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Where Do We Stand: Madame X


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What Are Your Current Feelings Towards Madame X?  

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  1. 1. What Are Your Current Feelings Towards Madame X?

    • Madonna's Best Album
      12
    • Love It, But Not Madonna's Best
      73
    • Neutral Feelings
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    • Dislike It, But Not Madonna's Worst
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    • Madonna's Worst Album
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To be honest i never listen to the album. Too dark and too many directions (reggaetton, classical music, reggae, disco, 90's dance, african beats....) and not one strong standout track that really blows away.  It was nice for 5 minutes in 2019 but that's it.... and i am so over the Madame X personna and even the name, everytime she posts a red X i'm like meh... I don't know why she tries so hard to push that non-eventful era down our throat two years later, move on already and give us a fresh new era/album that suits your beautiful new leeks !

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I love it but I find the many collaborations in it too distracting and lazy sometimes.

I don't think she did a good job with the Madame X persona like she did with Dita, so it feels undeveloped as an idea.

I love the different concepts and the experimental side (it's what I like about the album) but the play order and some of the production needed more cohesion .

I do listen to it but not as much as other albums. Definitely more than HC, RH or MDNA

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I love it I think it was a complete return to form and I love the world influences of the album. I do think for her next she should follow the same formula producer wise that she followed with ROL, Music, American Life & Confessions as although I loved the album it wasn't cohesive that said I think its that which makes it uniquely standout.

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In a world of cookie-cutters, more Madame X, please. Seriously, even with all its imperfections (too much vocoder, 2-3 filler tracks), it's more refreshing than anything I listened to on the radio in the past few years. To be honest, listening to this album is like listening to the Tower of Babel: so many layers, so many styles, so many references, an enigmatic alter ego: I found it immensely funny, I like this kind of stuff. This album was a joy for my ears and mind, a well-constructed puzzle.

I feel this album has closed a cycle in her career and a new chapter is about to start: I don't know where she'll go, but Madame gave me hope for this new crazy journey. After Rebel Heart, I was scared she lost herself in the general mediocrity, following questionable musical paths: Madame has driven away my doubts and I can't wait for something new.

 

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I'm a fan, not her best work, but a good solid effort and return to form. Something about Madame X feels to me like it is more personal to Madonna, especially after seeing the theatre tour.

Not one for the casual or new fans, but I do think this album was a gift to Madonna herself and her fans, as we were able to absorb herself in her world, not the world of Madame X, but the world of Madonna, a superstar icon, who the world has no template for, after a 30+ year career that is still going. The references to her pet issues, gun control, discrimination etc link right back to what she has been educating us for her whole career, and the Portuguese influences were an insight to where she was in her life at the time. It made me feel like I was being invited into her world, a very personal album. The layers of music and different influences are not like any other work she has done.

I really hope we get more of this sort of thing, what Madonna is experiencing, enjoying and living, though that would probably mean some sort of rap/hip hop album, which I would not like, but probably still buy...

I don't listen to it as often as I did last year, but do still enjoy giving it a spin every few weeks.

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I can't get over the fact you can have "Bitch i'm loca" and "Dark ballet" on the same album... i mean could you imagine "Bitch i'm loca" on Ray of light for example ?!

I agree not every albums have to be totally cohesive but to certain extent. Here the jump is way too big, it gives a messy feel to it as a whole. A beautiful cohesive sonically album is still way more class, imo.

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1 hour ago, TonyMontana said:

I can't get over the fact you can have "Bitch i'm loca" and "Dark ballet" on the same album... i mean could you imagine "Bitch i'm loca" on Ray of light for example ?!

I agree not every albums have to be totally cohesive but to certain extent. Here the jump is way too big, it gives a messy feel to it as a whole. A beautiful cohesive sonically album is still way more class, imo.

No, but then again I couldn't imagine a song of Dark Ballet's quality on ROL either.

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Dark Ballet is literally one of her worst. That dirg of a melody and verse with tired old cliches and love dove glove rhyming slang. 

Brilliant video and cute idea with the breakdown but too random to make it work. Is also completely destroys the flow of the album right off the bat. Medellin gets you going then its like being in a morgue. 

I like Madame X and its ambition a lot but regretfully I never listen to it despite liking a good few of the songs.

  1. Medellin
  2. God Control
  3. Future
  4. Crave
  5. Come Alive
  6. Batuka
  7. Extreme Occident
  8. Killers
  9. IDSIF
  10. Looking For Mercy (this could have been one of her best ever with a better chorus. That verse and bridge are other worldly. 

 

Would have made a pretty solid 10 track album but literally every song bar maybe God Control & Crave is under written and that's compensated for by bells and whistles. There's just something very empty about  a bunch of her work with Mirwais despite it being intricate and considered. I genuinely think the album could have been one of her greatest ever hands down but it works more like a mood board and grazing tapas plate rather than a five course meal. 

 

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20 hours ago, Nahual said:

It's my least favorite album of hers, replacing Like a Virgin which had previously been my least favorite. Madame X has a couple of bops now that I've taken the time to listen to it a bit more in the hopes that it would grow on me, but mostly I find it to be an unbalanced monstrosity that tries too hard to come across as avant-garde. It's contrived and pretentious, with few redeeming factors to make it worthwhile.

That's basically how I feel bout it including having replaced LAV as my least-favorite album. The only song I really like is Looking for Mercy. There are a couple of other songs that I'm quite fond of but they have all have things that irk me. The rapper in Crave, the autotune in Extreme occident, the muffled vocals in God Control, everything that follows the Beautiful Game-part in Dark ballet. 

I think you can tell what she wanted to achieve with the record – an avant-garde record with an organic production that touches real issues. But in the end, there is too much autotune, the songs have no hooks or melodies, the lyrics are way too repetitive and banal in many places and the production leaves a lot to be desired as many interesting parts are buried way too low in the mix (why hiring a choir if you turn it into an autotuned mess that is way too much in the back of the mix?).

But mostly, I miss her beautiful voice. Listen to American Pie. That was a beautiful vocal production, there is so much warmth and emotion is  her voice, she really manages to elevate that cover version onto a whole new level. 

And as a concept album Madame X doesn't work either. When I heard her talking about all the different personas of Madame X (she's a teacher, a mother, a whore …) I thought that each song would reflect one of the many faces of Madame X. That wouldn't have been cohesive either but at least it would have made sense. However, the whole concept of Madame X was pretty half assed. She wore an eye patch for no reason and barely made an appearance. 

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27 minutes ago, ShantiAshtangi said:

That's basically how I feel bout it including having replaced LAV as my least-favorite album. The only song I really like is Looking for Mercy. There are a couple of other songs that I'm quite fond of but they have all have things that irk me. The rapper in Crave, the autotune in Extreme occident, the muffled vocals in God Control, everything that follows the Beautiful Game-part in Dark ballet. 

I think you can tell what she wanted to achieve with the record – an avant-garde record with an organic production that touches real issues. But in the end, there is too much autotune, the songs have no hooks or melodies, the lyrics are way too repetitive and banal in many places and the production leaves a lot to be desired as many interesting parts are buried way too low in the mix (why hiring a choir if you turn it into an autotuned mess that is way too much in the back of the mix?).

But mostly, I miss her beautiful voice. Listen to American Pie. That was a beautiful vocal production, there is so much warmth and emotion is  her voice, she really manages to elevate that cover version onto a whole new level. 

And as a concept album Madame X doesn't work either. When I heard her talking about all the different personas of Madame X (she's a teacher, a mother, a whore …) I thought that each song would reflect one of the many faces of Madame X. That wouldn't have been cohesive either but at least it would have made sense. However, the whole concept of Madame X was pretty half assed. She wore an eye patch for no reason and barely made an appearance. 

I absolutely agree with everything you said and a special thank you for mentionning "American pie" and her vocals on that track that is just pure heaven.

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4 hours ago, ShantiAshtangi said:

And as a concept album Madame X doesn't work either. When I heard her talking about all the different personas of Madame X (she's a teacher, a mother, a whore …) I thought that each song would reflect one of the many faces of Madame X. That wouldn't have been cohesive either but at least it would have made sense. However, the whole concept of Madame X was pretty half assed. She wore an eye patch for no reason and barely made an appearance. 

I think the issue here is that fans were expecting a concept or overall theme, when there wasn’t even one to begin with. Madonna even said it herself that Madame X wasn’t a concept album. Madame X is a dancer, a prostitute, a mother, a teacher..., because that’s who Madonna is. Madonna wears multiple hats and takes on multiple roles in her day to day life, and in career. She is a mother AND a father.

Madonna basically defined and put a name to her act of “re-invention.” It’s not even a reinvention, when all those facets and disguises make up who Madonna really is. She is all those people. 

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Yeah this maybe so but it's apparent since MDNA that her themes and over all ideas don't really correlate to the imagery or at least its not as succinct as it used to be. Fair enough the Rebel Heart stuff plans were scuppered but even the concept of Rebel & Heart albums wasn't fully realised in the end, These things were usually worked out or better delivered prior to Live Nation. We could even say Hard Candy was messy image wise too...and that Black Madonna cover guy talked her out of. There's a slight disconnect from campaigns of yesterday year. 

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I chose worst album but I'd think it'd be more accurate to say it's my least favorite. I think a lot of the reasons I dislike the album come from what a massive let down it was for me. I was so excited for her to work with Mirwais again (I could go on for hours and hours about how American Life is the best thing she's ever released), but when the album came out I was met with tons of stylistic choices I dislike in any artist's music, not just Madonna's. The autotune, the mumbling, the lack of a chorus on most of the songs, it just made the album unenjoyable for me. The only songs I listen to on a semi-regular basis are Crave (which took a while to grow on me) and Medellín.

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I've been listening to it a lot, mostly because of the birthday coming and the fact that it reminds me so much of 2019 and the year that followed (before we were all coronafucked).

Very solid album, very bold pop, great songwriting. Mirwais pulled the best he could.

The lyrics are somehow all over the place. Some are genius, some are bland, some are stupid. Madame X wasn't designed well enough to carry a whole era.

It really lacks a strong single, a Madonna moment musically speaking. The experimentations are exciting though, for an album from such a big act.

I hope M keeps on digging into more complex concepts, with the help of people her standard. Enough with the throwaway featurings.

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Paradise is one of Madonna's best songs. Right? I don't listen to it often and to be honest sometimes I think it is boring. Then, there is Nobody's Perfect. It could have been better without those vocoders, but we appreciate it for being experimental and different.

Now, imagine an album full of those songs and you would get Madame X. The perspective changes. We can stan a few moody songs and praise Madonna's brilliance, but if you get an album full of those songs it becomes heavy.

Some moody albums like those of Lana Del Rey work, some others don't. I am not saying Madame X doesn't work, but it doesn't have that accessibility like Lana's albums.

 

Although, I wouldn't rank it high, it is a good album. In comparisons to previous mixed bags, it doesn't have a lot of flaws. The things that ruin the album a bit are the bonus songs. Madonna shouldn't release bonus songs, because most of them suck. Extreme Occident being a bonus song on deluxe edition instead of Bitch I'm Loca and Faz Gostoso is odd. 

Madonna is still able to reinvent herself and refresh some old sounds like creating a sensual Latin pop song with subtle lush electropop beats that is Medellin, but she is also able to fuck the album up with basic reggaeton on Bitch I'm Loca, which was pointless. I am not against a cover song, but Faz Gostoso wasn't a good choice. 

It seems like Madonna wanted a moody album in every way and thought that doing something more joyful wouldn't be seen as artistic and creative. At least it sounds so, until it reaches Bitch I'm Loca and Faz Gostoso, that were like supposed to be a break from moody songs. But why delivering the most basic and uninspiring stuff that ruin the album at that point? She could have easily made some incredible disco dance bops instead. 

Vocoders/autotune is an issue. Artistic choice or not, many songs could have been better without it. Madonna's raw vocals would have brought songs like Batuka to another level. That being said, her vocals sounded great on this album. Even the songs with vocoders. The production on most songs sound expensive and great.

Another flaw is repetitiveness in some songs, which leads to monotony. The beginning of Batuka sounds like the rest of it. The same goes for some other songs. Yes, you can say the same thing for any Madonna song or music in general, but sometimes a song needs something.  If the song is catchy, the repetitiveness isn't a big deal, but a moody song can be a different experience.

Dark Ballet is good, but it should have been longer with a proper finish.

Back That Up was just a bonus song on super deluxe, so that shouldn't be a bid deal, but Back That Up of all outtakes?  Across The Sky and Queen were just there. I am really questioning her taste.

 

I disagree with those who say Madame X isn't cohesive. It is very cohesive. Yes, there are many styles, but it is so well packed in a dark and moody atmosphere. COADF is praised for its cohesion, but that album also has "diversity": disco music sampling, the 80s music sampling - synthpop, Middle Eastern influence, classic music elements, space sounding music on Push, a sophisticated song evoking Goldfrapp that is Like It Or Not. The diversity is subtle, but it is there.

The problem is the quality of songs with certain styles (reggaeton, Middle Eastern) on Madame X.

 

In a nutshell, Madame X could have been better:

- If Madonna was selective and ditched unnecessary songs, especially the basic ones.

- If there were less vocal effects. You can call it an artistic choice, but Madonna is doing it since Music era.

- If certain songs weren't monotone. 

 

Ideal tracklist:

  1. Medellin
  2. Dark Ballet
  3. God Control
  4. Future
  5. Batuka
  6. Crave
  7. Crazy
  8. Killers Who Are Partying
  9. Extreme Occident
  10. I Rise
  11. Come Alive (deluxe edition)
  12. I Don't Search I Find (deluxe edition)

 

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26 minutes ago, Justice said:

 

 

Ideal tracklist:

  1. Medellin
  2. Dark Ballet
  3. God Control
  4. Future
  5. Batuka
  6. Crave
  7. Crazy
  8. Killers Who Are Partying
  9. Extreme Occident
  10. I Rise
  11. Come Alive (deluxe edition)
  12. I Don't Search I Find (deluxe edition)

 

Omg I made an ideal tracklist a couple weeks ago on here and it was very similar to this. I think I had Ciao Bella added and everything else was the same. The absolute TASTE! Also Future (tour version)

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