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Posts posted by kingvirtue

  1. I don't want to be the bearer of bad tidings but this review made me furious. I don't think this guy even listened to the songs.


    Madonna is the latest high-profile victim of cyber-hackers in the entertainment industry. Earlier this month, unfinished demos of tracks purportedly recorded for her upcoming album, Rebel Heart, were leaked, and spread through the internet like wildfire. The unauthorized leaking of the demos infuriated the star, prompting her to release six tracks from Rebel Heart earlier than planned. “Unapologetic Bitch,” “Devil Pray,” “Illuminati,” “Bitch I’m Madonna,” “Ghosttown” and first single “Living for Love” are available for purchase on iTunes now.

    So how are the Queen of Pop’s first new songs since her MDNA album from nearly three years ago? Well, the easy answer is if you enjoyed the uneven MDNA, perhaps you’ll like Rebel Heart, at least based on the six songs released thus far. Perhaps.Rebel Heart once again finds Madonna working with the hot DJs and producers of the moment. Diplo, Avicii, Mike Dean, SOPHIE, DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds are among her choice of collaborators. Unfortunately none of the new songs add anything remotely essential or even interesting to Madonna’s peerless catalog of pop music. Collectively they are a massive disappointment.

    “Living For Love,” as a first single, fails to generate much excitement. Featuring Alicia Keys on piano, it’s a somewhat catchy upbeat track, but lacks a truly strong melodic hook. – not a good sign. Compared to prior lead singles by Madonna (classics like “Hung Up,” “Music,” “Frozen,” “Like a Prayer”) it’s not in the same stratosphere. “Devil Pray” echoes faintly of much better days (there is a hint of “Like a Prayer” thematically and melodically), but the song detours into a morality session set to stale, lightweight electronica, courtesy Avicii. Much better is the apocalyptic “Ghosttown,” a mid-tempo number that at least has some passion and a bit of intensity – it’s easily the best of the new tracks. Kanye West co-produced “Illuminati,” in which Madonna tweaks conspiracy theorists who see the secret society as the world’s ultimate puppet-masters. It’s all a bit ridiculous.

    The electro-reggae “Unapologetic Bitch” and the frenetic, dubstep-flavored “Bitch I’m Madonna” (featuring a high-profile appearance by Nicki Minaj) scream of desperation. They’re embarrassing. Madonna seems to be putting a higher priority on asserting her pop dominance and maintaining relevance with the current batch of vacuous Top 40 pop tarts than in releasing great music. She needs to listen to Beyoncé’s most recent self-titled album to hear what a mature, sexy, fun and innovative pop album can sound like in today’s musical climate, or to Prince’s slick, quirky new “Art Official Age” to hear how a veteran artist can successfully navigate today’s pop landscape and sound current and fresh without frantically clinging to the coattails of a younger generation. Madonna has nothing to prove; her status as an innovator and a legend in pop music is secure. Unfortunately, with her last couple of albums – Hard Candy and MDNA – she seems to have lost her way. Both albums have strong moments and neither of them are terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but they are also a long way from her best work. Madonna has become a chaser of trends, not the trail-blazer she’s been for most of her career; and the early indications with Rebel Heart are that she is continuing down this path.

    So far, pop music fans appear to be responding to Madonna’s new material with indifference. As of this writing, the highest placement of the new songs is “Bitch I’m Madonna,” at #179 on iTunes singles chart. The pre-order of the album, despite prominent visible placement on iTunes, is #26. Not exactly a tsunami of excitement. But who knows? Perhaps things will change when the full album is released in March, and perhaps it will contain material stronger. Hopefully that’s the case, because judging from these six songs, Madonna is creeping dangerously close to territory that she’s never before explored: complete irrelevance.

    "Living For Love" reminds me a bit of a gospel version of "Deeper and Deeper." It sounds like the reviewer was hoping for another "Like A Prayer." "Devil Prays" is amazing. It's like a beefed-up version of "I Deserve it!" 1:20-1:50 is heavenly! How can he consider that stale?! "B, I'm Madonna" is fantastic. I hope it's a single (or at least gets a grand performance a la "Give Me All Your Luvin' from MDNA tour). I thought the album went to #1 on itunes as a pre-release? Ah well, people will make up their own mind. :)

  2. So, Yahoo/Live Nation are screening Diplo's concert at Madison Square Gardens from 10 EST tonight. Of course M won't be there with him like rumored but seeing as it's his first live date since Rebel Heart hit iTunes, hopefully he'll spin Living For Love, Unapologetic Bitch, or Bitch I'm Madonna (maybe even remixes?). Will be interesting to hear them in a live setting.


    That would be amazing! :D

  3. I think your comments are very harsh and unfair. What makes you think you have to wait forever if you don't get these demos now? The album is going to be released in the spring, which is hardly forever. Fans think they have the right to everything a person has ever recorded, but I don't think they do. Maybe I see it differently because I"m a writer in my job. I do lots of rough drafts of my projects. I really don't want the whole world to see my drafts before I'm ready to present the finished product. I don't feel I have to delete the drafts because it's my work process and maybe I haven't decided yet which parts I am going to keep and which ones I am going to change. I would never occur to me someone would try to steal my unfinished work. Maybe fans don't care if the demos aren't perfect, but maybe Madonna does. Maybe she doesn't want people to hear stuff she isn't happy with. Isn't that her right to control what part of her own work people have a chance to hear. She created it.

    No one is stopping fans from discussing the leaked material. There is a whole lengthy thread on here about them.

    Most of the demos were taken and were recorded much earlier in the process. She has reworked them and that's why she didn't want people to hear the early version. You act like you begrudge her for taking a ski vacation when she has worked very hard on this album to give us her best work.

    So I guess, as an artist yourself, you've decided not to listen to any of the leaked music in respect for Madonna's art. You have incredible restraint. Shame on whoever leaked the material. Personally, if it's not going to be released to purchase, I don't even want to know of its existence. But what do I know? I am just a fan of the music. :/

  4. I wonder if Madonna will think twice before posting song titles, lyrics, etc. during the next project. I enjoy taking part and hearing about the recording process. . . then again, it does make it harder to wait! Perhaps it's best to have an album drop out of the blue with little notice. Back in the day, it seemed like a new project/album dropped every 2 years and sometimes every year. :)

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