REVIEW: Madonna, Rebel Heart (Part 1)

Madonna, Rebel Heart (Part 1) Review

A track by track review of Madonna’s Rebel Heart album

Madonna Rebel Heart album review track by track
Madonna, Rebel Heart (track by track review)

By now you’ve heard the story. The Queen of Pop’s upcoming 13th album, which she has been working on and teasing us about over the last year, was leaked. The 13 songs were demo versions Madonna had recorded and many of them weren’t to make the final album, then called Iconic. But they were leaked anyway.

The original plan was to release the first single, Living for Love, on Valentine’s Day, followed by the video, with the album coming out in March. The leak of the demos of Iconic changed all that. The Madonna camp jumped into gear and finalized six songs, rushing them for release on iTunes Friday night. This makes up the first part of the album, now called Rebel Heart. Six more songs will be released February 9th, 2015 with the final 7 tracks (completing the Rebel Heart album) being released March 10, 2015.
Hit the jump for our track by track review of Rebel Heart (Part 1) by Madonna

Rebel Heart (Part 1) Album Review, by Madonna

Living For Love 
Living For Love, the first single off of Rebel Heart starts off with simple piano chords and a strong vocal from Madonna before building up into a House dance explosion. A mix of 90’s house and   It evokes echoes of parts of Like A Prayer mixed with Secret. While on paper this may sound…reductive…it couldn’t be farther from it. Produced by Madonna & Diplo, this is a fresh, inventive sound for Madonna. Shes not following a trend, she’s creating one…and that’s what she does best.  The lyrical content of Living For Love is a bit of a twist on the breakup song. Not going to be confined to crying in the corner, Madonna finds freedom soon after the heartache. With the song originally scheduled to be released on Valentine’s Day, leave it to Madonna to make an anti-love love song. Download Living For Love – Madonna on iTunes
Beginning subtly, Ghosttown finds Madonna in perfect voice as she tells a lover not to be worried as the world falls apart around them, as she will will be there always. Ghosttown is reminiscent of the beautiful and underrated Masterpiece off of 2012’s MDNA. The low key electro ballad starts off smooth and mellow before exploding into an arena filling sing along chorus. The vocals on Ghosttown rank up with the best in her career.
“When the world gets cold I’ll be your cover. Let’s just hold onto each other. When it it all falls when it all falls down well be two souls in a Ghosttown.” Download Ghosttown – Madonna on iTunes

Illuminati was produced by Madonna and Kanye West and the Influence from Kanye’s Yeezus album is evident here. Illuminati’s verses feature Vogue like spoken word before a catchy melodic pre-chorus which segue-ways hard on the choruses which repeat “it’s like everybody in this party shining like Illuminati”. Madonna is one of the original artists to be suspected of being part of the Illuminati. According to the Internet, the Illuminati is a shadowy group of the most powerful people in the world (seemingly consisting almost entirely of entertainment figures and the most popular politicians). Illuminati mocks the internet rumors while schooling the world on the true history of the Illuminati. Download Illuminati – Madonna on iTunes

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Unapologetic Bitch
Unapologetic Bitch is another Madonna / Diplo produced track. This reggae tinged track was rumored to be the first single off of the album. It also comes as the biggest sonic surprise. This is one genre Madonna hasn’t dabbled in over her 30 year plus career. The song mixes Madonna’s pop sensibilities, catchy melodies and spry lyrics with Diplo’s crazy reggae infused pop hip hop club dance soup. The results are Unapologetic Bitch,  a big blinged out diamond ring finger flip off to one sorry chap. Download Unapologetic Bitch – Madonna on iTunes

Devils Pray 
Devils Pray, which easily could have been a track from the criminally underrated American Life album, is an electro folk ballad – if there is such a thing (& there is because Madonna invented it). The bouncy acoustic guitar driven track references acid, sniffing glue, whiskey and weed, among other things. Some have already chided her for it – clearly missing the point she’s making. Devils pray is essentially a letter to a drug addict who believes he’s finding God through getting high but must continually do it to maintain the connection. Ultimately, it’s not God at all but the devil leading the user into temptation. Download Devil Pray – Madonna on iTunes
Bitch I’m Madonna 
Bitch I’m Madonna has a bumpy, video game inspired track that finds Madonna ready to blow up the club in celebration of…well, being Madonna. The chorus is a catchy, monotone chant before exploding into an instrumental, club shredding jam that is sure to blow the roof off clubs around the world. Nicki Minaj appears once again, giving a verse celebrating the queen herself.
Bitch I’m Madonna has been battling with Living For Love as the most popular track off of Rebel Heart so far (by iTunes sales) and for perfectly good reason. The track is current and fresh while simultaneously being futuristic and always remaining 100% Madonna. Download Bitch I’m Madonna – Madonna on iTunes
Rebel Heart, thus far, is shaping up to be one of the best albums of Madonna’s career. Fresh and heartfelt Madonna isn’t following any trend, she’s blazing the trail as she has over the last 33 years. She’s got nothing to prove and with that, it is the best spot she can be in. She takes no prisoners and is creatively experimental and free. It is truly a gift for the listeners.
Rebel Heart (Part 2) will be released February 9th, 2015.

Check out our full REVIEW: Madonna, Rebel Heart (Full Album)




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