Welcome to Sound On, where we’ll highlight the albums and songs that you should know about each month—from the hits that landed to the tracks you might have missed. We’ll even tell you which moods each album evokes, so you know just when to turn them on to maximize their effects. Happy listening.


Are you serious? Effin’ Madonna.


Anytime the Queen of Pop does anything, it warrants paying attention. She’s a journeywoman. She invented this shit. Madame X is an experimental, heavily Latin-influenced record that’s worth visiting. “Medellin” (video below) is an ominously sparse opening track that nevertheless demands your attention. (And that pill she references in the beginning is probably Ambien rather than anything someone is doing in Ibiza; Madonna’s been around the block too many times for such childishness.)

There are also some interesting guest choices, including Quavo (sans Migos) on dancey “Future” and Swae Lee (sans Slim Jxmmi) on midtempo but nevertheless catchy “Crave.” It’s not like anything she’s done before, for better (“Crave”) or worse (the graphic, inexplicably-included mass shooting imagery of the “God Control” video). “Crazy” is a slinking anthem, though it might be accused of landing a bit on the nose in this era of “Hispandering.” There are other brilliant pop moments, and a few truly bizarre ones. But it’s Madonna—she does what she wants and may or may not care what we think.

Best Time to Listen:

Before praying at your Madonna shrine, I would assume.

listen now

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