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Madonna - Madame X (Album Review)

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

Thirty six years on from the release of her iconic debut, Madonna is back with ‘Madame X’. Furthering the chaos theories explored throughout ‘Rebel Heart’ and ‘MDNA’, it’s provocation and a sense of superiority that characterises this botched call to arms. 

An uncomfortable listen, here Madonna confuses her desire to shock with her need to promote a humanitarian image. On the track Batuka, she sings with Orquestra de Batukadeiras about challenging current and future suffering, yet on opening track Medellín she begins with the lyrics: “I took a pill and had a dream, I went back to my 17th year, allowed myself to be naive.”

“I will be poor if the poor are humiliated,” she sings in a disinterested monotone on Killers Who Are Partying—she is worth hundreds of millions, so this doesn’t wash. It’s offensive.

Revered for her ability to lead trends and break stereotypes, unfortunately Madonna has sacrificed a priceless opportunity to establish a sort of other-worldly elegance, a gift only bestowed upon a legend of her stature. 

In place of wisdom and reflection, on Crave we find bizarre auto-tuned vocals and tinny clap beats to dig Madonna’s latest reinvention a shallow grave. Guest stars Diplo, Swae Lee and Quavo, recruited to attribute some street cred to ‘Madame X’, also seem uninspired here.

Taking inspiration for this album from Lisbon, both the city and its musical traditions, some exotic twists that feel like quintessential Madonna are still present in her music, but her references are convoluted and don’t make much sense in isolation. Her depictions of insatiable sexual appetites alongside charitable efforts, for example, come off only as distasteful. 

Madonna made a name for herself by lashing out at her haters—she continues to do so but without the tangible passion of old. If this album were an Olympic sport it would be a power walk, where previously she was a champion sprinter. 

Madonna Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun January 26 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Mon January 27 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Wed January 29 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Thu January 30 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Sat February 01 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Sun February 02 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Tue February 04 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Wed February 05 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Thu February 06 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Sat February 08 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Sun February 09 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Tue February 11 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Wed February 12 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Thu February 13 2020 - LONDON Palladium
Sat February 15 2020 - LONDON Palladium

Click here to compare & buy Madonna Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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