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Alibaba

Madame X Revisited: Understanding The Madonna Myth.

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9 minutes ago, kesiak said:

It's a good read, thank you. I've actually been thinking about "Madame X" the album a lot recently. I love it and appreciate it now even more than when it came out.

Exactly. That's my impression too. I feel it deserves a collective revival, thus the article. If I can get it to gain traction beyond the world of Madonna fans maybe there is a chance for that to happen. 

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This is an excellent read. I have been obsessed with this album since its release and understand what each of your bullets is saying. Madame X is truly a work of art that must be examined because it is very reflective of society and forward thinking. I feel as though her messages held a heavy upfront tone which is what turned people away, but there is such a deeper meaning to this. I truly feel that she tried to solve the worlds issues with this album and put her whole heart into it for the first time in awhile.

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The album is one of those pieces where you'll love it or hate it, regardless of its message. I think it's a great album, and I think it received a great reception. She's no spring chook and neither is her large fanbase - but if we all embraced the streaming age with gusto it could have done I think better :)

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I don't think it has that much to do with streaming by an already established fanbase that, frankly, much of the time doesn't really get her message anyway. It is about the casual listener with a broader mindset getting the chance to discover Madame X out of curiosity. That was the purpose of writing the article. At the very least, it helped me to sort through my own understanding of Madonna in this ever-changing modern world. As M.I.A. once sang about the essence of  the personal manifesto, "If you ain't got one you'd better get one presto".

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3 hours ago, Alibaba said:

I don't think it has that much to do with streaming by an already establish fanbase that, frankly, much of the time doesn't really get her message anyway. It is about the casual listener with a broader mindset getting the chance to discover Madame X out of curiosity. That was the purpose of writing the article. At the very least, it helped me to sort through my own understanding of Madonna in this ever-changing modern world. As M.I.A. once sang about the essence of  the personal manifesto, "If you ain't got one you'd better get one presto".

True, but without radio supporting her to expose a casual listener to the album, the casual listener might not even realize she has an album out. The comment about streaming, is that, one of its impediments to success was its limited streaming. Its first week debut was 95,000 equavalent sales units - of which, 90,000 was pure sales and 5,000 streaming - compare that to other artists with a fan base that is streaming, the current No. 4 track on the steaming chart, had 30.5million streams in a week. 

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5 minutes ago, Jackie said:

True, but without radio supporting her to expose a casual listener to the album, the casual listener might not even realize she has an album out. The comment about streaming, is that, one of its impediments to success was its limited streaming. Its first week debut was 95,000 equavalent sales units - of which, 90,000 was pure sales and 5,000 streaming - compare that to other artists with a fan base that is streaming, the current No. 4 track on the steaming chart, had 30.5million streams in a week. 

Thus the motivation for writing the article. To give people the impetus to reintroduce an intellectual value to Madonna's work. If people had a clearer understanding of what her manifesto and her message are they might be more inclined to listen to her music. As far as the moral majority is concerned, Madonna is a woman of mediocre talent who has had her time in the spotlight, and no one wants to hear or see her trying to sell sex to them no matter how desperate she is to stay youthful. They don't get that S.E.X and the perennial Human Nature have long served to tell people that her days as a renegade for sexual freedom ended long ago...She has far loftier ambitions. I don't think it's so much that people didn't know that Madonna had new music on offer. I think they simply assumed that it wasn't worth their time. 

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12 hours ago, Alibaba said:

Thus the motivation for writing the article. To give people the impetus to reintroduce an intellectual value to Madonna's work. If people had a clearer understanding of what her manifesto and her message are they might be more inclined to listen to her music. As far as the moral majority is concerned, Madonna is a woman of mediocre talent who has had her time in the spotlight, and no one wants to hear or see her trying to sell sex to them no matter how desperate she is to stay youthful. They don't get that S.E.X and the perennial Human Nature have long served to tell people that her days as a renegade for sexual freedom ended long ago...She has far loftier ambitions. I don't think it's so much that people didn't know that Madonna had new music on offer. I think they simply assumed that it wasn't worth their time. 

I think there's plenty to enjoy on Madame X on purely musical level, regardless of its intellectual aspirations. People just stopped paying attention in general - to a degree it happens with any act that has been going on for a long time, there's this "oh god, they're still doing this?" attitude and let's face it, Madonna has had a longer and more successful run than pretty much anyone. Once you're not seen as new, fresh and exciting there's a malaise and cynicism that comes with how your work is being perceived and the reasons for you still trying to produce new stuff - "hasn't she got enough money?". I was thinking of this when reading the rave reviews Dua Lipa's new album received - it is a good record but it really isn't nowhere near as amazing as the universal acclaim would suggest (88 score on Metacritic). There's nothing new or innovative about it sonically, there'a fair share of clunky lyrics, etc. Lipa just happens to be riding her cool wave at the moment and great for her. And while Madame X was generally received positively (70 on Metacritic), the praise often seemed almost reluctant - how many times have critics used "bizarre" or "weird" to describe this album? It didn't exactly feel like praise even when there were 4 stars attached to it. Personally, I'm glad Madonna is still hungry and making interesting music that I enjoy listening to. It's a shame more people don't tune in but it's their loss :).

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7 hours ago, kesiak said:

I think there's plenty to enjoy on Madame X on purely musical level, regardless of its intellectual aspirations. People just stopped paying attention in general - to a degree it happens with any act that has been going on for a long time, there's this "oh god, they're still doing this?" attitude and let's face it, Madonna has had a longer and more successful run than pretty much anyone. Once you're not seen as new, fresh and exciting there's a malaise and cynicism that comes with how your work is being perceived and the reasons for you still trying to produce new stuff - "hasn't she got enough money?". I was thinking of this when reading the rave reviews Dua Lipa's new album received - it is a good record but it really isn't nowhere near as amazing as the universal acclaim would suggest (88 score on Metacritic). There's nothing new or innovative about it sonically, there'a fair share of clunky lyrics, etc. Lipa just happens to be riding her cool wave at the moment and great for her. And while Madame X was generally received positively (70 on Metacritic), the praise often seemed almost reluctant - how many times have critics used "bizarre" or "weird" to describe this album? It didn't exactly feel like praise even when there were 4 stars attached to it. Personally, I'm glad Madonna is still hungry and making interesting music that I enjoy listening to. It's a shame more people don't tune in but it's their loss :).

Absolutely! I felt the same way when i took in the critical response to the Dua Lipa album. It has serviceable dance pop music on it, and it focuses entirely on a post-millennial hodge podge of sexuality, spirituality and partying. As pop music's reach is intended for younger audiences I accept the limitations of younger artists. In all genres, these people are just searching for truth and authenticity like the rest of us. What is more powerful with legacy artists who are not solely intent on padding the coffers is that they have wisdom with which to imbue their creative output. Madonna, rather fascinatingly, has gone through the process of rediscovering this part of herself quite publicly, and Madame X is the result of that journey. If there is a recording industry still in 30 years from now, and if our political system hasn't devolved into fascism, I think this album will be reassessed for its brilliance. However, I don't see the need to wait that long, and so I will continue to bring light to the messages in her work that are perhaps less obvious to the casual listener. Thanks for participating in the dialogue!

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