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Imagine a world where Madonna hates being photographed, where she considers quitting her career and admits to suffering haunting demands that she “act like the other girls.”
It’s the same world where pigs fly and figure skaters crowd the deepest recesses of hell.
Yet, somehow, that’s the world occupying significant parts of Madonna’s revelatory new album, “Rebel Heart.”
More credibly than any previous work, Madonna’s latest pulls back the curtain on her life, letting us see her hurt and yearning.
It also finds her licking her wounds over a breakup with a far less powerful boy toy — presumably the decades-her-junior dancer Brahim Zaibat, who she saw for three years, ending in 2013.
Maddy has said that she chose the album’s title to express two sides of her character: the defiant warrior and the aching lover.
While a decent portion of harder, bitchier odes do turn up, the album as a whole presents the softest, most sincere portrait of the star we’ve ever had. In the process, “Rebel Heart” coheres, offering a swift rebuke to whoever prematurely dribbled out its tracks in a dizzying variety of leaks.
It also marks a clear move away from Madonna’s last two works — “Hard Candy” and “MDNA.” Both soared on energetic pop, creating two of the most enjoyable, catchiest albums of her career. “Rebel Heart” goes for something more substantial and — dare I say? — mature.
Along the way, the long, 19-song album offers its share of groaners, missteps and songs more indebted to trendy production than solid craft. But its best moments boast some of the most finely structured pop melodies of Madonna’s 32-year career.
The slam-dunk opener, “Living for Love,” stands with her great gospel-soul songs of the past: “Like a Prayer” and “Express Yourself.” Of the ballads, “Ghosttown” rates with her best: “Live to Tell” and “Crazy for You.”
The way the producers recorded Madonna both bolsters the melodies and lends her depth. They’ve honeyed her voice: Madonna hasn’t sounded this rich since the sumptuous “Evita” soundtrack. In “Ghosttown,” her deep tone has some of the autumnal ache of Karen Carpenter.
All this isn’t to say Madonna doesn’t chirp, sneer and bray in places. In “Holy Water,” she’s in late-period Joan Crawford mode, putting down all comers with an unseemly pride. Then, in “Bitch I’m Madonna,” she nicks a slogan from someone far beneath her, referencing Ms. Spears’ old “It’s Britney, Bitch” line.
Madonna’s harder side finds a focus in “Unapologetic Bitch,” where she plays a spurned sugar mama. She revels in banishing an entitled young stud back to his impoverished past, a mirror, most likely, of the breakup with Zaibat.
The same scenario reels through two other songs: “HeartBreakCity” and “Living for Love,” though in the latter, the loss becomes a spur to celebrate a love that may yet come.
The music in “Living for Love” implicitly references the past, but in other passages Madonna invokes it directly. The lyrics to “Veni Vidi Vici” offer a virtual career retrospective. The title track brings an even broader life assessment — looking back at her attempts to fit in as a youth, as well as her years of acting out with provocative gestures for their own sake. Never before has Madonna copped to the latter motivation in a song. In the end, she accepts the consequences, and embraces the bravery, of her character fully enough to create her own answer to “My Way.”
The beauty of the song’s melody helps ease its self-involvement. As a lyricist, Madonna has always had trouble making her personal songs universal.
On the other hand, her persona has such cultural resonance at this point, it has become part of all pop fans. Her name is a metaphor for strength and endurance. That makes her potent enough to admit where she’s weak in “Joan Of Arc.” Here, she says that each critique drives her to private tears. In “Wash All Over Me,” she ponders either running from, or accepting the end of, her career.
It’s hard to imagine Madonna expressing things like this before, let alone making them ring true. That’s “Rebel Heart’s” peak feature: It presents a 56-year-old woman who, in the best possible sense, sounds her age.
It seems nothing will stop Madonna from making bold fashion statements- not even her terrifying Brits tumble.
The Queen of Pop was spotted for the first time since falling down three huge steps as she began her performance at Wednesday night’s Brits.
Madge was seen making her way to Mr Chow in London last night dressed in some incredibly high footwear – despite admitting her recent fall left her with “whiplash”.
Read full article by The Mirror HERE
Madonna seen arriving at Annabel’s Private members club and restaurant on February 26, 2015 in London, England. (Alex Huckle/GC Images)
Madonna performed a remix of Living For Love twice as well as Ghosttown (three times). She did an interview for over an hour and explained all on the Brit Awards (see artice by the Mirror below). Audience was mostly industry and family & friends only. Many fans with tickets and wristbands were denied entrance.
She confirmed the tour will start in the Fall and end somewhere at the end of February, after the tour there will be a break and then she will be working on a new film in Fall 2016.
The singer managed to carry on despite falling down three HUGE stairs in the painful stumble and has recalled the horrifying fall on Jonathan Ross
Madonna has revealed how she has whiplash after her Brits fall and described her own performance as “a nightmare”.
Appearing on the Jonathan Ross Show, Madonna said: “I’m a creature of habit I rehearse everything, everything, everything.
“I was thrown a wrench at the beginning of the performance. I was told to tie my cape and start much further back and I had to walk further and everyone was worried my cape was slide off so they tied it really tight around my neck.
“So here I am marching in like the queen, I got to the top of the stairs and I pulled the silky string and it wouldn’t come undone.
“My two lovely Japanese dancers they basically strangled me off the stage. I had two choices, I could either be strangled or fall, and I
chose to fall.”
Wossy then tried to show a clip of the incident at the Brits, but Madonna said: “I don’t want to see it, don’t make me watch.”
She added: “It was a nightmare, I like to be amazing, I rehearse and rehearse so when I do a show it is effortless and I create magic. I did the opposite, I actually created a horror show for everyone.”
Wossy then asked if it was a stunt and she shook her head.
She added: “I’m never writing lyrics like that again the universe was trying to teach me a lesson.
“I didn’t hurt my butt but I hurt my head.
“I know how to fall, I have fallen off my horse many times.
“I had little bit of whiplash, I smacked the back of my head. And I had a man standing over me with a flashlight until about 3am to make
sure I was compos mentis.
“I am always nervous of live TV, when you singing you can’t make any mistakes, the worst thing is you fall down stairs.
“I like to make my shows dangerous but then there is danger.”
Click HERE for full article by the Mirror
Madonna was at the Brits, performing her totally boss I Will Survive-style single Living for Love, when it happened. “Took me to heaven, let me fall down … lifted me up and watched me stumble.”
So she prophesied it, and so it came to pass. It wasn’t a trip or a tumble. It wasn’t funny; it was terrifying and so brutal that the audience fell silent. It was the kind of accident that breaks necks, damages brains and haunts Cirque du Soleil performers’ nightmares. The Armani cape Madonna was wearing as she approached the podium was tied too tight and didn’t fall undone when her dancers pulled it. She was yanked back by the neck and flew through the air over three steps, landed hard at the base of the podium and for a split second didn’t move.
Watching at home, my heart stopped. Is that all it takes to kill a Queen? Milanese outerwear?
Click HERE for the full excellent article by The Guardian
Her bold new album shows that for the Queen of Reinvention, the more things change, the more they stay the same
On a recent evening in New York City, the singer Madonna was camped out at the headquarters of the famed auction house Sotheby’s. In recent years, many masterpieces have passed through its walls—Edvard Munch’s The Scream sold there for $119.9 million in 2012, setting a world record—but with an estimated wealth of $800 million, Madonna is probably the most valuable icon to take up temporary residence there. She’s definitely the most famous. And at 56, she’s also one of the youngest. These days, it’s not often that Madonna is the youngest artist anywhere.
That hasn’t slowed her down. In a flatteringly lit studio, she’s already set out a bottle of tequila and shot glasses to play a drinking
Click HERE to read full interview by TIME (although you do need a subscription)
In collaboration with Universal Music France we are happy to present the following competition to you. Win 2 tickets to see M at the taping of Le Grand Journal in Paris and meet her backstage! Simply fill in your email address and accept the terms & conditions.
More on Madonna’s French promo schedule:
-Le Grand Journal will be taped on March 2nd, she will perform two songs.
-There will be an interview with TV channel France 2, this will air March 6
-Probably two more interviews scheduled for TF1 and M6
-Interview on 50min inside (TV show)