RELEASED 14TH JULY 2019
Favourite Track: Faz Gostoso
This character ‘Madame X’ is a mysterious one. Perhaps a woman of many faces, languages and talents because Madonna’s new album takes us through a range of social issues using a whole range of genres
The first song ‘Medellín’ was played to me by my friend who basically was just showing me the music video because we both fancied Colombian pop singer, Maluma (how can you not?). The song has a very Latin vibe to it and a repetition of Madonna whispering “cha cha cha” which gives it a dancy feel. It’s quite a summery vibe and a good song overall. Maluma’s contribution is decent and their chemistry in the music video and vocal-wise is great. ‘Dark Ballet’, opening with piano and some dramatic lyrics delivered by Madonna changing into more of a dancy anthem all about how the world is “obsessed with fame” and how she can see through all the fake stuff and restrictions. There is a strange change mid-song into a distorted voice and almost circus style sound melody which was kind of creepy, especially when Madonna starts speaking over it.
‘God Control’ had some piano and choral voice but then some abrupt strings with gunshots which suddenly changed into a funky electronic mix. I didn’t know what to think but it isn’t awful. There is a lot about “truth” and “lies” in this album. ‘Future’, featuring Quavo, has quite a sci-fi vibe to it with Madonna chanting about the future which then turns Reggae beat-wise. It’s another strange mix and I really don’t know what she’s trying to do. ‘Batuka’ opens with a sort of either tap dance or clapping sound effect with some chanting after she delivers the lyrics. The beat here is actually very good and it works more with the style of the first song ‘Medellín’.
‘Killers Who Are Partying’ has caused some controversy with her lyrics on groups she feels are hated, oppressed or exploited. The actual music behind it is quite Latin sounding and I really like it, it’s haunting and then changes into having a hard beat which I don’t think works as well. There’s too much going on. ‘Crave’, featuring Swae Lee, was more of a ‘put together’ song. It was a chill vibe with some nice backing music. ‘Crazy’ begins with some accordions which are quite romantic but then the slower beat and singing make it quite a nice sad song. ‘Come Alive’ has more of an Indian feel backing music wise and interesting beat with the melody being VERY similar to ‘Medellín’. ‘Extreme Occident’ is a slower piano song telling a narrative (the narrative of Madame X?) which isn’t bad. The one I think you can dance to even better than with ‘Medellín’ is ‘Faz Gostoso’ featuring Anitta. It’s A VIBE. Maluma is clearly Madonna’s new favourite on this album as he is featured in a second song! ‘Bitch I’m Loca’ is another Latin sounding tune you can dance to. The rest of the songs on the album are more electronic/synth/pop sounding all of which were decent. ‘Looking for Mercy’ did have the line “I say a little prayer” in a new context which paid homage to her old hit which was cool.
This album is too varied to be recommended for one thing. However, some of the Latin sounding ones are great for a dance.