M: Ok, this was leaked and divided people.
L: The lyrics are ridiculous! I love it!
M: Some journos will probably slate it, but it’s a statement and sounds much better in the context of the album. It’s like an entree. It’s her saying “so what if I’m 50. I still like to fuck – so fuck you!”
L: The whole album says I like to fuck, dirty bitch…!
M: The bass is bigger, but it’s essentially the same as what was leaked.
L: You can so see the gays dancing to this. They are SO sticky and sweet.
2. 4 Minutes
M: This is out know so everyone knows it. We’re running out of time to stop global warming.
L: I’m not sure if it’s global warming. It’s kind of about us saving ourselves., looking after ourselves.
M: I hope people actually pay attention. This kind of track is the point of Madonna.
L: Ok, now we’re super excited because we’re going into unknown territory…
3. Give It To Me
M: This is the next single. It starts bouncily, like a circus song, like the intro to The Girlie Show and becomes this ridiculously catchy sing-song.
L: It’s almost like Sugababes Push The Button.
M: Really fun and playful. It’s her ultimate theme song.
L: It’s SO not what you expect, it’s almost comedy but it’s fantastic. It’ll have some amazing remixes. I love the techno at the end. I can see stroke lights!
M: Some reviewers have said this is the big 80s pop song but I’m not sure. It’s a great album track.
L: It’s calmer. It won’t give you a heart attack at 8 in the morning on the way to work like Hung Up would.
M: A cool, solid song with a sweet, catchy hook…
L:…and a “See my booty get down” interlude where Pharrell goes “Woof woof”!
M: Is it? People need to woof more on pop records.
5. Miles Away
L: Oh. My. God. I LOVE this one. It’s amaaaaaaaazing. Power of Goodbye…
K: …meets Nothing Fails meets Love Profusion. It’s ethereal, whimsical, guitar-heavy, mid tempo…about not being able to express yourself when you’re together. It’s sad and sweet and lovely.
L: Absolutely genius. Got to be huge. It’s got the great hand-clapping bit in the middle but it’s not a stomper.
M: Sort of delicate… picks you up and wafts you away on a pillow of windswept tears. (laughter) ’Were always at our best when we’re miles away’.
L: So far away…
M: So far away…
L: Let’s cry now. You would not be able to not clap along to this in a concert. Unexpectedly warming…
M: …which is a very Madonna thing to do. It sounds resigned. It makes you want to have a boyfriend so you can reject him so you can sing this song. (Cackle).
6. She’s Not Me
L: J’adore this! I’m better than the competition. It’s so drag.
M: Is this the campest thing she’s ever done? ’She’s started dressing like me, talking like me and freakin’ me out. She started reading my books and stealing my looks and lingerie, what’s that about?’.
L: (Laughs) I want to dance to this now.
M: It reminds me of Thief of Hearts.
L: Disco funk. And there’s football whistles.
M: And double hand claps.
L: Any song where she repeats a word three times – like ’she was stealing, stealing, stealing’ gets me.
M: This is the first one we don’t really love.
L: It’s not an instant melody but it could be a grower. Need to hear it again.
8. Beat Goes On
L: This is unrecognisable from the leak! It’s one of the highlights. Total 80s disco. Xylophones, full on synths. Sort of thing you’d hear at Horse Meat Disco, an ’everybody get up and dance’ record.
M: Very 80s but not in a modern electro pop way. You think you’re listening to a Shalamar record and then Kanye West comes in.
L: It’s got a Taana Gardner feel to it.
M: It’s the point where she turns on the fun turbo boosters. This is the Candy. It’s too too good…
L: LOVE. IT. Especially Pharrell’s Beep, beeps.
M: It’s gonna be played in every disco in the world for 12 – 200 year olds. Could be an instant classic.
9. Dance Tonight
M: Starts off slow and almost sulkily. She’s growling.
L: Justin says “Madonna, I’m gonna take you to the club.” You’re expecting something calmer and then it gears up into this big 80s groove.
M: “You don’t have to be beautiful, rich or famous!”
L: Really sexy, really retro, really funk. It’s another “you can do this too” track.
M: It’s a love in.
L: The whole album’s a love in. Any song that has the lyrics “til the break of dawn” gets my vote.
M: The kind of thing you wanna put on at 4am when it’s only your best friends and your boyfriend still at the party. It reminded me of If you Wanna Have Some Fun on the Spice Girls third album, which always reminded me of Stephen Bray.
L: We both absolutely loved this, right? One of the best on the album, definitely.
10. Spanish Lesson
L: Not our favourite.
M: It’s an album track where she explains some Spanish words and phrases.
11. Devil Wouldn’t Recognise You
M: She told me this was a good song.
L: …and she was right. Very Cry Me A River.
M: But more epic, cinematic. It’s like Bad Girl 2. There’s sirens, there’s rain. Very dark. Like an episode of ER. I can imagine Christopher Walken back with a devil’s tail.
L: Amazing Timbaland production. Brilliant track.
L: The last track. Her traditional philsophy one.
M: It starts with Justin saying “Who is the master and who is the slave?”. She asks “are you walking the dog, or is the dog walking you?”
L: Ends with the strings, the orchestra, and a ship bell. It’s really dark and mysterious.
M: It’s produced by Danja. Really sweeping, big way to end the album.
L: Almost Massive Attack-y. Great way to finish.
M: Love it!
L: Wipes the wall with the competition!
M: Someone at the top of their game showing off…full of meaty disco tracks.
L: Full of ’em! It’s not brainless vocoder pop and it’s not Nelly Furtado…
M: …like people thought it would be. The title totally makes sense. It’s got a real optimism about it like True Blue has but with a mix of some of the drama of Like A Prayer. It’s the kind of album that people who prefer early Madonna will love.
L: Feels like the earlier records with a nod to the latter.
M: It hangs together like a real collection. It’s proper full-on melodramatic pop. You will not be able to sit down listening to this record. Singles?
L: Give It To Me, Miles Away, Beat Goes On, Dance Tonight. It’s like a greatest hits album. Pop record of the year, for sure.
M: How many points?
L: Hmm, 4 and a half, 4 and three quarters or Five?
M: Fuck it. Five!