After almost 40 years at the top, Madonna is back to her best with a 14th studio album, Madame X.
Boasting 15 tracks, Madame X is heavily influenced by Madonna’s experiences of living in Portuguese capital Lisbon.
The ambitious project reunites her with longtime Madonna producer Mirwais and she also forges collaborations with the likes of Mike Dean, Diplo, Latin singer Maluma, and rap stars Future and Quavo, among others.
The album wears its Latin, trap and electro-pop influences on its sleeve, as the vocal style veers between English, Spanish and Portuguese, while a Flo Rida-style vocoder is also ever-present.
The record eases into life with Madonna cha-cha-cha-ing along with Maluma in the album’s lead single, Medellin, before the infectious God Control breaks into disco euphoria and features a rhyming verse that conjures memories of Vogue: “People think that I’m insane/the only gun is in my brain/each new birth, it gives me hope/that’s why I don’t smoke that dope”.
Plenty will remain ready to write off the 60-year-old veteran as irrelevant, yet earlier this week the new release was confirmed as her ninth No. 1 since 1984’s Like A Virgin.
If Madonna’s not ahead of the curve, she’s certainly staying up with it but one wonders if her diehard fans’ tastes are evolving with her?
It’s of little consequence however, as Madame X is continuing her momentum and doing a good job of winning over yet another new generation to the powers and talents of the Queen of Reinvention.
Madonna, Madame X
Madonna’s latest offering is brave in its scope and excellent in its execution.