Madonna - Madame X
Jun 13, 2019 (updated Jun 15, 2019)
70
“Madame X is a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places”


These are the exact words Madonna uses to describe her latest record and there certainly is a kernel of truth in her statement. Madame X is a mixed bag that switches from promiscuous latin-pop jams to much more serious ballads in a blink of an eye, but of course, that’s not all folks. Madonna’s promise to work with Portuguese artists was kept and as predictable as it gets, self-referential songs are in here as well. Among the best tracks are God Control, a fulfilling disco record that revokes Confessions, except for the strong political message behind it, as well as the batuque-influenced Batuka and I Rise, released as a single about a month ago. Of course, the album is anywhere near perfect, sometimes offering unnecessary tracks (Bitch I’m Loca) or songs that simply feel out of place (Crave) or again, the unbearable collaboration with Quavo. In a few words, Madonna’s decision to embrace the culture of Portugal, even singing some of the lyrics in a decent Portuguese, together with the creation of songs that revoke her past eras (I Don't Search I Find reminded me a lot of Vogue and Bedtime Stories) are the strong points of this album. Unfortunately the vocal performance (when autotune isn't overshadowing the voice of Ms Ciccone) is underwhelming all throughout the album, just like the lyrics which, for the most part, fail to bring to our attention the political issues Mirwais and Madonna care so much about. In the end, while Madame X might fail to be very cohesive or to deliver bops, it must be said that this is the album Madonna needed to do at this point of her career. Cause Madame X is bizarre to the point of breaking with Madonna’s latest works, not-so-brilliant records that adapt to the mainstream rather than to offer something that would stick out in a crowd.

FAVS — God Control, I Rise, I Don't Search I Find
LEAST FAV — Medellín, Bitch I'm Loca, Future

(all of the rest is worth a listen)
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