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Juan of Arc

Rebel Heart "Party Listen"

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REBEL HEART PARTY LISTEN
 
 
7. Hold Tight
 
Hold Tight was not a favorite of mine in demo form. The track has gone through an extensive overhaul thanks to the help of Ryan Tedder. It opens with smooth and etherial synths. Madonna’s new vocal take is much sweeter in this version. The structure of the song has changed as well. Verse 1 immediately follows verse 2. There is a new bridge with new lyrics. 
 
8. Joan of Arc
 
Reports are that Joan of Arc has turned into a dance track, and this is somewhat true. The song begins almost exactly like the leaked demo version. At “I don’t wanna talk about it right nowâ€, the song picks up. It reminds of American Life’s Love Profusion. Lyrics are virtually the same, except she no longer refers to soldiers, but rather, admits that she is only human. 
 
9. Iconic
 
Last week a new Iconic demo leaked online claiming to be the “final†version. This is only partially true. I will come back to that soon.
The album version of Iconic is extremely different from either of the demos that surfaced online. The track opens with sound effects of a crowd cheering, followed by Mike Tyson announcing he’s the best the world has ever seen. A deep bass and quick synths precede Madonna singing the same lyrics we’ve all come to know. When the chorus begins there is a frenzy of choral vocalizations with the music feeling as though you are being hurled from the top of a sky scraper as she sings “Iconic, Iconic, Ironicâ€. Late in the track, Chance the Rapper comes in and raps about something that didn’t seem to fit well in the track. Maybe this part takes a few listens to grow on you?
 
10. HeartBreakCity
 
The vocal track sounds the same as the leaked demo. It starts out with Madonna singing over a piano before drums come in. The drums are quick “rat-a-tat†style drums, the kinds you would hear in a marching band in a parade. 
 
11. Body Shop
 
Body Shop was a track that I wasn’t very fond of in demo form. It seemed a bit out of place with its South Asian style synths, especially on an album that has her screaming “Bitch I’m Madonnaâ€. In it’s final version, not much has changed. When the chorus picks up there are added details and embellishments. Ultimately, Body Shop comes out a cleaner version of the demo. Those who enjoy the demo will enjoy this track, those who don’t - you can probably skip this one. 
 
12. Holy Water
 
In demo form, Holy Water was one of the most polarizing tracks of the leaks. Some people thought it was amazing, others found its simple arrangement and overly sexual lyrics to be among Madonna’s weakest tracks. The album version has taken this simple demo and driven it into overdrive. Deep booming bass and industrial orchestration had my head bobbing along to the lyrics I already knew in my head. The song takes an amazing turn towards the end and does have a very special surprise at the end. 
 
13. Inside Out
 
This song didn’t get much rotation on my iPod in demo form, so I was less familiar with it as I was listening to the tracks. I do remember that when the song started, I was unsure which track it was, which meant that it had definitely had a musical re-tooling. Lyrically, it is the same as the leaked demo. 
 
14. Wash All Over Me
 
Hold onto your hats, Wash all over me has been completely reworked from a thumping Avicii track to a piano ballad. It is very similar to the final version of HeartBreakCity, using the same marching band style drums to complement the very simple piano. Pleasantly, Madonna’s vocal is backed by a wonderful chorus vocalizing ooooos and ahhhhh. The track culminates with the addition of an Electric Guitar to the mix. 
 
15. Best Night
 
Best Night is one that is extremely similar to the leaked demo. Except for some very minor production tweaks, if you’ve heard the demo, you’ve heard the album version. I wrote in my notes “new vocal?†for the spoken part towards the end. Maybe she re-recorded that bit.
 
16. Veni Vidi Vici featuring Nas
 
This is another track that I was unsure what it was when it began. And I enjoyed every time that happened! The track starts with Nas saying “Madonna, life is so crazy†and urging her to tell her story. The bulk of the track is musically similar to the demo leak, with bits of Nas talking in the background. Normally I find “featuring†tracks to be boring because the extra artist doesn’t do much to add to the track, normally rapping something that has nothing to do with what Madonna is singing about. Nas’s contribution of Veni Vidi Vici is nothing like this, his rap really follows the theme of the song of “telling your story†and “learning from the past version of yourself.†While Nas raps, suddenly the music starts building into something incredible - another sample from an old Madonna song!! This sample continues until the end of the track. 
 
17. S.E.X
 
Similarly to Holy Water, I personally considered this to be among the weak tracks from the demo leaks. Just like Holy Water, sex got a complete retooling into a dark and fun track. It reminded me of the MDNA Tour version of Justify my Love. Musically it features an extremely deep bass which is accompanied by piano and strings. The strings, I wrote, reminded me of the violins from Papa Don’t Preach (but don’t think the song is anything close to the 80s classic. The second half of the song turns into “a lesson in sexology†as Madonna goes to list random objects she finds erotic (some were erotic, some were not) with mentions of twisted ropes, neckties, pretty girls, thigh highs, perfume, switchblades, novacaine, and raw meat(!) and strap-ons (! again). I liked it, it was fun, definitely better than the original. 
 
18. Messiah
 
Messiah is pretty much the demo version again. Rumors of the song turning electronic are untrue. It is still a glorious orchestral masterpiece. The builds are incredible. I found that it was a bit out of place after SEX though. 
 
19. Rebel Heart
 
Like its leak-day companion Wash All Over Me, Rebel heart has been toned down from its leaked version. The latter though still maintains much of the elements we all loved. The song has a much more pop-acoustic feel to it. It ditches the vocoders and leaves Madonna’s smooth and clean vocal as the shining star of the song. With the passing of each verse and chorus new elements and instruments are brought in bringing it to a wonderful and fun build up, ultimately taking it back to the simple acoustic for Madonna to proclaim, “of my Rebel Heart!â€
 
Bonus tracks:
 
20. Beautiful Scars
 
Rumors of Beautiful Scars being a disco style track are indeed correct! It is not an “I Will Survive†type disco anthem, though. Go ahead and listen to the Bee-Gee’s “Night Feverâ€. It is that sort of lounge-inspired string heavy that makes Beautiful Scars a real stand out on the album. Towards the end it sounds like something straight from a Daft Punk record. I really enjoyed this reworking! 
 
21. Queen
 
Finally! A song I was completely unfamiliar with! The song is indeed a ballad, and i walked away thinking that this song could have been the prequel to Ghosttown. If Ghosttown deals with life after the apocalypse, Queen talks about the world right before shit went down. The title “Queen†refers to the Queen who has fallen and now the people of the world are left without a ruler. It really enjoyed this song. 
 
22. Borrowed Time
 
While maintaining many elements that we heard in its original demo form, Madonna seems to have re-recorded this track and given it the makeover it really needed. It is much more polished and smooth. It is a great improvement from the leak. 
 
23. Graffiti Heart
 
I really liked the demo of Graffiti Heart, but it felt short and unfinished. Lyrically it is the same, with a whole new rebuilt arrangement. The love is pain and pain is art part has been rerecorded with a vocal that does not sound like screaming. A few of the lyrics were rewritten. The new song includes an extra verse as well as an arrangement that sounds more 80s - true to the subjects she’s talking about.
 
24. Autotune Baby
 
There was lots of talk about an Autotune Baby demo, but I never actually heard that one, so this was for me another brand new track. The song starts with a sample of Major Lazer’s “Babyâ€- literally a baby crying and put through the autotune vocoder. The song focuses on Madonna’s obession with a man she would do anything for. The chorus has her singing about how at the end of the day she just wants to be the man’s little baby with her head on his shoulder. The end of the song reminded me of Bitttersweet Symphony. 
 
25. Addicted
 
I always liked Addicted, and I’m glad it made the album. I also felt that the demo of the song was very strong on its own, and obviously so did Madonna because I couldn’t tell much that was different about it aside from its new vocal track. 
 
26. Joan of Arc (Acoustic)
 
Joan of Arc got the up-tempo treatment on the standard version of the album, but as a bonus track it has been stripped back to the simple acoustic that we’ve all been listening to for the last month, but maintaining its new background vocals and lyrics. 
 
27. Iconic (Take 2)
 
I told you I would get back to that second demo of Iconic that leaked last week. This is the bonus version of the song. Mike Tyson’s bit is moved to the end and expanded, as is Chance the Rapper’s. 
 
fotpforums.com/topic/97854-i-attended-a-madonna-listening-party-last-week-ask-me-anything/
 

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The listening parties did happen, and everything the guy wrote on his review is 100% accurate :) xoxox

No, they actually didn't. Her release parties are pretty big events, and mostly reporters from large publications immediately comment and share. It's also too early. A lot of what has been written in the description wouldn't have been caught on first listen. A review party would only focus on the main release, the 19 tracks. This person has the files.

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I feel like everyone has this album apart from us lol.

 

So excited! She should drop it on Grammy night.

 

Feeling the same, or at least that everyone has listened already but us (oh wait, we had the demos  :lol:). No, seriously after reading this, I want so badly this album.

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No, they actually didn't. Her release parties are pretty big events, and mostly reporters from large publications immediately comment and share. It's also too early. A lot of what has been written in the description wouldn't have been caught on first listen. A review party would only focus on the main release, the 19 tracks. This person has the files.

 

Sorry to disappoint you, gone, but they did. I personally know 2 people who attended them, in London. Believe what you want. But they happened. Some media was present too. You don't have to believe me, it's your choice. I'm just stating what I know. And I agree, the person who wrote the review has the files, as a lot of people here do. He couldn't write all that from 1 listen. But the parties happened.

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