CD review: Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’

“Rebel Heart” is unlike any other album in Madonna’s discography. Instead of creating a brand-new aural persona as she’s done so many times before, “Rebel Heart” is very much the first Madonna album that’s actually about Madonna, with a majority of these tracks commenting on her own history and accomplishments with varying degrees of success.

While there is the usual glut of mindless sex jams and trend chasers that have so characterized her last three full-lengths, those few meta moments that actually work reveal a rare poignancy that hasn’t been seen since 2000’s “Music.”

Take “Holy Water,” for example. Madonna sounds very much at home with aggressive sentiments, blatantly toying around with religious iconography while having a bit of provocative fun. During a breakdown near the end, she somewhat inexplicably interpolates the entire “Ladies with an attitude” verse from “Vogue,” presumably to give weight to the song’s theme of owning your own sexuality. While the verse fits nicely over the song’s mid-tempo electro throb, this is a rare case of Madonna acknowledging her own legacy, leaving these well-worn tropes out in a window display for all to see.

“Rebel Heart” has a profoundly human element to it, one that paints Madonna more as a person than a product, itself a minor miracle. With this album, Madonna has dropped the overt hit-chasing to instead take on her most radical incarnation yet – that of an actual, relatable human being, flaws and all.

Evan Sawdey/

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Jo Whiley to interview Madonna on Radio 2

Jo Whiley will be interviewing the Queen of Pop Madonna on her BBC Radio 2 show next week.

They’ll be catching up and having a chat on Tuesday 31st March, between 8pm and 10pm in what will be her first interview with any radio station in the UK for a long time.

Madonna will be talking about that fall at the Brit Awards, along with her new album and family life, ahead of her tour in late summer.

They might even talk about the supposed ‘ban’ from BBC Radio 1, which wasn’t really a ban, they just didn’t think her new music appealed to teenagers.



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Help getting The Man Behind The Throne released

Madonna fans!! Help support getting the film, ‘The Man Behind the Throne’ distributed and seen! No amount of support is too small. Go to our Indiegogo page and help spread the word and let\’s bring Vincent and a young, bursting with talent Madonna to the world! The film features several, never before seen clips of Madonna in rehearsal for the Blond Ambition Tour. For more information go to our Facebook page-

Thanks to: Tom

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Cover up! Overtly sexy album artwork from singers like Madonna are censored for audiences in the Middle East

Religious beliefs in a number of Middle Eastern countries require women to be covered

Designers ‘re-imagine’ a lot of album art to respect local culture and traditions 


Saudi Arabia and its neighboring Middle Eastern countries are notorious for censoring ‘sexual’ album covers by female artists in order to make the artwork more appropriate for a conservative audience.

Record companies hoping to sell their artists’s albums are ever-more sensitive to the beliefs and cultural traditions of each market they’re selling to, and will often tailor album covers in order to avoid offence.

In some extreme cases there have been reports of the Saudi government paying religious police members of the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) to manually alter from covers.

Many labels now offer two cover options, particularly for their most popular performers, ensuring that the artwork will require no further doctoring and can be sold without causing offence.

There have been some memorable redesigns in recent years with Kylie Minogue wearing a wrap to cover up her white swimsuit, on the cover of her 2001 record Fever, Madonna swapping her revealing dominatrix outfit in favor of a one-piece leather body suit for her 2008 album Hard Candy, and Katy Perry being consumed by clouds on 2010 hit Teenage Dream, all in the name of Middle Eastern decency.

Almost all of Mariah Carey’s albums have been adjusted for audiences in Asia while Christina Aguilera has also been targeted by the censors.

Read more HERE



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Madonna: Who Would She Apologize to If She Could? Outtakes From Her 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Nothing’s better than more, more, more! Leave it to Madonna to exceed Us Weeklys request for 25 Things You Don’t Me. Speaking with Us’ Entertainment Director Ian Drew recently, the pop legend, 56, sounded off on everything from her goal to meet President Obama (and Drake!), her disdain for fur bikinis, escargot, and her home state of Michigan in the much talked-about, published version of 25 Things.”

But that’s not all she had to say. In these outtakes from our exclusive chat with the legendary “Ghosttown” singer, Madonna muses on her family, filming Evita, the pitfalls of fame and who she might owe an apology to, among other topics. Read on!

US WEEKLY: In the spirit of rebel hearts, what was your ultimate “rebel” moment?

MADONNA: The ultimate moment where I most felt like a rebel was in St. Petersburg, Russia [in 2012 during the MDNA Tour] when I was told they were going to arrest anyone who was openly or obviously gay and they came to my shows and I spoke out against the government. Eighty-seven people were arrested and I was fined like $1 million. They dropped the lawsuit, though. When I stood up for Pussy Riot was around the same time, but there have been a lot of those moments. I also think about when I was in Toronto and they said if I simulated masturbation during one of my shows [during the Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990] they would have me arrested and I was like, ‘F–k you! I’m doing it anyway. So arrest me.’ They didn’t in the end. Lots of those. Then there’s the Vatican when they said they would have me…you know, whatever! It goes on and on….

US: Love the track on the album “Unapologetic Bitch” — so, who’s the biggest unapologetic bitch of them all?

M: Kanye West is the biggest unapologetic bitch besides me.

US: Anyone you’d like to apologize to, though?

M: If I could apologize to one person, it would be…no one. I’m an unapologetic bitch!

US: With two marriages and other high-profile relationships behind you, what’s your best relationship advice?

M: My best piece of relationship advice is you can’t take it with you.

US: You have so many classic, hit songs in your catalog — but do any other artists’ songs make you envious?

M: I wish I had written and recorded a song called “Retrograde” by James Blake. I love him.

US: What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

M: I can’t stand when I walk into a room and everyone’s not talking to each other and just on their phones.

US: Favorite workout?

M: My favorite workout is metabolic interval training on a Bosu Ball.

US: What’s your favorite part about being a mother?

M: The best thing about being a mom of four [Lourdes, 18, Rocco, 14, David and Mercy, both 9] is all of the life lessons they teach me all day long, every day of the week.

US: What are the ultimate perks and downfalls of fame?

M: The thing I love most about being famous is people listening to me when I have something important to say. The thing I like least about being famous is being overly scrutinized for everything I say and do.

US: What’s your favorite book of all time?

M: I’m obsessed with so many books that it’s impossible to name them all but I really love The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. So good.

US: What’s your favorite moviemaking memory?

M: My favorite scene that I ever filmed was singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from the balcony of the Casa Rosada in Argentina [where the real Eva Peron once stood] during Evita. That was amazing. SO real and surreal. Bizarre.

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Madonna’s So-Called ‘Flop Tour’ Adds Several Dates Due To High Ticket Damand


It’s almost a given. Every time Madonna goes out on tour, critics claim she is flopping, ticket sales are low, etc. In 2008, several outlets predicted that Madonna’s deal with Live Nation would go bankrupt because she was failing to sell out every single seat six months before the Sticky & Sweet Tour. According to MTV, Madonna ended up ranking $408 million on the tour — the most ever by a solo artist.

In April of 2012, the New York Post published an article repeating that Madonna and Live Nation were doomed due to supposed poor ticket sales and album sales. Last week, the same publication wrote a hit-piece that actually claimed Madonna should call her tour “Like a Has-Been.”

“But tickets are not selling as briskly as for her ‘MDNA’ tour in 2012, leaving thousands of unsold seats in the eight North American cities that began selling tickets on March 9. In 2012, Madonna reportedly sold out Yankee Stadium in 20 minutes, prompting concert promoter Live Nation to add a second date at the 60,000-seat venue.”

While it’s true tickets aren’t moving as fast as her last tour, it appears that the New York Post reported completely inaccurate information. As Billboard reported at the beginning of 2013, Madonna sold around 79,000 tickets for both shows at Yankee Stadium. This shows that, like most stadium shows, Yankee Stadium usually holds a maximum of 40,000 per show.

However, there is another blow to the credibility of the New York Post article. Several second dates at venues across the world have been added. According to Madonna’s website, dates have not only been added all over Europe, but also in North American cities such as Miami, New York City, Toronto, and Edmonton. It’s a well-known fact that concert promoters would not risk adding second dates at certain venues if the first ones weren’t selling very well.

Perhaps people just want to see Madonna fail. Madonna, herself, thinks a lot of it has to do with a combination of ageism and sexism. Madonna has spoken out against those issues in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.

“It’s still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody. Because of their age. Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society.”

In the same interview, Madonna wonders why there is a backlash against people who make racist or homophobic comments, but ageist comments are completely acceptable. Does Madonna have a point? Let us know in the comments section.


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