Madonna: Iconic, unpredictable, brilliant. Her newest album, Rebel Heart, is all of those things and much, much more. As the woman herself says about the album, “It explores two very distinct sides of my personality, the rebellious renegade side of me and the romantic side of me.” The tension of those two sides is clearly on display in each of the nineteen songs on the album. Some of them scream, “Rebel!”, some of them make you want to weep from the pure vulnerability of them, and others are so completely brilliant with lyrics that pack an existential punch that you walk away shaking her your head uttering, “Wow, just…wow.”
Just when you think you’ve got Madonna figured out, she comes out with album like this and you’re blown away once again. This is Madonna’s thirteenth studio album from a career that has spanned three decades. It features collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Nas, Chance the Rapper, and Mike Tyson and was recorded in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Rebel Heart was released on March 10th and is available on iTunes and wherever music is sold.
Earlier this month we were thrilled to offer our members the opportunity to receive a free download of Madonna’s new album Rebel Heart and share reviews on their blogs. The feedback, as you can expect, has been as distinctly sided as the music itself. With six songs marked as explicit (and that doesn’t even include “Devil Pray” which has multiple drug references but is actually a very well crafted song with inspiring lyrics), there was going to be some eye-brow raising. But those who loved it, really loved it!
“One thing you can definitely say about Madonna is she is never ever boring or predictable, Madonna brings fans more songs that will stand the test of time!! MAN I love this album!! The 56-year-old Madonna has a voice that sounds as perfect as the first time I heard ‘Like A Virgin’!! She also looks fantastic! I’m a whole lot jealous, being only 2 months older than Madonna!! The woman not only looks amazing, but moves like a 20-year-old!! In my dreams I’ve never been able to move like she does! I love each and every song on this album!! … Madonna proves once again why she is the QUEEN of Pop!! Two thumbs WAY, WAY, WAY UP for Rebel Heart!!” Connie – Peanut Butter and Whine
“The thing that I always admired and related to about Madonna and her music is the way she portrayed such toughness and tenderness. She’s both I don’t need anyone ever and all I ever want is someone to love me. She has always straddled the hate/love, strong/vulnerable in life in a way that I completely relate to. She does it again beautifully in Rebel Heart. In fact, it may be her best musical example of being a bad ass and being vulnerable, and how it’s okay and beautiful to be both.” Angela – Jumping With My Fingers Crossed
“This is Madonna’s thirteenth studio album … and she’s collaborated with so many other great artists on this new record. From track one on, this album had me hook, line, and sinker. It’s classic Madonna, evolving with the times. There is something for everyone on here, I think. It has your dance tunes, something I’ve always lived for from Madonna. It’s also got some things that really drop that bass, a reggae inspired tune, slower ballad like tunes.” Vonnie – Petite Feet. Feminine Step.
“Let me get right to the point and say it – I loved Rebel Heart! That is not the same thing as saying I loved every song (because I didn’t) but as a whole it was a wonderfully produced album, with strong Madonna vocals, great beats, a variety of tempos, and wonderful lyrics. The entire album is over an hour long – not one of those skimpy records without substance. If you’re a fan of any past Madonna music, there are definitely songs on this album that you’re going to love.” Jennifer – The Savings Opportunity
“I was surprised by this album in the very best way. There were times I wanted to say, “Act your age, Madonna! You’re old enough to be my mother!” But “bitch, she’s Madonna.” She’s still got it. Madonna gets away with lyrics that others have tried before and failed to bring with a power only Madonna holds. How can you possibly compare to a woman who has been in the business of musical shock and awe for over 30 years (damn, I’m old)? Who else can get away with using her name in a song (“Bitch, I’m Madonna”) and make it sound like a win? … This album proves that Madonna’s still a “rebel,” but gives a lot of “heart” in her music. She’s made sex an art form and, like any good woman, remains on top – of her game. Madonna’s tearing down her haters, still having fun with the boys, getting heartfelt and gritty in a way only she can and reminding me why I still love her. Madonna proves she’s still the reigning Queen of Pop and rightfully so.” Jessica – Living La Vida Holoka
The first track on the album is also the first single released, “Living For Love”. Classically Madonna and the perfect introduction to the themes of the album, it’s about being let down in love but never, ever giving up.
But it’s the title track, “Rebel Heart”, that sums everything up: Where’s she been, where she is now, and where she’s going. Appropriately placed at the very end of the album, “Rebel Heart” provides a mantra we can all claim, “I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”
Outgrown my past and I’ve shed my skin
Letting it go and I’ll start again, start again
Never look back, it’s a waste of time
I said: “Oh yeah, this is me
And I’m right here where I wanna be.”
I said: “Hell yeah! This is me
Right where I’m supposed to be“
Bravo, Madonna! BRAVO!!