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The New Album Saga: Part IV - Madame X

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3 minutes ago, nicki_boy777 said:

I pay for my music through subscription for couple of years now, does that count as buying it?

I no longer own a CD player or a PC with an actual CD-ROM :tongue:

Your forgiven :p Only cause your shirtless.lol

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Ha, ha a lot of people do not own a CD player anymore... I have an external one for the PC I use for ripping and burning music with.... but apart from that I mostly use CDs in the car...

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25 minutes ago, madenis said:

It's crazy how unashamed you are to listen to the leaks

Well, I don't know about everyone, but I've purchased 8 copies, so I don't feel bad about it. I'm sure almost everyone here has purchased at least one copy.

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The only song that doesn’t quite pay the rent for me is “Bitch I’m Loca.” It’s like a dull “Medellín” without that Mirwais magic.

I love/like/appreciate everything else.

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Still no CD rip out there?

So stoked for Friday! It's going to be a Madonna-listening day....all day!

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Hello guys , I m so delighted to have heard the album after months and months of waiting  . Here's my personal take on it:-

 

 

 Going by the more or less underwhelming  5 tracks we've heard so far , I could never have prepared for what was coming my way ! In the context of the whole album , the 5 tracks sound so much better . The hashtags of "magic " last year and pictures with Nakhane, Dino etc had suggested  a far more radical reinvention than what actually is on Madame X and yet Madame X Is not in the least bit predictable or tame!

 

I think this album  is on par with Confessions and a real gem of an album!  Madonna's voice throughout most parts of the album sounds like it's trapped in some identity or other .   The concept of Madame X , the shapeshifting freedom fighter seems totally apt as she appropriates cultures and accents to add colour and life to the album  .And yet the a glint of the look of boredom / ironic amusement on the cover art also is to be found in her voice . The only time she lets her voice is free and let's it soar is "Looking for mercy " which is the most cathartic and personal moment on the album I think . She's still the Kabbalist trapped in fame and celebrity culture. 

 

The lyrics are strongly  political and in a really underground, revolutionary sort of way. Sometimes they make you wanna jump and say, " That's rich coming from a first world American Woman who's built  her whole career upon the same values she's calling out on the album  ." In fact she seems to be aware of this and seems to  plead for forgiveness and empathy on this very issue on "Dark Ballet " and " Looking for Mercy " . 

 

But kudos to her being the first major popstar (if you discount bjork from major pop ) to address the following on one album  :

 

climate change: on "Future" that sounds like a ska-regaetton warning wafting  like a  hot air balloon on a lazy hot summer afternoon..

  gun control on the experimental "God Control" that except for  the trapped voice effect , unconventional song structure and the lyrics  , belongs more to "Music " than "Madame X " 

women's rights ( on Thea beautifully haunting "Batuka" that evokes a tribal , almost unadulterated sense of female solidarity )

 Visibility for ethnic, linguistic  and sexual minorities on "Killers" which but for the parts sung in Spanish (or is it Portuguese?) Sounds like random mic-checks looking for a melody. 

 Western imperialism on the jangling and eclectic "Extreme Occident " which in the guise of speaking of her own life tends to be a metaphor the "linear " Occidental way of thinking  which needs to acknowledge it's oriental counterpart of "cyclical" thinking ..

A hope for our race on "I Rise" which is a prayer of optimism not just on a personal level for herself but for the human community as a whole .

Apart from her political themes Madonna shares with us the newfound  chill and swagger in her personal journey  through sparse melodies, slowed tempos and the abundant atmospherics on the tropical Medellin , the minimalistic Crave , the supercatchy latin pop smash Crazy , the scenic Come Alive,  the sultry Faz Gostoso, the cringeworthy " Bitch I m Loca "  and the spiritutal techno track  "I don't Search I Find " .  It seems like she doesn't need a man to complete her. Bounties of  Nature and Self-Actualisation are enough . These songs are like the tropical versions of the sassy bitchslap that was "Hung Up".

Like Rebel Heart and MDNA, this album too has a deft finish productionwise and comes across as a neat discrete unity despite the diversity bubbling underneath . But this album has what the previous two lacked - soul.

 

Madonna takes charge of where her own soul wants to go, without relying on a man or Vain material comforts  to complete her. She is speaking to the world on this album and opening up parts of herself- socially, culturally, politically and intellectually -  that may not have even existed , let alone seen, so far .

 

The lazy rhythms, melodies and tempos may suggest that it's like her retirement menopause album , but the vocodered voice obliterates any sign of her age and in fact the album ends up seeming more like the birth of a new Madonna than the winding down of an old one.

Life then comes a full circle for her . At 19 she earned the monicker "Madame X" for herself from Martha Graham. As the Indie Genius shapeshifting across identities and unafraid to take risks on her 14 the studio album some 40 years later , she's invented a new Madame X, a new self. 

 

Madame X truly is Madonna, the artist , at her in great form.  Most of it is authentic . Apart from some lyrics , Hardly anything seems contrived . The album is  perhaps gonna pick up some suprise Grammys for Mirwais' sonic innovations with world music. 

 

Still waiting for the surprise visual album to drop! 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Luiz Ribeiro said:

 

My review, remember, is just MY opinion, not yours. So no one holds the absolute truth.

Medellin - 6/10

A cool song up, to be on the album only and not as a lead single. Maybe if she was not single we could want her as a single? We will never know. 
What bothers me in music is precisely the solo parts of Madonna, where I found the way to pronounce the words a bit tacky.

I Rise - 3/10

Sounds like a B-Side or Demo .... can go unnoticed totally.

Crave - 6/10

After much listening, now I can hear better. A cool and ordinary song only. It could be done by any singer, literally.

Future - 5/10

For me, a recycled version of UB, but without the originality.

Dark Ballet - 10/10

A work of art for refined ears. No easy pop, from chewed music to people who do not like to think, nothing obvious and with TONS of elements that magically add and sew the music. I can only define it as a work of art.

I Don't Search I Find - 10/10

It's the kind of music that we drool when you listen to a record by another artist. Refreshing, original, different, a breath in the middle of the sameness. Not that the "Deep House" is something innovative, but Madonna puts that rhythm on another level in this song. A song that fits in any environment, an amazing song. What music! I'm so proud!

God Control - 7/10

A good sample of the 70's, but something missing ... the part that she does that "rap" I thought it was very interesting ... maybe it edited in another way was less repetitive. But it's still good music.

Crazy - 9/10
The beginning OMG...so perfect... the rest of teh song I miss something.... something orchestral or somenthing really exploding

Come Alice - 7/10

Again, it had everything to be a perfect song but something missing in the music that explodes it ... give that natural evolution to not get repetitive, maybe the final chorus in some way during the song.

Killers Who Are Partying - 4/10

I expected so much from this song and found it boring for lack of something exciting. When I say this I'm not talking about some dancing element ... but rather elements and instruments that leave an atmosphere about music, as they did for example in Mer Girl and To Have And Not To Hold

Faz Gostoso - 9/10

A pop song with Brazilian influences of first quality, a super well-edited sound and with an incredible class, totally exciting for the dance floors. Only those who attend the current young ballads know how this kind of music excites people on the dance floor. A very good song.

Bitch, I'm Loca - 3/10

A lazy song and nothing innovative, generic. It may spark a niche of consumers, but easily forgettable.

Extreme Occident - 4/10

It has a good reason to be a "bonus track" ..... it's repetitive and ... boring. At least until now ... maybe in the future I'll change my mind. As the sayings say: only the donkeys do not change their minds.

Batuka - 9/10

This is pure "World Music" at its core. What a brave Madonna, what a daring to make your pampered American fans listen to World Music without a hint of pop lol. Madonna manages to put elements that make you feel on that women's wheel, a strong and inspiring, almost primitive song!

 

 

Final = 6.6/10

I hope that you will reevaluate after a few more listens.  I mean a D+?  I am a teacher so I score as a teacher.  Haha. I am sorry that you dislike the album.  I love this record but we are all different.  I just think that it is not D+ work.  

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Finally gave it a full listen. This album is MAGIC ! I loved Rebel Heart, but this one is strange, bold and powerful at the same time, sometimes it sounds experimental, sometimes it sounds like a classic. It's like Like A Prayer, American Life and Ray of Light had a Gang Bang that gave birth to Madame X !

And I only used my computer, can't wait to hear it on a proper sound system !

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19 hours ago, Madvox said:

So weird and fun at the same time, listening to Madonna singing in my native language on many songs in this album.

Even living in Portugal, she is singing in Portuguese spoken in Brazil.

 

I've been reading many comments comparing this album to previous ones and I think it's pointless IMO. Because each album is very different from from one another. I think this is part of her appeal -never repeating herself. But, as I said before, it can be turned against her too, because we know it takes time to get used to the sound of each new album. And once you come to accept it, she comes up with a new, different sound and here we go again. It's a risqué move because she may loose fans with each new release, but I'm sure she gets new ones too. It's a cycle.

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2 minutes ago, Cadorcha said:

I've been reading many comments comparing this album to previous ones and I think it's pointless IMO. Because each album is very different from from one another. I think this is part of her appeal -never repeating herself. But, as I said before, it can be turned against her too, because we know it takes time to get used to the sound of each new album. And once you come to accept it, she comes up with a new, different sound and here we go again. It's a risqué move because she may loose fans with each new release, but I'm sure she gets new ones too. It's a cycle.

Life is a cyrcle (repeat 10x)

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