Madonna’s new album is full of ‘Heart’

When Madonna sings on the title track of her latest album, Rebel Heart (***1/2 out of four; out March 10), that she has “outgrown my past and I’ve shed my skin,” she is both protesting too much and engaging in understatement.

Our most durable pop star has indeed reinvented elements of her look and sound repeatedly over the past 30 years, but Madonna has retained the same essence: that of a woman who champions and demands love, in every sense of that loaded word. No single artist has been more crucial in shaping our modern view of celebrities as people who need people — and attention.

As that view has metastasized into an expectation that artists share ever more of their personal and creative lives, fame’s double-edged sword has grown a bit sharper. Madonna felt it last December, when two batches of early recordings from the Heartsessions — essentially, an album in progress — were leaked online. Her immediate response was to quickly polish remixes of the first bunch, and make them available to those who pre-ordered the album.

Rebel Heart includes those six songs and 13 more, and they present Madonna at her most determined and spiritually unplugged. The sound — crafted with such hip-hop, pop and EDM names as Kanye West, Toby Gad, Avicii and Diplo — is not so much raw as purposefully lean and piercingly direct, as are the lyrics, which mine emotions from righteous anger and pain to resolute joy.

Ghosttown mixes a disarmingly earnest sweetness with a stark, chilly arrangement, while on Heartbreak City, Madonna lashes out at a former lover over a shuffling hip-hop groove. The defiant exuberance of first single Living For Love gives way to the deceptively gentle, powerfully infectious Body Shop, with its tinkering rhythms and sly innuendo.

There are more graphic references to sex, and two song titles include a mild an expletive. A disciple, Nicki Minaj, pops up on the frisky B—ch I’m Madonna, in which the titular star chants, “You’re gonna love this. … You can’t touch this.” Madonna could be parodying followers — some of whom have absorbed her through Minaj and other younger stars — who have been inspired by her confidence and marketing savvy but are often less intuitive about things like desire and pain, be it their own or others’.

Madonna asserts both her enduring indomitability and her vulnerability, even getting self-referential a few times. On Veni Vidi Vici, she charts the past via song titles — “I saw a Ray of Light/Music saved my life” — then passes the mic to Nas, who recalls his own rise, rather more flamboyantly.

Nas raps playfully at the end, “Madonna on the track/Nas in the back.” But each is a survivor, and Rebel Heart celebrates that increasingly rare bird with a bittersweet vengeance.

Download: HeartBreak City, Body Shop, Veni Vidi Vici, Ghosttown.

USA TODAY

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Madonna on Jonathan Ross press images

Madonna appears in a very special episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, which will air in mid-March, talking for the first time about her fall at the recent Brit Awards and her thoughts on her children taking drugs. The Jonathan Ross Show Madonna Special will broadcast on ITV on Saturday March 14. The next episode (Saturday February 28) features Sigourney Weaver, Thierry Henry, Martin Clunes, Kanye West and Tracey Emin, airing at 9.40pm on ITV1. Dave Hogan/Hotsauce/REX Photos

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Madonna ‘Rebel Heart’ Hacker Indicted on Four Counts

Ari Lederman faces five years in prison for computer trespassing, prohibited secret monitoring, copyright infringement and obstructing investigation

By
The Israeli man accused of hacking into Madonna and her associates’ computers and leaking songs destined for the singer’s March 6th-bound Rebel Heart has been indicted on four counts. Adi Lederman, who three years ago tried out for Israel’s then-top-rated TV singing competition Kochav Nolad (A Star Is Born), was charged with computer trespassing, prohibited secret monitoring, copyright infringement and obstructing investigation, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

According to court documents, Lederman was able to steal the demo versions of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tracks by infiltrating the private cloud accounts of Madonna associates Sara Zambreno, engineer Angie Teo and musical director Kevin Antunes as well as an e-mail account belonging to Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary. Lederman had allegedly compromised Zambreno’s cloud going back to 2012, with court documents accusing the hacker of also stealing MDMA‘s “Give Me All Your Luvin’.” That song leaked out after Lederman sold the file to an unspecified person.

Lederman’s hack wasn’t an especially profitable endeavor, as court documents show that he was only compensated from “tens of dollars to a thousand dollars” for what he grabbed off the cloud accounts, which he then sold to two accomplices. Lederman’s obstruction of the investigation charge comes after he advised an accomplice to erase all of their correspondence after Lederman became suspicious that authorities were on his trail. If found guilty of all counts, Lederman faces up to five years in prison.

“I am profoundly grateful to the FBI, the Israeli Police investigators and anyone else who helped lead to the arrest of this hacker,” Madonna said in a Facebook message at the time of Lederman’s arrest. “I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy. This invasion into my life – creatively, professionally, and personally remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience, as it must be for all artists who are victims of this type of crime.”

Read more: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/madonna-rebel-heart-hacker-indicted-on-four-counts-20150227#ixzz3T2DPTpNV
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Pre-Order Madonna’s New Album and Get Access to Her Upcoming UK Tour Tickets Presale

Pre-order your CD, Vinyl or MP3 copy of Rebel Heart by Madonna by 23:59 GMT on Monday, 9 March, 2015 and you’ll receive a passcode giving you access to a 30-hour presale window for the chance to buy up to two (2) tickets to one of Madonna’s 2015 UK tour dates, before general release to the public.

Please note that the passcode does not guarantee you a ticket. For full details of how to claim, when you’ll receive your passcode, details of the presale window and other important information, please see the terms & conditions

No purchase necessary. Click here for more details.

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‘Rebel Heart’ review: Madonna’s album bares her soul in a way she never has before

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.

jfarber@nydailynews.com

NY Daily News

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Madonna braves sky-high heels after admitting Brits tumble left her with WHIPLASH

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

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