Be still, my “Rebel Heart” (UPDATED)

 

Madonna is the Queen. No, seriously – she is the undisputed Queen. Let me explain…

For starters, she’s sold over 300 million albums worldwide (more than any female artist) over her 32-year career. She’s the top-touring solo artist in history and those shows are sold out, critically acclaimed extravaganzas. She’s a billionaire…..I could go on and on (a la “Give it 2 Me”). But her royal credentials have been proven yet again by how she worked the recent leaking of her album to her advantage.

In case you didn’t read the news, 13 demos from album number 13 leaked onto the web just days ago. Yeah, the one and only Queen of Pop was not happy about it. ““This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demos, half of which won’t even make it on my album,” she posted alongside a photo to Instagram (which was later deleted). “The other half have changed and evolved. This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?”

Well last night (12/19/2014), she literally broke iTunes by releasing her upcoming album as a pre-order – I had trouble downloading it and connecting to the store, a problem I saw happened to many who tried to pre-order. Titled Rebel Heart (Madonna-holics like me have suspected as much since she’s frequently used the hashtag #rebelheart on her Instagram), the 19-track album has six that are instantly available once a pre-order is made. You better believe I pre-ordered faster than she fired someone over the leak.

I say this as a hardcore Madonna fan (I have all her albums, most singles, several vinyls, some books, posters, etc.): It’s her best material since 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor. It’s ahead of the curve (classic Madonna trait) and beautifully showcases the magic that happens when she collaborates with amazing artists and producers like Natalia Kills, Diplo, Avicii and others. I’m not saying 2008’s Hard Candy and 2012’s MDNA weren’t good – I loved them. But they sounded like other music of the time (no complaints, by the way). Rebel boldly breaks the streak. It sounds unique and different from anything currently out right now.

There are seven tracks with names, six of which are instantly downloadable: “Living For Love,” “Devil Pray,” “Ghosttown,” “Unapologetic Bitch,” “Illuminati,” and “Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj).” The seventh – “Joan of Arc.” The available six are all single-worthy and could easily stand alone.

They’re all my favorite. The dance and EDM grooves that have come to define Madonna are fine-tuned into some amazing songs. The lyrics are both deep and lighthearted, the beats are incredible, and the cover of the album is a stunning piece of art by Mert & Marcus. Someone leaked several demos so she released a surprise pre-order that included six songs. Touché.

If you need some confirmation, head over to iTunes and pre-order Rebel Heart. Twenty-fifteen is going to be the year of Madonna and I cannot wait.

The official "Rebel Heart" album cover by Mert & Marcus

The official “Rebel Heart” album cover by Mert & Marcus

UPDATED (12/20/2014)

Since the surprise pre-order “release,” Madonna has also released the first track, “Living For Love,” as the album’s first single (via YouTube).

“I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living For Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring. I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.” – Madonna

Merry Christmas indeed.

 

 

UPDATED (again) – (12/22/2014)

New news of Rebel Heart keeps pouring in! Since pulling what Popjustice calls a “partial Beyoncé,” the pre-order/partial album has rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts in over 40 countries (the U.S. of A. included). Other than Barbra Streisand, no other female artist has had as many chart-topping albums as her – a whopping eight (of her now 13) albums. As examiner.com’s Samuel Lora pointed out, she’s also the only female artist to reach the top ten lists in the all decades since the ’90s.

Hey Madonna haters, do you know what that means? She is still very relevant and popular and will be long after she’s gone. Whether you like it or not, she’s the Queen of Pop.

Yesterday (12/21/2014) she revealed to Billboard that she may sing at the Grammy Awards next year (!!) and how she and her team have been in “overdrive” since the 13 demos leaked onto the Internet. She also sat down with Rolling Stone‘s Caryn Ganz for an exclusive Q&A. A few highlights:

– on song-writing with producers and artists like Avicii, Diplo, etc.:

“And sometimes in the writing phase of the music, there are some people who I really felt a connection to, just as human beings, and felt they understood me as a songwriter and a person, so those people were easier for me to write with. Writing songs, you have to be vulnerable, you have to not be afraid to express yourself and to say things or share. It’s almost like writing your diary in front of somebody and reading it out loud.”

– on the spirituality behind the incredible “Devil Pray” (which does not endorse drug use, by the way)

“[Unity is] another subtle message of the song, and you really do have to pay attention to the lyrics, and I hope people do over time. The way we’re going to change the world, or the way we’re going to ultimately feel joy, is through unity. I’m certainly not encouraging religious behavior; when I say people are thinking in a religious way, I think they’re thinking about rules and dogma and laws that separate. When I say spirituality, I mean a consciousness that has an understanding that we are all in this together, that we are all one. We have to find a way to feel joy and to bring joy to the world together. That ultimately is with consciousness, not drugs.”

– on the meaning behind the ironic track “Illuminati”:

“People often accuse me of being a member of the Illuminati and I think in today’s pop culture the Illuminati is perceived as a group of powerful, successful people who are working behind the scenes to control the universe…The real Illuminati were a group of scientists, artists, philosophers, writers, who came about in what is referred to as the Age of Enlightenment, after the Dark Ages, when there was no writing and no art and no creativity and no spirituality, and life was really at a standstill…when people refer to me as a member of the Illuminati, I always want to say thank you. Thank you for putting me in that category. But before I can say thank you, I feel like I had to write a song about what I believe the Illuminati to be, and what it isn’t.”

She has also taken to her Instagram to thank and praise her fans. We love you, too! We eagerly await February 9th for more music and March 10th for the full work of art. We’re living for the love she’s giving us.

For a great review of each of the six released tracks, head over to MuuMuse. And if you haven’t pre-ordered Rebel Heart, you should…now. 😉

One of the incredible shots from the Mert & Marcus photo shoot for the December 2014 edition of "Interview Magazine"

One of the incredible shots from the Mert & Marcus photo shoot for the December 2014 edition of “Interview Magazine”

 

 

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Music Critics Addicted to “MDNA”

MDNA Deluxe Edition Album Cover

Thirty years after the start of her career, Madonna is still kicking ass. She’s a trend-setter, a master at reinvention and button-pushing and, without a doubt, the reigning Queen of Pop. Her latest studio album, “MDNA,” comes out tomorrow and judging by the critical reception, it’s one of her best works.

For album number 12, Madonna collaborated with masters of the DJ world Martin Solveig, Benny Benassi and William Orbit. Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. are also featured on select tracks. The title, “MDNA,” is a fun blend of “Madonna,” “Madonna DNA,” and the technical name of the hallucinogenic drug ecstasy (MDMA). The end result: mass appeal as well as a dance-inducing, other-worldly feeling that only the 53-year-old Queen herself could master.

Music critics got the priviledge of listening to the entire album before its public release. Their verdict: It’s really, really good.

Jim Farber of NY Daily News gave the album five out of five stars:

“…much of ‘MDNA’…has more the flip zip of a disc by Katy Perry or Ke$ha than something by a woman who may be older than both their mothers. Then again, we are talking about Madonna, a woman who, at this point, seems hellbent on giving the finger to expectations about age that she once gave to assumptions about sex…the album’s greater feat has a far more subversive, if not superhuman, dimension. It finds Madonna aging in the most nose-thumbing way possible – in reverse.”

Glenn Gamboa of Newsday have the album an “A” grade:

“On half of ‘MDNA,’ Madonna, surrounded by such state-of-the-art collaborators as hot producer Martin Solveig, sounds like she is readying her last stand as the Queen of Pop, marshalling upbeat dance numbers, well-crafted enough to match anything today’s crop of pop princesses – Rihanna, Katy Perry and, of course, Lady Gaga – could muster. On the other half of ‘MDNA,’ though, Madonna, with her ‘Ray of Light’ producer William Orbit, sounds like she could easily leave pop behind to create dark, challenging EDM (electronic dance music) and work on her far-more lucrative concert tours.”

NME’s Priya Elan had nothing but praise for “MDNA” as well:

“‘MDNA’ is a ridiculously enjoyable romp, but oddly not for the bits that are supposed to be fun. Instead, it’s the psychotic, soul-bearing stuff that provides listeners with some of the most visceral stuff she’s ever done.”

Mirror UK declared that at this stage of her career, Madonna is still a “force to be reckoned with.” MTV’s Jocelyn Vena gave sound medical advice and told us “MDNA” “is a drug worth taking.” Way ahead of you, Ms. Vena. I’m buying the deluxe edition tomorrow. 😀

 

“Girl Gone Wild” – **warning – this is the uncensored version of the music video**

 

 

 

“Give Me All Your Luvin'”

 

 

 

Track Listing

  1. Girl Gone Wild
  2. Gang Bang (excluded from clean version)
  3. I’m Addicted
  4. Turn Up the Radio
  5. Give Me All Your Luvin’ (ft. Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.)
  6. Some Girls
  7. Superstar
  8. I Don’t Give A (ft. Nicki Minaj)
  9. I’m a Sinner
  10. Love Spent
  11. Masterpiece
  12. Falling Free
  13. Beautiful Killer (Deluxe Edition only)
  14. I F***ed Up (Deluxe Edition only)
  15. B-Day Song (ft. M.I.A.) (Deluxe Edition only)
  16. Best Friend (Deluxe Edition only)
  17. Give Me All Your Luvin’ (Party Rock Remix) (ft. LMFAO and Nicki Minaj) (Deluxe Edition only)

More Previews of MDNA

Madonna’s upcoming album, MDNA, comes out in less than three weeks…and from the songs and previews we’ve heard and seen, it’s going to be amazing. The Queen is back and she’s more bad-ass than ever.

Click here to preview the track “I’m Addicted.” Apparently, Perez Hilton got the chance to hear the album and will be previewing a few songs over the next few weeks. Um, “insanely jealous” doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about that… 😛

Last week, the track “Girl Gone Wild” came out, first as a lyrics video on VEVO and then as a single on iTunes. Listen to the opening track (first on the album) below…it’ll make you “feel like sinnin'” 😉   *I love that it’s reminiscent of her 10th album, Confessions on a Dance Floor

The video for the first single, “Give Me All Your Luvin'” (released February 3rd)…

**Update: On March 7 (the day after I posted this), snippets of “I’m Addicted” and “Love Spent” were posted to Madonna’s official YouTube channel.

“I’m Addicted”

“Love Spent”

**March 9 Update: Previews of “Gang Bang” and the video for “Girl Gone Wild.” This album is going to be epic 😀

“Gang Bang”

preview of the music video for “Girl Gone Wild” – it looks like “Erotica” meets “Human Nature” 2012 – love it! 😀

 

**March 13 Update…

Preview of the track “Superstar”

 

**March 14 Update…

Preview of the track “Falling Free”

Album Cover of MDNA is Here!

The amazing album cover to Madonna’s upcoming 12th studio album, MDNA, has been released. 😀

MDNA

As I mentioned in my previous post, iTunes will offer an exclusive 18-track deluxe edition pre-order on Friday (February 3rd) when “Give Me All Your Luvin'” is released. For a few days only, the entire deluxe edition will be $9.99. I was so happy when I saw this on the iTunes store…

iTunes Countdown To Pre-Order of MDNA

 

Official Cover Art for “Give Me All Your Luvin'” & More!

Official Cover Art for "Give Me All Your Luvin'"

To observers of the Chinese New Year, it’s the Year of the Dragon. To gullible saps, it’s the end of the world. To the world of pop culture, it’s the Year of Madonna. Twenty-twelve is shaping to be one of the biggest years in the Queen of Pop’s 29-year career.

The first single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” is due out this Friday (February 3rd). Nicki “Superbass” Minaj and M.I.A. are featured in Madonna’s first new single since 2009’s “Revolver” and the first new studio album material since 2008’s Hard Candy. The tour de force, cheerleader themed, Super-Bowl-inspired, single combines the creative talents of the Queen herself, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and Martin Solveig. She’s opening the Super Bowl halftime with the song on February 5th in what will be her first halftime show ever. In case you heard the demo that leaked last year (under the title “Give Me All Your Love”), this will obviously be the completed, improved, polished version…not that the demo wasn’t awesome too…

We can also expect a world tour later this year from the top-selling female artist of all time.

 

 

iTunes will release the single and offer a limited-time pre-order of the 18-track deluxe edition of the new album for $9.99 on February 3rd. Album number 12 will also include the Golden Globe Award-winning song “Masterpiece,” written for her second film “W.E.”

 

 

American Idol is scheduled to air a preview of the new music video on Thursday, February 2nd. This will be the only redeeming value of America’s most annoying reality show to come along since the show began a decade ago…I say this because I’ll actually be tuning in….just for the preview of the anticipated video.

Ok, Madonna fans and everyone else who has a pulse, Interscope revealed the release date of “MDNA,” Madonna’s 12th studio album – March 26. I’ll definitely be buying the deluxe edition…and not on iTunes: I’m going old school and buying the physical album (probably at Target or Best Buy). Expect my album review to follow shortly after. 😉

 

It’s A Celebration

Here’s my first post of 2012…and…it’s about….Madonna. Twenty-twelve is going to be the Year of Madonna and to celebrate, here’s a great remix of 1983’s “Holiday” and 2009’s “Celebration,” mixed with the videos spanning her 29-year career.

Studio album number twelve is set to come out in a matter of months and her first single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” is being released later this month. A world tour is also expected later this year, which will be M’s ninth world tour. As a devoted Madonna fan and member of the Millennial Generation, I eagerly await the latest material from the one and only Queen of Pop.

Madonna Update (9/29/11)

Madonna is hard at work on her 12th studio album…and I can’t wait. The Queen of Pop said that there will be a single out in February (perhaps more??) and a new album next Spring.

She’s collaborating with William Orbit (who helped produce the masterpieces Ray Of Light and Music) and Jean Baptiste (of The Black Eyed Peas). I know it will sound fantastic (thankfully, no Timbaland this time…). I’m so excited! 😀

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Madonna in New York on September 27, 2011 (are there album notes in that little black book? 😉 )

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Madonna at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting her new film (that she directed) W.E., September 13, 2011