….’The sad thing about Madonna’s disrepute is that doubters have no idea how interesting she still is. “Madame X” is more original than half of what her younger contemporaries are doing. Some of the overt politicism doesn’t work, but when it does, Madonna’s ear for catchy beats and rousing vocal inflections is as keen as ever. Like David Bowie’s “Blackstar,” it’s the sort of thing that seems destined for a reevaluation once Madonna has left this earthly plane and can’t be taked her for granted anymore — in other words, once she is finally deified, leaving behind acrobatic tours and era-defining bops.

That’s the great tragedy of Madonna’s late career. She wrote the playbook time and again, and she won’t be alive to see the world acknowledge it.

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