Madonna proves why she’s called the Queen of reinvention on her 14th studio album, Madame X.
The best selling female artist to ever grace this planet hasn’t really had the best run of albums for the last decade. Since Hard Candy Madonna has seemed to be chasing trends rather than invent them like she did for the first 20 years of her career, MDNA being the major flaw.
However, every Madonna album always brings a wave of excitement, she always has the odd pop gem, even on her worst albums, and there’s always a tour which the Queen of pop is known for slaying – so it’s safe to say after the uncharacteristically uneventful Rebel Heart, we’re fully ready for this era.
Madame X is easily Madonna’s best album since Confessions on a Dancefloor in 2005, mainly because it’s the first time that the star hasn’t sounded like she’s chasing musical trends and she’s just doing what she wants to – it might not be the sound everyone’s going to copy, but Madonna is happy in her own lane, and so are we.
Just because it’s her best album in a while, doesn’t mean it’s not the weirdest album she’s ever released, toying with sounds, ideas and lyrics (“I will be gay if the gays are being burned) – experiments that nobody else but Madonna has the balls to play with.
Songs like “Crave,” lead single “Medellin,” “I Rise” and “Faz Gostosa” are the tracks that tie in all the elements Madonna incorporates across the album the best, the weirdness, the Portuguese influences and the all-round heart of Madame X.
The best way to view the album is to stand back and appreciate from a distance because it’s great in it’s bizarreness, even the albums huge misses like “Killers Who Are Partying” and “Come Alive” have a place on the wild ride – that’s not to say they shouldn’t have been cut, at 15 tracks long and ten of them being over four minutes, it’s a long listen.
There are moments on the album where – in comparison to the rest of the tracklist – there’s a simple song, “Crazy” has a playful, almost Taylor Swift style pop song that refreshes your pallet halfway through the Queens wild album.
Towards the end of the album you begin to get a bit lost, but one of the best surprises on the album is the penultimate track, “Looking For Mercy,” the rousing ballad builds slowly from straightforward ballad to an exciting, larger than life violin led event that ends in a song that could almost swallow itself – and we actually hear Madonna’s natural vocal for the first and only time on the album.
And that is possibly the biggest flaw of the entire album, we can appreciate the misses in their experimentalism, but the use of a vocoder is almost criminal. Whether this was a stylistic choice or because Madonna’s vocals are starting to falter, it leaves a robotic tint on the album that is otherwise full of heart.
Following “Bitch I’m Madonna” is “Bitch I’m Loca,” a Latin infused pop song with Maluma that crosses so far into electro-beats during the chorus you see no way of coming back…but it does, right back into the Latin production – a theme that sums the album up, pushing the limits so far it almost collapses the record…but it doesn’t!
Welcome back to the top of your game Madonna.
Check the album out below and let us know what you think in the comments!