Madonna has helped define what it means to be a female music artist for nearly 30 years now. Her continually evolving sound and style keep up with and in most cases surpass that of younger pop divas like Lady GaGa and Britney Spears. I have no doubt that Madonna will continue to define (and redefine) the music industry for decades to come.
Having said that, I cannot help but wonder why the following unreleased songs didn’t make the final cut on her last album. She’s currently working on her 12th studio album and thankfully Timbaland and Pharrell are not involved.
For those who don’t know, Timbaland and Pharrell are responsible for making her last album, Hard Candy, sadly mediocre. It wasn’t a bad album, but it wasn’t of top Madonna-quality the world has come to expect.
Hard Candy has what is described as an “urban dance vibe” and contains songs that could come out of a Nelly Furtado album. The songs are catchy and fun to dance to…and that’s about it (although, “Give it 2 Me” and “Miles Away” are Madonna gold).
I obviously wasn’t in the studio when they were making Candy, but judging from the few unreleased tracks that were leaked to YouTube a couple of years ago, one would assume that Madonna’s creativity was stifled by the Hip-Hop giants.
The unreleased track “Animal” is amazing. It has a primal and, well, animalistic sound and “naughty” vibe. Just listen…
The next unreleased track, “Lela Pala Tute” (from the Romani gypsy song of the same name) is really good. I love the foreign and put-it-on-repeat-inducing sound. Madonna has said she’s a gypsy at heart….and yet she didn’t include it in Hard Candy. I realize the video says the song is called “Latte” but this is it…
“On & On” is actually an early form of the 8th track on the album “Beat Goes On (ft. the insufferable Kanye West).” I like THIS version much more than the final version.
And finally, “Across The Sky.” I can’t really explain why, but I simply love this song. It’s etherial and urban-dance all in one song.
Madonna, I say this as a die-hard fan: Please steer clear of well-known producers and stick to the relatively unknown (in the US, that is). You made your best work with William Orbit in Ray of Light and won a Grammy for it. You once again solidified your place as Dance Artist Extraordinaire with Confessions on a Dance Floor. You got personal and honest on Music and did it with such a good and different sound, Rolling Stone rated it one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Please don’t ever collaborate with Timbaland, Pharrell or Kanye West again. You’re so much better than that.