Madonna: Medellín ft Maluma review – a shapeshifting return to form 4 / 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars.

The disarming first song from the singer’s 14th album has some lyrical clunkers but acts as a potent reminder of her genre-mashing skills

‘Quite unlike anything we’ve heard from Madonna before’ ... Madonna and Maluma.
 ‘Quite unlike anything we’ve heard from Madonna before’ … Madonna and Maluma. 

If any artist has shown her ability to code-switch between styles, it’s Madonna, who’s adroitly shifted from dominatrix to disco queen to earth mother with previous album cycles. Her latest reinvention is Madame X: the title of her upcoming 14th album (out 14 June), and also the name of a chameleonic character that she will play across the record. She announced it last week in a cinematic, enjoyably OTT video featuring a panoply of guises which included multiple eye patches and Madonna wearing a hooded bonnet as if preparing for Gilead.

In voiceover she details 15 identities – dancer, prisoner, nun and whore among others – and explains: “Madame X is a secret agent. Traveling around the world. Changing identities.” And it seems that Madonna’s gaze is reaching just as wide for Madame X, which features the American rap artists SwaeLee and Quavo, as well as South American superstars Anitta and Maluma, who features on the album’s iridescent lead single Medellín.

Co-produced by her American Life collaborator Mirwais, Medellín is quite unlike anything we’ve heard from Madonna before, and her most subdued lead single since 1998’s stately Frozen. The most initially disarming about it is its balmy sense of ease. “I woke up in Medellín,” she sings over airy synths, before slyly adding, “Another me could now begin.” A rhythmic reggaeton beat that kicks in for a fiesta-starting chorus, with lovey-dovey call-and-response between the duo. At nearly five minutes, Medellín’s pacing feels refreshingly relaxed, though it wouldn’t be a Madonna co-write without a few lyrical clunkers (“pain” rhymed with “champagne”). It doesn’t exactly do much to dispel stereotypes of Colombia either (“we built a cartel just for love,” she sings).

But those are minor quibbles: Medellín is a potent reminder of Madonna’s deft history of meshing genres, while also a convincing addition to the roll call of western megastars like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber linking up with Spanish-language artists. And unlike the occasional trend chasing of her most recent albums MDNA and Rebel Heart, Medellín proves that she’s well equipped to weather the demands of today’s listening trends while bringing global styles into her own world. For Madonna, it seems that the streaming age may just speed up her shapeshifting.

 
More at The Guardian
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Single Review: Madonna’s ‘Medellin’ (Variety)

While a song that begins with a cha-cha count-in and the lyric “I took a pill” sounds like it should be a dancefloor rager, it’s actually the unexpectedly low-key return of Madonna, who today dropped “Medellin,” the first single from her forthcoming album “Madame X.” A collaboration with Colombian singer Maluma — himself a native of the country’s mountain city — and her longtime collaborator Mirwais, the song combines a sing-song melody with a reggaeton-inflected, shuffing beat; she and Maluma pair trade off flirty verses in Spanish throughout the song.

While she pronounces the city’s name correctly (“meh-deh-zheen”), to her discredit she needlessly references the city’s violent past — it was the home base of drug cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar — in the lyrics: “We built a cartel just for love/ Venus was hovering above us.” Visitors to the city will know that it’s one of the last things residents want to talk about (unless they’re leading one of the tourist-baiting “Narcoterrorism tours”).

The song stretches on for nearly five minutes, stretching out toward the end with an extended instrumental bit designed for some low-key dancing. While produced by Mirwais, the song recalls Madonna’s previous Latin-inflected work with producer/songwriter Diplo.

The rest of the lyrics are more impressionist and romantic, and the city is only mentioned incidentally. “I took a pill and had a dream/ I went back to my seventeenth year, allowed myself to be naive, to be someone I’ve never been,” she sings on the song’s opening verses. “I took a sip and had a dream/ And I woke up in Medellín.”

And while the song may not be the dancefloor-filling that fans might be hoping for, it’s a sultry and promising introduction to Madonna’s latest era.

More at Variety

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MADONNA’S LANGVERWACHTE ALBUM MADAME X AANGEKONDIGD – official Dutch press release

Baarn – Madame X, het veertiende studioalbum van Madonna, ziet op vrijdag 14 juni het levenslicht. Madonna’s Portugese thuisbasis van de afgelopen zeven jaar heeft een sterke creatieve invloed op haar gehad en dat is terug te horen op Madame X. Het album werd zowel in Portugal als in Londen, New York en Los Angeles opgenomen. 

Lisbon is where my record was born,” Madonna says. “I found my tribe there and a magical world of incredible musicians that reinforced my belief that music across the world is truly all connected and is the soul of the universe.” 

Samen met producers Diplo, Mike Dean en Mirwais, de Franse muzikant en producer met wie de zangeres al meerdere albums opnam, werkte ze 18 maanden aan nieuw materiaal. In de vijftien nummers waarin die samenwerkingen resulteerden hoor je de inspiratie terug die ze putte uit de Latijn-Amerikaanse cultuur en andere invloeden van over de wereld.

Voor de eerste single van Madame X, het nummer ‘Medellín’, ging Madonna een samenwerking aan met de Colombiaanse zanger Maluma. De videoclip van het nummer laat nog even op zich wachten. De onthulling daarvan vindt plaats tijdens MTV presents Madonna Live & Exclusive op woensdag 24 april in Londen, waarbij Madonna aan Trevor Nelson vertelt over de achtergrond van het album. Maluma, die op dat moment in Miami zit, haakt via een satellietverbinding ook aan voor een gesprek over de totstandkoming van hun samenwerking.

Het album verschijnt op cd in een standaard uitgave en als dubbel cd luxe versie.
De volledige tracklist van Madame X (zowel standaard als luxe) vind je hier:

  1. Medellín with Maluma  
  2. Dark Ballet
  3. God Control 
  4. Future ft. Quavo  
  5. Batuka 
  6. Killers Who Are Partying 
  7. Crave ft. Swae Lee  
  8. Crazy 
  9. Come Alive 
  10. Extreme Occident **alleen op de luxe uitgave
  11. Faz Gostoso ft. Anitta 
  12. Bitch I’m Loca ft.  Maluma 
  13. I Don’t Search I Find  
  14. Looking for Mercy **alleen op de luxe uitgave
  15. I Rise  

Kijk voor meer informatie ook op:

www.madonna.com 

www.instagram.com/madonna 

www.twitter.com/madonna 

www.youtube.com/madonna 

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MADONNA TO RELEASE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED 14TH STUDIO ALBUM MADAME X GLOBALLY ON JUNE 14TH

MADONNA TO RELEASE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED 14TH STUDIO ALBUM MADAME X GLOBALLY ON JUNE 14TH

FIRST TRACK “MEDELLÍN” WITH MALUMA IS ZANE LOWE’S WORLD RECORD ON BEATS1 TODAY

MTV PRESENTS MADONNA LIVE & EXCLUSIVE: “MEDELLÍN” VIDEO WORLD PREMIERE ON APRIL 24

PRE-ORDER MADAME X NOW

ALBUM PRE-ORDERS INCLUDE DOWNLOAD OF “MEDELLÍN”

SANTA MONICA, Calif.April 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Madonna’s highly-anticipated 14th studio album Madame X will be released on June 14th globally from Live Nation, Interscope Records and Maverick. The first track from the album “Medellín,” with Colombian superstar Maluma, will be Zane Lowe’s World Record today on Apple Music’s Beats 1Madame X is now available for pre-order. Album pre-orders include a download of the first track which is available across AppleSpotify (pre-save), Amazon and all DSPs. Select additional tracks will become available before the album release.

Madonna will exclusively unveil the world premiere of her video and single “Medellín” with Maluma, during a globally televised MTV music event, “MTV Presents Madonna Live & Exclusive: ‘Medellín’ Video World Premiere,” on Wednesday, April 24 at 9:00 pm BST / 4:00pm ET1:00pm PT. Madonna will join British DJ Trevor Nelson and fans live from Londonfor a conversation about the influences of her new album, and the creative forces behind her transcendent career.  “Medellín” collaborator and Colombian pop star Maluma will join live from Miami. Madonna will also take questions during the global event via satellite from MTV’s Sway Calloway and fans in New York City, with additional MTV-hosted events in Milan and São Paulo.

Influenced creatively by living in Lisbon, Portugal over the past several years, Madame X is a collection of 15 new songs that celebrate Madonna’s career-long affair with Latin music and culture as well as other global influences.  Singing in Portuguese, Spanish and English, highlights on the album include “Medellín,” which was co-produced by Mirwais and captures the spirit of Maluma’s hometown, the anthemic song “I Rise,” the Jamaican dancehall vibes of “Future” featuring Quavo, and co-produced by Diplo, as well as the sonically innovative Mirwais produced “Dark Ballet.” Recorded over 18 months in PortugalLondonNew York and Los Angeles, Madonna collaborated on Madame X with longtime producer Mirwais, as well as with producers Mike Dean and Diplo, among others.

Lisbon is where my record was born,” Madonna says. “I found my tribe there and a magical world of incredible musicians that reinforced my belief that music across the world is truly all connected and is the soul of the universe.”

Madame X will come in a standard and deluxe version of the album. A Target CD version will feature the deluxe version of Madame X plus an additional two tracks.  Pre-order the Target deluxe at Target stores or online at Target.com. A variety of special bundles of Madame X with one-of-a-kind limited merchandise, as well as special vinyl and cassette versions of the album, are available now for pre-order as well HERE. Further details regarding the album, videos and appearances will be announced in the coming weeks.

The full track listing for Madame X standard and deluxe versions are:

  1. Medellín with Maluma  
  2. Dark Ballet
  3. God Control
  4. Future ft. Quavo  
  5. Batuka
  6. Killers Who Are Partying
  7. Crave ft. Swae Lee  
  8. Crazy
  9. Come Alive
  10. Extreme Occident **deluxe version only
  11. Faz Gostoso ft. Anitta
  12. Bitch I’m Loca ft.  Maluma 
  13. I Don’t Search I Find  
  14. Looking for Mercy **deluxe version only
  15. I Rise  

For more information, please visit:
www.madonna.com 
www.instagram.com/madonna 
www.twitter.com/madonna 
www.youtube.com/madonna

SOURCE Interscope Records

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