Madonna - Rebel Heart - 2015 Pop Dance Electro 2LP
Madonna - Rebel Heart
Label: Live Nation B0022742-01, Interscope Records B0022742-01
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Released: 10 Mar 2015
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop, Reggae, Pop
Style: Europop, Dance-pop, Pop Rap, House, Electro, Trap
A1 Living For Love
A2 Devil Pray
A4 Unapologetic Bitch
B1 Bitch I'm Madonna Featuring Nicki Minaj
B2 Hold Tight
B3 Joan Of Arc
B4 IconicFeaturing Chance The Rapper, Mike Tyson
C1 Body Shop
C2 Holy Water
C3 Inside Out
C4 Wash All Over Me
C5 Best Night
D1 Veni Vidi ViciFeaturing Nas
D4 Rebel Heart
Manufactured By Universal Music Distribution
Distributed By Universal Music Distribution
Phonographic Copyright (p) Boy Toy, Inc.
Copyright (c) Boy Toy, Inc.
Licensed To Live Nation Worldwide, Inc.
Licensed To Interscope Records
Manufactured and distributed in USA by Universal Music Distribution.
℗ & © 2014 Boy Toy, Inc. Exclusively licensed to Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. Exclusively licensed to Interscope Records.
Madonna Rebel Heart
2 LP Set
Featuring Living For Love, Ghosttown and B**** I'm Madonna ft. Nicki Minaj
For credits and other information go to Madonna.com
Issued in a gatefold sleeve. Plain inner sleeves.
Parental Advisory logo is printed on the sleeve.
Expectations are too high for a number of reasons for REBEL HEART, undoubtedly one of the most anticipated music releases in recent years. So much, indeed, that just 3 months prior to its release, more than 30 of the songs that had been recorded for the album became available in demo versions on the internet. This leak definitely killed a lot of the momentum this album was supposed to have. However, the subsequent official pre-release of 6 tracks received a huge amount of positive feedback. Clearly illustrating her desire to confound and exceed all expectations placed upon her with each new recording, Madonna's lucky 13 (Brits' fall excluded!), is the record that more than any other of hers in the last decade will show to contemporary audiences that there is a reason why this lady has dominated the pop industry for the past 32 years.
The album's generous 19 brand new songs, in total, appear like M's attempt to please everyone, and most of all the fans, to whom REBEL HEART comes as a long-awaited gift (much appreciated, thanks!). Here is a most varied and satisfying record, offering energetic electro-dance cuts, lush ballads, fun singalong ditties ...and the occasional clangers (surely some editing would be beneficial, but hey). If any confirmation were required of M's sustained cultural relevance, it is surely provided by these songs, some of which can contend with her best. Infusing her work with new elements and genres, less concerned than before with drawing younger generations of music, she sounds confident and relaxed. REBEL HEART comes as a bold re-affirmation of M's supremacy in a genre she created and perfected, being her most fascinating and entertaining set of songs since 2005.
From the triumphant opener "Living for love", a thumping 90s throwback with classic M traits such as religious references and a gospel choir, all the way to the epic, confessional/biographic title-track closer, the tone veers between heartbreak ballads and hard-edged bangers. The infectious country-infused "Devil pray", the reggae/dubstep-influenced "Unapologetic b*tch", the frenetically bouncy "Illuminati", the celebrational trap/pop "Iconic", the playful, Eastern-flavoured "Body shop" with its gentle innuendo (in contrast to the similarly-themed "Holy Water"'s forced shock value), and the utterly poptastic, self-referencial "Veni, vidi, vici", are all brilliant pop/dance tracks, guaranteed to excite and surprise. Best of all, is the soaring "Hold tight", combining uplifting shamanic drumming sounds with optimistic lyrics about unity and love ("Hold tight, everything's gonna be alright").
But it is the midtempo and slower tracks that are the album's showstealers. For a persona synonymous with strength and endurance, it is startling to hear her being vulnerable and revealing her weaknesses, as she does on the deeply moving "Joan of Arc". "I can't be a superhero... Even hearts made out of steel can break down", she admits with unparalleled melancholy, "I'm only human". It is the most sentimental track, and it would make a fantastic single. Highlights are the hopeful/sad "Ghosttown", and the exquisite "Wash all over me". The absolute standout, though, is the regal "Messiah", a finely crafted and executed elegy, harkening back to the spiritual introspection of her late 90s and early 00s albums. Pop's greatest narcissist is brave enough to dole out songs like these every once in a while but, also, smart enough to do so infrequently enough for them to be memorable.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of the album is that it is too long or contradictory. Madonna's intention was to explore the rebel and the romantic side of her personality with this album, as she has said. So, that should be taken into account. It is essentially two separate albums which sound like a rather effortlessly and effectively flowing unified body of work. On top of this, while the album centres on herself, even when she slips hints or she is actually referencing her past hits on some tracks, it does not sound egotistical. Enhanced by her vocal clarity, REBEL HEART proves that M can still create an album that is very personal and distinctive, yet, also incorporating a sense of fulfilment and enjoyment. Interestingly, by the end of the record, there is a liberating impression that a chapter has closed, and another begins. Whether intentional or coincidental, the symbolism is surely striking.
Already welcomed by rejoicing fans and curious casual listeners, and regardless of how well it is going to perform, REBEL HEART has for sure everything a hit record requires; a mix of great songs, the much-needed hype, even an iconic cover (wires rule!). The genius of M is that she never ceases to surprise and amaze. She has always had an impeccable charisma to be experimental, unpredictable, challenging, fearless, and still come out on top. She is a legend in her own right, a leader of contemporary pop artists, in a league all of her own. When she wears her heart on her sleeve, as she does for this album's better part, she is simply unmatched. That is why she is the only real Queen of Pop, if this title is anything to go by. Still standing, still standing out, she remains the undisputed pop royalty, and REBEL HEART is another precious jewel in her crown. All hail ...um, better "take a bow"!
Madonna - Rebel Heart
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Madonna - Living For Love
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Madonna - Ghost Town
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Madonna - Bitch I'm Madonna (ft. Nicki Minaj)
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