ALBUM PREVIEW: Madonna – Rebel Heart
I would hate to be in Madonna’s team over the past couple of days with the leak of album demo’s circulating the web. She’s a perfectionist, a business woman and a control freak to put it politely so we’ve been awaiting her next move and damn has she got us excited. To counterattack the hackers Madonna has decided to give her fans an early Christmas present in the form of 6 studio versions of songs from her brand new album. “Rebel Heart” was made available on ITunes for Pre-Order on 20 December 2014 along with the six songs available to download straight away. The album has a total of 19 songs and is due to be released in its entirety on 10 March 2015. For what will be her thirteenth studio album she has enlisted the help from hit makers Avici, Diplo and Kanye West to help produce tracks. It’s safe to say this album will make a pretty big impact and with the six new songs making everyone excited it’s scary to know she’s only just getting started.
- “Living For Love” – This has already been confirmed as the first single for “Rebel Heart”, it was meant to be released on Valentine’s Day but with the rush release onto ITunes its being serviced to radio imminently. The EDM pop track is an intriguing mixture of old school Madonna and MDNA era dance beats. It’s an interesting choice as a lead single because it takes a few listens to grow on you and isn’t instantly catchy unlike her previous lead singles. But when it does grown on you, I promise you will be jamming hard.
- “Devil Pray” – Beginning with an acoustic guitar you already know this will be good song and when the dance beat drops it only gets better. With its infectious hook and intriguing production this is my favourite track from the six released songs. The precocious lyrics are no doubt going to create a stir in typical Madonna fashion. “And we can do drugs, and we can smoke weed and we can drink whisky. Yeah we can get high and we get stoned. And we can sniff glue, and we can do E and we can drop acid. Forever been lost with no way home”.
- “Ghostown” – This is a typical dance ballad with a strong vocal delivery that captivates during the chorus and dark synths that intrigue during the verses. It’s not a bad song neither is it an incredible song but it grows on you and is enjoyable.
- “Unapologetic Bitch” – Madonna tackles Reggae?! Yep you read right. She’s taking a leaf out of Lolawolf’s (Zoe Kravitz’ totally underrated band) book and mixing Reggae with slick synths and EDM beats creating an epic track. Her brutally honest lyrics mix incredibly well making this a banger to mess with. This will be a song that a lot of old school fans won’t like as it is quite in your face but it is 10x better than most of the material on her last album.
- “Illumanti” – This track sounds like it was taken off the “MDNA” cutting room floor but even if it was I’m so glad. Name dropping the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Lebron James, Nicki Minaj, Obama, Oprah, Beyonce, Jay – Z this song will have you replaying multiple times to try catch everything she said. It’s a total EDM banger and a song that will come to life in her over theatrical live show. This is another song the old school fans will have a hard time warming up to with the electronic influences taking toll on her vocals.
- “Bitch I’m Madonna” (Feat. Nicki Minaj) – After reading the list of songs released it was this track that got me really excited. Lets be honest a song called “Bitch I’m Madonna” was always going to slay and to find out it was also produced by Diplo and featured Nicki Minaj… I nearly OD’ from excitement. And can I just say, it definitely lives up to the expectations. The beat drops are hard and her “we go hard or we go home” and “Na na na na’s” will be cemented in your head. Expect to hear this in gay clubs for a long time to come.
With three months until we hear the full album these six songs will keep fans happy and hungry for more. I’m hoping we hear a couple of stripped back songs focused on showing the powerhouse vocalist we all know Madonna is because all of these electronic tracks can get fairly tedious. “Devil Pray” and “Bitch I’m Madonna” are two of the most exciting listens with “Living For Love” bound to be loved by radio and clubs alike. Madonna is reinventing herself again and she’s going to try make 2015 her bitch. But the question is; can she?