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"Rebel Heart" Reviews [continued] - thread 2


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it was posted already but if you have time listen to the 19 minute podcast from the NY Times music critics discussing Rebel Heart: -link-

Madonna is always so CULTURALLY ENRICHING :hafo:

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Here's my rough translation of the most positive Danish review so far, from the newspaper Politiken.

A good and generous pop star

Mixing aggressive dance tracks and well-crafted ballads, Rebel Heartproves that Madonna isn't ready to be put in the shade by her younger colleagues.

On the album cover, Madonna recreates the look of her iconic Marilyn Monroe phase. The curly hair is platinum blonde. Her lips, nails and jersey are deep red, playfulling indicating that she's up to some tricks. The title, Rebel Heart, appears on her right forearm. Is this the image of a rebel with a heart beating for a cause? Or a 56-year-old pop star who refuses to be a nostalgia act?

Madonna has never known humility and more than 30 years into her career, she wants to be seen and heard as ever before.

The 14 songs on the new album were created by Madonna in collaboration with some of today's most popular songwriters and producers, such as Avicii, Diplo and Kanye West, along with the not so famous but highly sought after Ariel Rechtshaid, Mike Dean, MoZella, Toby Gad and Evan Bogart et al.

The booklet, however, doesn't feature any songwriting or production credits. It only mentions the featured artists appearing on two of the song. It's probably a matter of emphasizing that Rebel Heart is Madonna's vision. Which is very understandable. After all, she's the one responsible for the artistic and commercial success of the album.

As always, Madonna has taken cues from both current and past musical trends: Here you'll find the sound of modern dance and party beats, disco, reggae, hip hop, both soft and edgy electronic sounds and pop ballads such as "HeartBreakCity" and "Joan of Arc", in which Madonna states that she isn't willing to die for her cause. Yet.

In strong vocal form, Madonna merrily plays with meaningful words, cool statements like "Bitch I'm Madonna" and passionate messages such as "Hold Tight" while mixing musical styles.

A mixed bag

One could argue that the album should have been split in two. The first disc could have included the most uptempo and aggressive songs, with a second disc featuring the softer and more mature songs. In stead Madonna has chosen to mix the two halves up, so that the listeners are constantly forced to relate to different and sometimes surprising sounds. The melancholic "Joan of Arc" couldn't be any more different from the danceable "Iconic", even though they appear back to back on the album.

At 55 minutes, it's a long album. It never feels too long, though, and towards the end you'll find strong song such as the charming "Body Shop" and the playful "Holy Water", in which she briefly samples the oldie-but-goodie "Vogue".

"I can give you everything that you want," Madonna promises.

She's certainly both good and generous on her latest opus.

Rating: 5/6

Original article (in Danish): http://www.jyllands-posten.dk/protected/premium/kultur/anmeldelser/rytmisk/ECE7525075/En-god-og-gavmild-stjerne/

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I read this review thinking it was so positive, then was shocked by the score at the end!

Well I wasn't really shocked because of their strange rating behavior in the past, so I expected that, but I was shocked that they refer to HeartBreakCity as 'yawn-inducing'. Like seriously, gtfo if you are not able to recoginize a beautiful Madonna ballad even if it bites you in the ass

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So, grades still to add:

LA Times: 7.5/10

PopMatters: 6/10

Mojo: 6/10

The Observer: 6/10

Thank you! And allmusic.com although still no rating given to go along with review.

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Guest HaveASit

We can expect NY Times, musicOMH, Boston Globe, Pitchfork, A. V. Club and Spin.

Maybe Fact magazine and Consequence of Sound too.

Now, lets pray for Tiny Mix Tapes, Sputnikmusic and Cokemachineglow stay far away from RH. They are the snobbiest of the snobbiest

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We can expect NY Times, musicOHM, Boston Globe, PitchFork, A. V. Club and Spin.

Maybe Fact magazine and Consequence of Sound too.

Now, lets pray for Tiny Mix Tapes, Sputnikmusic and Cokemachineglow stay far away from RH. They are the snobbiest of the snobbiest

I wouldn't be shocked if they give her a zero :popcorn2:

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Even with these "vulgar" (which is really just 2 songs, Holy Water and S.E.X.) I feel like she's just being campy and weird, almost like a drag performance. It's not like she's making a Janet Jackson sex song. You could ALWAYS tell that woman was TRULY trying to make music for people to feel aroused by, and it was just a fail. On every level.

*waterfall noise*

​mmmmm fuckkkkk….

*soft harp*

*wind chimes*

yeah babiiii…..

*blowjob sound*

*gentle synths*

NO…NOT YETEH….

uhhhh!!!! YEZZZ…. UGHHH!!!!

​Mmmm… moist…. you make me so moist

I mean really?! (actual quotes from what I remember)

Oh how did I miss this??? :dead::dead::dead:

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But this get's right to what Hector was saying above. That's who she was at that time in her life. I don't really understand why so many always think ROL-to-Confessions Madonna is somehow the "real/essential" Madonna, as if the before or after are just "characters" or "personas"... Why are those eras above any different? How is Veronica Electronica any different from Dita? She has always said her work is a combination of fact and fiction. I don't see why that doesn't apply to the more 'spiritual/married' years. If anything, she's basically alluded to the fact that she deliberately chose to tone down that side even if she really didn't want to in recent interviews. The fact that this side has come out more so since the divorce/HC, I think that says a lot... As for being a "metaphysical nerd" and her caring for her children, human rights, art...while true, it doesn't mean the sexual/provocative/cheeky side is only a "character." If anything, the whole Rebel Heart project is saying the opposite of what you're saying...that she is ALL these things. It's not about one being any more than the other, or that one side is "real" and the other is "character." I get that people love ROL, but when that becomes the end all/be all that everything she is and has done is compared to, to me, that's nothing more than confirmation bias.

So true. Madonna is the most interesting female celebrity of all time in my view. That is because she is perfectly open and honest about showing all sides of her personality including the soft protective mothering side and the raunchy sexual side. Plus everything else in between. This is what makes her fascinating as a person as well as an entertainer, singer and song-writer.

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http://time.com/3735645/review-madonna-rebel-heart/

Great review from Time! Still not sure why metacritic doesn't use Time or USA Today but does use Pretty Much Amazing :lmao:

the last paragraph choked me up.

Keep getting those great reviews, Queen!

AND ... ABC News showing the love. Thus one is actually the Associated Press review which will run in papers across the nation!

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/music-review-madonnas-rebel-heart-lovely-29497837

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belgian mag knack reviewed the album but didn't give a score. praising the ballads. he knows a lot about the demos and such, and saw her at le grand journal. i think he's a low key fan. http://focus.knack.be/entertainment/muziek/madonna-s-rebel-heart-onder-het-scalpel/article-normal-539659.html

he also compares her voice to karen carpenter

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So great that several of the major papers are praising her!

And you guys, that Associated Press review by Melinda Newman is being published in papers all across the country this week with the headline "Madonna's Rebel Heart is Lovely." Much better promo than a review on Pretty Much Amazing.

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From the TIME review:

"Her voice sounds great, light and a little worn around the edges; it bears the weight of a full love, of love won and lost, real pain and real joy. On highlights like the gentle “Joan of Arc” and weightless fantasy “Body Shop,” she sounds a little like a mother tucking into an old story at the kitchen table, running through the decisions she’s made and the paths she could’ve taken: her years of purposeful provocation, the isolation that stems from defiance, the fight to accept imperfections within yourself."

100% accurate!

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For me, these ballads and mid-tempo songs (messiah, heartbreak, joa, woam...) are the best songs she recorded in years. Musically they are way more accomplished than her up-tempo song, that I find, to a certain extend, over-produced. I don't hear anything original in UB, while I'm completly overwhelmed by the beauty of HC...

I love the ballads. The best she's done in years. The other tracks...... not so much. The uptempo songs on previous albums were much better. Not sure what happened, but they don't shine as much as the ballads do. But at least everything is sonically consistent.

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AllMusic review is up but no stars yet it seems:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/rebel-heart-mw0002806491

Rebel Heart was introduced to the world with an indiscipline uncharacteristic of Madonna. Blame it on hackers who rushed out a clutch of unfinished tracks at the end of 2014, a few months before the record's scheduled spring release. Madonna countered by putting six full tracks up on a digital service, a move that likely inflated the final Deluxe Edition of Rebel Heart up to a whopping 19 tracks weighing in at 75 minutes, but even that unveiling wasn't performed without a hitch: during an ornate performance of "Living for Love," she stumbled on-stage at the BRIT Awards. Such cracks in Madge's armor happily play into the humanity coursing through Rebel Heart (maybe the hiccups were intentional after all?), a record that ultimately benefits from its daunting mess. All the extra space allows ample room for detours, letting Madonna indulge in both Erotica-era taboo-busting sleaze ("Holy Water") and feather-light pop ("Body Shop"). Although she takes a lingering look back at the past on "Veni Vidi Vici" -- her cataloging of past hits walks right on the edge of camp, kept away from the danger zone by a cameo from Nas -- Rebel Heart, like any Madonna album, looks forward. Opener "Living for Love" announces as much, as its classic disco is soon exploded into a decibel-shattering EDM pulse coming courtesy of co-producer Diplo. Madonna brings him back a few more times -- the pairing of the reggae-bouncing "Unapologetic Bitch" and Nicki Minaj showcase "Bitch I'm Madonna," their titles suggesting vulgarity, their execution flinty and knowing -- but she cleverly balances these clubby bangers with "Devil Pray," an expert evocation of her folktronica Y2K co-produced by Avicii, and "Illuminati," a sleek, spooky collaboration with Kanye West. These are the anchors of the album, grounding the record when Madonna wanders into slow-churning meditation, unabashed revivals of her '90s adult contemporary mode, casual confession ("I spent sometime as a narcissist"), and defiant celebrations of questionable taste. Undoubtedly, some of this flair would've been excised if the record was a manageable length, but the blessing of the unwieldiness is that it does indeed represent a loosening of Madonna's legendary need for control. Certainly, the ambition remains, along with the hunger to remain on the bleeding edge, but she's allowing her past to mingle with her present, allowing her to seem human yet somewhat grander at the same time.

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The Toronto Sun gave RH 5 out of 5 stars!! Though were quite shady in the whole premise of the review:

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/03/09/review-madonna-acts-her-age-on-rebel-heart#

Review: Madonna acts her age on ‘Rebel Heart’

BY DARRYL STERDAN, QMI AGENCY

FIRST POSTED: MONDAY, MARCH 09, 2015 11:18 AM EDT | UPDATED: MONDAY, MARCH 09, 2015 11:42 AM EDT

Madonna will try anything once. Including vulnerability, humility, sincerity and — believe it or not — acting her age.

No fooling. After more than 30 years of pushing buttons and crossing boundaries, pop’s most predictably provocative diva tries to adopt a more subtle, mature and balanced approach on her daring 13th studio album. Even more surprising: For the most part, she succeeds impressively.

Supposedly titled in reflection of two opposing sides of her personality — fighter and lover — Rebel Heart is in many ways the 56­year­old singer­songwriter’s most emotionally intimate and revealing album. Relatively speaking, of course. After all, this is still a Madonna record. So there’s plenty of titillation, confrontation and domination in the proceedings. No lack of double­entendre lyrics (and sound effects) that blur the line between sex and religion. A slew of verbal smackdowns aimed at failed lovers, media snipers and pretenders to her queen­b­­­­ throne. And no shortage of trendhopping dance tracks — all stylishly crafted by ultra­hip producers like Diplo and Avicii and Kanye, and decorated with cameos from VIPs like Nas, Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper and even Mike Tyson.

But along with all those essential ingredients, there are also unmistakable signs of growth and evolution in the 14­song disc (and the superior 19­song deluxe edition). You can hear it in her vocals, which seem less forced and more relaxed than they have in years. You can hear it in her lyrics, which express doubt and loss as often as triumph and confidence, and even wax nostalgic at times. You can hear it in the plethora of ballads sprinkled amid club cuts. You can even hear it in the breathing space and artistic licence she grants her various collaborators, graciously allowing them the spotlight instead of continually trying to upstage everyone.

It’s all the more ironic when you consider that she was technologically upstaged — though she controversially termed it “artistic rape” — by a hacker who leaked the bulk of these tracks late last year (a former reality­show contestant from Israel has been charged with the crime, which seems appropriately bizarre). To add insult to injury, she was blasted for using images of Gandhi and Martin Luther King to promote the album. And to add even more injury and insult, she tumbled off the stage at this year’s Brit awards. Between its many artistic risks and myriad PR hurdles, Rebel Heart could have easily unspooled into an unmitigated disaster.

Instead, it holds together as one of her most strong, dynamic and memorable albums in years. Uplifting gospel­house opener Living for Love harkens back to Like a Prayer. The druggy Devil Pray moves from dusty acoustic guitar to electropop. Co­produced by Diplo, Unapologetic B­­­­ blends reggae, dancehall and dubstep. Illuminati boasts conspiracy theory lyrics and wobbly, buzzy sonics from Kanye. Nicki Minaj drops in on the Diplo­helmed electro­stomp B­­­­ I’m Madonna (which rhymes with “Na, na­na na­na,” of course). The gorgeously confessional Joan of Arc finds her weeping, wounded by fame and media scrutiny. Dark shape­shifter Iconic features a Mike Tyson monologue. Piano ballad HeartBreakCity blasts a lover who used her. The disorienting Holy Water is hedonistic and randy. The Nas ­guesting Veni Vidi Vici and the closing title cut are nostalgic and autobiographical, with Madonna name­checking dozens of hits in a few verses during the former.

Sure, there are a few duds like the car­sex metaphors of Body Shop. There might be one or two ballads too many. And S.E.X. becomes more ludicrous than lewd when Madonna purrs 50 shades of lines like “Oh my God, soaking wet, back and forth till we break the bed.” (Thanks for the visual there.) But even if the 74­minute album — her longest since 1992’s Erotica — might have benefitted from a judicious edit, there’s no denying that more than a few of these songs are second to none in her vast and varied catalogue. Chiefly because more frequently and honestly than ever before, they let us glimpse one of Madonna’s few private parts we haven’t already seen: Her soul.

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