The Rewind

The Most Interesting Reviews Of The New Madonna Album

The Most Interesting Reviews Of The New Madonna Album

Music makes the people come together; performing at Eurovision amidst a huge boycott effort on behalf of Palestinian interests makes the people dissipate. Either way, the people are reacting. That's want Madonna wants.

This was the course of action she took when promoting her new album, Madame X, which was released on Friday. Madonna, ever since reaching the cultural zenith in the 1980s, has tried desperately to stay as relevant throughout pop culture discourse. Her music has always reflected this, moving through genre after genre with every passing album.

Madame X is her 14th studio album, with Madonna going between latin music, trap and art pop. With such a varied palette, is it any good? Fear not, for we've gathered the critical and fan reaction.

The Independent: 'An intriguing, often brilliant, occasionally awful album' 

The Independent gave the Queen of Pop three out of five stars, describing Madame X as an 'endlessly fascinating' album. However, the review also remarks on the bewildering nature of some of the album's tracks. Most notably, the track 'Killers Who Are Partying', where Madonna coopts identities rather than acts like a mere ally.

Madame X is such a cultural melange – Latin trills, Jamaican dancehall instrumentals, African drums, choral masses and disco beats crop up throughout – that it sometimes verges on collapsing in on itself. At other times, though, what is thrown at the wall sticks beautifully.

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Read their review here.

The Guardian: 'Her most bizarre album ever'

With a score of four out of five, The Guardian gave Madame X high praise regarding the album's 'density and musical adventure'. Ben Beaumont-Thomas lauds the multi-faceted and multi-cultural nature of the album, steeped in Madonna's nomadic nature over the past number of years.

All this baroque weirdness knocks the album off its axis, but most of its 64 minutes are actually full of very decent pop songcraft.

Read their review here.

Los Angeles Times: 'Madonna seems to have assumed that the force of her personality would put the songs across'

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Mikael Wood of the LA Times was not as forthcoming with praise for Madame X as other critics were. By reviewing Madame X alongside Bruce Springsteen's new album Western Stars, which we discussed here, Wood interlinks the two cultural icons and their different approaches to fame and music. Madonna's sound is 'superficially current' when compared to Springsteen's, although the two have similarities stylistically, particularly evoking the sense of place and role-play. Ultimately, for Wood, it was Springsteen who was more effective in communicating those ideas.

The problem on “Madame X” is that neither the post-trap grooves nor the winding melodies are sturdy enough to make any of this stuff stick in the way her old classics did... But as a piece of emotional philosophy, “Crazy,” to name one flimsy new tune, has nothing on “Crazy for You.”

Read their review here.

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Pitchfork were scathing in their review of Madame X, giving it a 4.8 out of 10. The Irish Times remarked that the album was 'big, ballsy, and more than bit bizarre', giving it three out of five stars in their review. Also, Variety remarked in their review that Madonna sounds 'passionate and satisfyingly unconcerned with mass consumption' on the album.

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On Twitter, the loudest voices are those who are wholeheartedly enjoying Madame X, with special hashtag to boot. The overriding theme is the worry that Bruce Springsteen may outsell her in the first week.


As for our opinion? It's certainly Madonna's best work since Confessions on a Dance Floor, however that isn't hard considering the dross served up in the interim. There are certainly highlights, particularly when production is led by Mike Dean on cuts like 'Crave' and 'God Control'. Unfortunately, there are low points, as 'Killers Who Are Partying' may be one of the worst songs of 2019.

However, despite this muddled album, Madonna still reigns as the Queen of Pop.

SEE ALSO: The Reviews For Bruce Springsteen's New Album Are Flooding In

Sean Meehan

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