It’s a big week for Madonna fans across the planet. After releasing six tracks from her upcoming 13th studio album ‘Rebel Heart’ back in December, the Queen of Pop will shortly release two new ‘grat tracks’ from the new album (‘Hold Tight’ and ‘Joan Of Arc’) to coincide with her much-hyped performance at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards. She’s also due to reveal the clip for lead single ‘Living For Love’.
Ahead of this week’s excitement, we decided to ask arguably Australia’s biggest fan, Madonna Matt, what he and his fellow fans want from the new LP.
So he consulted with his 2000+ disciples in his Facebook group and reported back. Here’s what he had to say;
2015 is an interesting time to be a Madonna fan. I have been a part of the crazy ride since 1985 when she made me feel shiny and new and promised she would dress me up in her love.
Madonna hasn’t had number one single in Australia since 2008 with ‘4 Minutes’ and no singles from ‘MDNA’ reached the top 10, or even the top 20.
However, both her last albums recorded strong sales globally, with ‘Hard Candy’ reaching four million and ‘MDNA’ two million.
‘MDNA’ went number one in more than 47 countries and then recorded one of the biggest second week sales drops in history.
Her ‘MDNA’ tour was the highest grossing of 2012.
In pop culture she now speaks to an older generation of listeners in their 30s, 40s and beyond. She continues to divide public opinion, with an increasing majority criticising her every move because she is a woman and refuses to be ‘age appropriate’. While a small minority applaud her for continuing to break boundaries in ageism and feminism.
But despite all this criticism, she has been the number one trending topic on Twitter and the pre-order campaign for her new album ‘Rebel Heart’ was an incredible success, hitting number one on iTunes charts in more than 50 territories.
Musically she hasn’t broken new ground since ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’, but Madonna continues to show flashes of brilliance on each album (‘Love Spent’ and ‘Falling Free’ but to name a just couple).
Being a Madonna super fan in 2015 puts me in unchartered waters. What do we think of the six released tracks from ‘Rebel Heart’ so far and what do we want from the rest of the album?
Is it big commercial hits, is it groundbreaking new music, or is it a deeply personal album?
I run a Facebook fan group of 2000 members from around the world and I have asked them these questions.
Fans are unanimous in their love of the six new tracks.
All say that they sound fresh and original and not what they were expecting.
Firm favourites are the new single ‘Living For Love’ and ‘Ghosttown’, which some claim to be her best song in the last 15 years.
There’s also a lot of love for ‘Devil Pray’, which to me is throwback to the ‘American Life’ sound (my favourite Madonna album).
The single ‘Living For Love’ is the perfect mix of a fresh new sound meshed with what is unmistakeable Madonna. Those uplifting lyrics about self empowerment and the gospel choir definitely provide references to ‘Like A Prayer’ and ‘Express Yourself’ (which to a Madonna fan is never a bad thing).
Some fans are also in love with ‘Unapologetic Bitch’, which sees Madonna singing reggae for the very first time.
From the rest of the album, here is what her loyal fans would like…
* Artistic integrity – give us songs with lyrics that mean something and music that rings true to you.
* Incredible vocals – after the heavily processed vocals on ‘MDNA’, please just let your gorgeous voice shine through and please use as little auto tune as possible.
* Melodic pop songs – we don’t care about the latest trends. We just want you to give us songs that we can’t stop singing.
* Brilliant lyrics – when you put your mind to it, you can write brilliant lyrics. Please give us as many of those as possible (we don’t want to hear “like a moth to a flame” ever again).
* And musical surprises – we love it when you push us and open our minds to new sounds. Like your vocal on ‘Gang Bang’ from ‘MDNA’; sheer brilliance.
The final track listing for the album was released a couple of weeks back and already there’s been a lot of fan talk about how she’s picked the wrong tracks (as a number of fans have downloaded the leaked demos).
We are all waiting with bated breath to see what our Queen will give us.
One thing the fans are unanimous about is that it’s obvious how much work she has and is putting into this album, including upcoming promotion.
It’s super exciting for all of us and we are all ‘Living For Love’ for the ‘Rebel Heart’ era.
I may have given my honest critique about her place in music, but the fact is that no one of her age is as commercially successful or relevant in pop culture today.