For the last decade it’s been tough being a Madonna admirer, but do fans finally have something to smile about?
Her last three albums were neither fan favourites nor critical successes. 2008’s Hard Candy was too busy chasing the R&B hits of its era, 2012’s MDNA was too busy chasing the shapeshifting EDM sound, and 2015’s Rebel Heart was too busy trying to sound hip without any catchy songs.
Four years later, and after moving to Portugal, Madame X gives Madonna the opportunity to get her groove back. So, has she?
First single, Medellín, featuring Colombian mega-hottie, Maluma was a sly, sultry taster of Madame X, which might be described as Madonna’s “Latin quarter” album, with lyrics leaping between English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Dark Ballet, which Madonna debuted last year at her Met Gala performance, is both lyrically and sonically provocative. She even dips into Jamaican dancehall on Future, featuring rapper Quavo, who she teamed up with on Champagne Rose last year, also featuring Cardi B.
There’s more of the swoon-some Maluma on Madame X, while another Madonna/Maluma collaboration, Soltera, snuck out on his album, 11:11, back in May. The anthemic I Rise will rally the masses at gay Pride events for decades to come. The Portuguese Fado-inspired tracks, plus sexy soul ballad Crave, are reminders that when Madonna is at her plundering best, she’s virtually peerless in pop music.
To read the full review go to DNA #234.