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June 14, 2019 at 11:52 am #1202937979
Madame X is just autotune-abuse.June 14, 2019 at 12:38 pm #1202938050
This is awful.Dark Ballet remains a great song though.
https://letterboxd.com/cherry123/June 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm #1202938118
I agree with the fact that its 99.99% better than what else is being released these days, but that doesn’t mean its good. Its a better version of Rebel Heart at best. I just wish she did something like Mariah did on Caution, or even Xtina on Liberation – use a fundamental genre template (e.g Pop in Xtina’s case or R&B in Mariah’s case) and experiment deeper within those sounds. She sounds like she’s trying to cover all bases, which means the album doesn’t flow very well / as well as it could. There are some good songs on it though (Medellin, I Rise, Dark Ballet and Bitch I’m Loca are bops).June 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm #1202938136
Amazing AMAZING album! So different from what other pop stars are bringing. For me:
Her best album since Confessions (might make my all time top 3)
Her most creative one since Music (Mirwais is a GOD!)
So much diversity, yet so cohesive at the same time
Best Songs: God Control, I Don’t Search I Find, Extreme Occident, Batuka.
This should be up for Best Pop Album without a doubt.
If the Grammys were awarded based on how daring, creative or unique a recording is, then Madame X would be a runaway winner this year. However, in reality, this album is very divisive and unorthodox. People claim they want and enjoy original works when nothing could be further from the truth. Billie Eilish is the “avant garde” album for most people this year, not Madame X.
Madonna has put out an album that would compel Bjork to say “WTF?” and the masses clamoring for something different have retreated to the safe confines of Ariana Grande and other radio friendly material. Pop music is a strange world indeed.June 14, 2019 at 1:24 pm #1202938147
Madonna has put out an album that would compel Bjork to say “WTF?” and the masses clamoring for something different have retreated to the safe confines of Ariana Grande and other radio friendly material. Pop music is a strange world indeed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Madonna’s and respect her so much, but just because its ‘experimental’ doesn’t mean its necessarily good. Some experiments fail as well. Let’s be objective here: there are some pretty good moments on the album and some pretty bad ones too. It’s her best release in a long while, but nothing really special in terms of the wider context of Pop.June 14, 2019 at 1:36 pm #1202938165
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Madonna’s and respect her so much, but just because its ‘experimental’ doesn’t mean its necessarily good. Some experiments fail as well. Let’s be objective here: there are some pretty good moments on the album and some pretty bad ones too. It’s her best release in a long while, but nothing really special in terms of the wider context of Pop.
I agree that not everything works on the album but I think more of it works than fails. It’s really a matter of personal preference. Does someone prefer more consistency so long as the music remains in an unchallenging, safe space or does someone prefer music that is more adventurous, even if there is a stumble or two along the way?June 14, 2019 at 11:02 pm #1202938529
First impression: Madame X gives no fucks.
This is a bold, fresh, ambitious album that is not afraid to experiment and be weird. It is also easily Madonna’s best work since 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, which is rightfully seen as her last masterpiece.
According to the PR campaign, Madame X is Madonna’s alter ego with multiple identities. Madame X is a cha cha instructor, a teacher, a nun, and many other things. Much like the image/persona, the album is all over the place yet somehow consistent. Above all it’s unexpected – which of course was Madonna’s ticket to unparalleled success and her very essence up until roughly ten years ago when she turned generic and safe, seemingly all of a sudden.
If Madonna had released Madame X in, say, 2000, it would have been seen as a commercial suicide. It would also have become a fan favourite and reached cult status, much like other artists’ departures from their comfort zones such as Kylie Minogue’s Impossible Princess or, to a degree, Madge’s own Erotica and American Life. To release it now that she has lost a lot of her commercial clout marks a defiant artistic comeback, a superstar’s courageous departure from her prolonged period as a trend-chaser.
As such, it underlines Madonna’s peerlessness – with David Bowie gone, she is the one and only global pop icon over fifty who demands to exercise her right to reinvent her art and artistry instead of cashing out on past hits on endless farewell tours.
Sonically, Madame X is as adventurous as Madonna has ever been; lyrically, it is her most political statement to date. The controversial and divisive American Life (2003) was marketed as political but not a single track actually was; on Madame X, Madonna repeatedly demands us to wake up to the injustices faced by the marginalized people of the world. Sometimes she does this to a truly startling effect (God Control, Dark Ballet), sometimes it comes across clunky (Killers Who Are Partying), but at all times it reflects a socially conscious artist’s genuine angst in a world that’s taking a wrong turn.
There’s a prominent world music flavour all over the record, more so than one would have expected judging by the five tracks released prior to the album. Most of this influence comes from Latin America and Madonna’s adopted home country Portugal, and it’s a natural match for her.
First single Medellin, in which Madonna and Colombian megastar Maluma have authentically palpable chemistry, remains a gift that keeps giving. Other highlights are God Control that somehow works even though it packs in everything from feverish disco strings to a rap about drugs, and Crazy, a combination of Motown beats and Portuguese folk music that’s as close to traditionally catchy chart pop as anything here, yet has a thoroughly original sound. Come Alive, Batuka and I Don’t Search I Find – a flawless, smooth, understated hark back to the Vogue days – are sneaky growers.
Madame X isn’t perfect. Madonna’s voice is often overprocessed beyond reason, and it’s hard to understand why she saw it necessary to wear a grill in her mouth while recording the first verses of God Control (an otherwise epic track destined to become a fan favourite) and Crave, resulting in a confusingly mumbling delivery. There are some cringe-inducing lyrics as well. But who the hell cares when even the weakest moments have an air of honesty and inspiration that has been lacking from much of her work for nearly 15 years.
Madame X demands concentration and rewards repeated listens. There are no obvious hit singles – even the most obvious one, Medellin, has a decidedly unconventional structure – and the album is all the better for it. While not all tracks are brilliant (Future doesn’t quite get where it promises to go and I Rise never reaches the epic heights it aims for), none are soulless filler; even the ones I don’t care for have something fascinating going for them, be it a bonkers surprise twist in the song structure or a creatively selected sample.
Madame X is an artist.June 15, 2019 at 6:55 pm #1202939876This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.June 19, 2019 at 11:54 pm #1202945107This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.June 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm #1202948942
X marks the No. 1 spot. Madame X debuts at 1 with 95,000 units on Billboard 200June 24, 2019 at 12:38 am #1202949322This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.June 24, 2019 at 2:43 pm #1202950273
Madame X might show up in Recording Package (?). Madonna has never shown up in the category. It’s time her artwork is acknowledged by the Academy.
Didn’t Ray of Light not won that category?
The Oscar needs to get rid of the preferential ballot so it can name a deserving movie as Best Picture again.June 25, 2019 at 9:02 am #1202951045This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.June 25, 2019 at 11:00 am #1202951187
Madame X should win Pop Album and be nominated to AOTY. But it’ll never happen.
I hope they do a like Backstreet Boys this year and nominate somewhere in the pop field
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