It’s been an exciting ride to the release of the “Madame X” album, with ups and downs. Last week, Madonna released the album and here’s my verdict.
Madame X is…
When the first reviews were published, I somewhat dreaded the album. Mainly the statement that “it’s crazy” worried me. My first impression of “Medellin” wasn’t all too good. Yet, other songs didn’t take any time to grow on me, so it had a 50-50 shot to go either way. I went in with an open mind.
It helped me that Madonna dropped songs each week, prior to the release of the album. It was so easy listening to this album, already knowing some of the songs. I was intrigued, puzzled and excited by “Dark Ballet”. I could understand why some reviews were saying the album is crazy, taking this song as an example. However, I think this could be the future of pop music and Madonna might be ahead of us. Again.
The pop song is composed like a classical song fitted for a ballet or opera. It’s got all these little elements that don’t always tie together, but yet it does. Various musical genres come together, including some classical. By far, it’s not your average pop song for radio airplay and yes, there are more songs on the album that sound experimental, but nothing like this.
Merging Musical Genres
Madame X draws a lot from current trends hidden or at the front of pop music today, such as Latin and Afrobeat. However, there’s a mix between eclectic traditional world music, classical and electronic music. Some tracks are a leap forward in time, and others remind me of the past.
Merging Musical Eras
“I don’t search I find” goes back to 80s and 90s House music, while “Batuka” – with background singers repeating her lines – feels like it could be used to keep the energy going among factory line workers, even further back in time, if it didn’t also have the electronic music beat and auto-tune on it.
The most surprising song, that I hadn’t heard before listening to the album, is “God Control”, which develops from something musically heavy weighted to a light hearted disco track. All the while tackling a serious subject.
Lyrically, the whole album is covered with a serious undertone about the state of the world. Of course, Madonna albums also include some retrospective bits and pieces and her personal battles. This time she responds to ageism.
Time To Quit?
It’s funny to hear people say that she should quit, like pop music only belongs to the young. There is no age limit to music. I’ve seen a spark in her, since the announcement of new music, that I haven’t seen in a while. This is who she is. OK, maybe she’s not Madame X, but Madonna is an artist, who expresses herself in music, videos and dance. It’s not something she can just quit. It’s embedded in her.
Besides, this is a woman who took care of herself for most of her life. She lived in a strict health regime, so let this be a testimony to us of what’s possible. When you take care of yourself along the way, you may have the youthful energy Madonna is still showing at 60.
Madame X is definitely an album that got me reconnected to her again. It was high time to get in sync with her again.