

They’re taking their sweet time to update hers with Boston Globe, All Music, and The Line of Best Fit, but those should elevate her.

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10 minutes ago, Macromad said:

I was just looking at Metacritic and saw this:

Madonna Madame X

Metascore: 73 Users Score: 91

Bruce Springsteen Western Stars

Metascore: 86 Users Score: 74

I think it's clear how biased are all these so called "professional critics", always underrating women while men get the higher rates easily. 

And according to Kworb, the album is #1 on Itunes in 44 countries, while his album is #1 in 13. 

He is actually #1 in USA, though.

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5 minutes ago, Future feat Quavo said:

Line of Best Fit and Allmusic have been added

Metascore is still 73

It didn't go up because they also added Rolling Stone's 60.

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Just now, acko said:

😍

NME have once again called the album brilliant and Madonna brilliantly talented.

❤️❤️❤️

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46 minutes ago, Lament said:

It didn't go up because they also added Rolling Stone's 60.

Why did they wait so long to add Rolling Stone? Strange. Anyway, my prediction for the final score is 75. Which would be pretty fantastic.

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