Madame X

A detailed musical analysis of the new Madonna single, ‘Medellín’

Madonna’s big-budget music video for ‘Medellín’ has dropped: but what’s going on with the song itself? It’s time for a proper musical analysis…

She is the undisputed queen of the pop reinvention, and Madonna’s latest incarnation as a Latin-inspired cowgirl bride on horseback is pleasingly off-the-wall.

The flashy video for her new single ‘Medellín’ (which features Colombian reggaeton star Maluma on vocals) is understandably grabbing all the headlines, but underneath the bluster lurks a remarkably subtle and simple pop song, a neat method for Madonna to introduce us to the next phase of her chameleonic career.

So, please brace yourself for an uncomfortable truth: Madonna’s singing voice is technically quite unremarkable.

This has, despite a career packed with culturally indelible hits, always been the case. As such, it has always been necessary for her vocal parts to remain both simple and comfortable. Crucially, it seems that Madonna herself has understood this, and taken appropriate action. She has quietened herself.

On previous hits, she would pretty much just bowl straight through the whole song without thinking too much about volume control. ‘Like A Prayer’, ‘Like A Virgin’, ‘Ray Of Light’, ‘Papa Don’t Preach’: all of these are effectively sung at an almost constant volume, even when the arrangements around her voice grow and shrink.

So on ‘Medellín’, even during the song’s chorus when you might expect her to sing up a bit, it’s refreshing to hear Madge’s voice remain coy, even incidental, just another colour in the song’s palette. She even whispers the 'cha-cha-cha' dance instructions.

It’s actually left to Madonna’s co-star, Maluma, to provide a lot of the vocal interest. His half-sung, half-spoken contributions display more technique than Madonna’s, but the two of them have obviously agreed that, on this occasion, less is more. There are no histrionics, no clattering vocal runs or overworked melismas, just simple motifs and melodies, sung quite sensibly.

His interstitial chatting is whispered, just like Madonna’s counting, and he only rarely raises the volume of his voice any higher than that. Similarly, his rhythmically machine-like delivery is characterfully plain, restrained and actually rather graceful.

Here’s an oft-repeated maxim of the perfect pop composition: the simpler the song, the catchier it is. If that’s the case, then ‘Medellín’ is, on paper at least, potentially one of the catchiest pop songs ever written.

There are just three (count ‘em) recognisable chords in the whole song: A flat major, G flat major, F flat minor. And while they’re not the most pleasant or comfortable for a pianist, that there are literally only three of them effectively puts the song on the same level of nightmarish catchiness as ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.

Pair that simplicity with Madonna’s surprisingly sensitive vocals and you have a far quieter pop song that you might expect for a highly-anticipated megastar return, a mood piece that has more in common with a Philip Glass miniature than it does with the souped-up reggaeton of ‘Despacito’.

Just when it seemed that the resurgence of Latin-flavoured pop music had peaked with Justin Bieber’s omnipresent remix of the Luis Fonsi original, it took an artist of Madonna’s experience to prove that, in the mainstream, there is still more to be done with this generic niche.

If Madonna’s latest reinvention of herself continues to display this much sensitivity, it could be one of her most interesting incarnations yet.

From Classic FM / Daniel Ross


All the Wow Fashion Moments in Madonna's New 'Medellin' Video

It's no surprise that style icon Madonna puts on a veritable fashion show in her new music video for 'Medellin,' the first track (featuring Colombian singer Maluma) from her 14th studio album, Madame X, that dropped during a much-anticipated world premiere in London hosted by MTV and live-streamed on YouTube on Wednesday.

The video showcases a lineup of jaw-dropping fashion moments, created by a team led by stylist and i-D fashion editor Ib Kamara with styling consultant Eyob Yohannes and stylist Miguel Cervera, while Maluma‘s personal stylist Julian Rios created the Latin singer’s looks.

In a video clip teaser on her Instagram page, the 60-year-old pop star says that it was none other than Martha Graham of the famed contemporary dance school in New York that Madonna attended, who bestowed the moniker 'Madame X' on her 19-year-old student in the late 1970s. 'In walked Martha Graham with her long, black gloves and her incredibly beautiful, intimidating face. She said, 'We have rules and we have regulations.' ... She said, 'I'm going to give you a new name, Madame X. Every day you come to school and I don't recognize you. Every day you change your identity and you're a mystery to me.' And I said, 'Good, thank you.''

Long elbow-length leather gloves made in Italy by New York-based designer Carolina Amato's accessory house Amato are worn by Madonna throughout the video as a tribute to Graham and this telling moment that inspired the new album name and Madonna's constant chameleon-like fashion metamorphosis.

To read the rest of the article visit: www.hollywoodreporter.com


Madonna & Maluma's 'Medellín' Debuts on Hot Latin Songs Chart

Madonna and Maluma’s team-up on the Spanish/English-language track 'Medellín' debuts at No. 34 on the Hot Latin Songs chart dated April 27. (The chart blends airplay, digital sales and streaming data.)

Released April 17, 'Medellin,' debuts with two days of sales and streaming activity and five days of airplay. The song - a preview of Madonna's upcoming Madame X album - opens with 5,000 downloads sold in the week ending April 18, according to Nielsen Music, and debuts at No. 1 on Latin Digital Song Sales.

'Medellín' is Madonna's fourth entry on Hot Latin Songs and was last on the chart in 2009, when the list was still a purely airplay-based tally. That October, she reached No. 35 with the English-language track 'Celebration.' For Maluma, 'Medellín' is his 28th hit.

From Billboard.com


Madonna driven to record new album after getting ‘a little depressed’

Madonna has said she was inspired to return to music after going through a 'depressed' period prompted by her move to Lisbon.

The veteran pop star, 60, last week ended a five-year hiatus by announcing Madame X, her first record since Rebel Heart.

She said she had been spurred on to record the album after relocating to the Portuguese capital with her sons.

She said: 'I went there and I thought it was going to be super fun and adventurous but then I found myself just going to school and picking up the kids. I got a little depressed. I had to make friends and meet people. So I started to meet people and go out a bit. I’m not like a go-er out-er per se. But I wanted to meet people.'

Speaking at a Q and A event in London, Madonna unveiled the video for first single Medellin during the live-streamed event, hosted by DJ Trevor Nelson.

She said: 'My son wanted to be a soccer player. He was never going to have the right sort of training in America. We spun the globe and did a lot of research and found my top five academies for the boys to train, and Lisbon ended up being my favourite city of the options. That’s how I became a soccer mum. It’s a crazy story, I know, and it’s the last thing I would expect from a controversial girl like myself.'

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Dressed in a risque bodysuit and wielding a riding crop, Madonna said being invited into the homes of Portuguese musicians led her to write the new record.

She said: 'I met people and most of the people I met were artists and painters. I started getting invited to people’s homes. They had things called living room sessions. Everyone would come and they would bring wine, they would bring food, sit around the table. Suddenly people would get up and start playing instruments and singing. I was like, ‘Wait, what is going on here? Artists getting up, not getting paid and just doing it for the fun and the passion?’'

Maluma, a leading figure in the Latin trap and reggaeton music scene, features on Medellin.

He joined the session via a video link from Miami.

Madame X, Madonna’s 14th album featuring guest appearances from Migos rapper Quavo and producer Diplo, will be released on June 14.

From PA Via Yahoo! News


Tune into TODAY for #medellin video premiere

Today is the day! Madonna and Muluma's video for Medellin will premiere during a live MTV show from 9pm UK time (4pm EST).

Follow madonnalicious on our Instagram page at: www.instagram.com/madonnalicious_com or Twitter at twitter.com/_madonnalicious


Tune in tomorrow! #medellin

Madonna's live Medellin video premiere takes place tomorrow at the MTV Studios in Camden, London!

Follow us on Instagram page at: www.instagram.com/madonnalicious_com or Twitter at twitter.com/_madonnalicious for the live build-up to the event.


Madonna gets married to Maluma in Medellin music video teaser and it’s Wild West themed

Madonna has saddled up and headed to the Wild Wild West for her forthcoming Medellin music video - and it looks as though she’s had a shotgun wedding. The 60-year-old popstar has dropped several teasers from the anticipated visuals for her collaboration with Latin star Maluma, and Madame X is in for a wild ride. In a photo posted on her Instagram, Madonna wears a white wedding dress with a veil, cowboy hat and leather gloves. What a look.

The singer has wrapped her arms around Maluma’s neck as he snuggles into his blushing bride wearing a pretty snazzy suit with tassels galore. Madge also posted a selfie of herself wearing a black eye-patch while another teaser snap features her doing a line dance with a group of dancers in an array of interesting fancy dress costumes. Maluma sits on a nearby chair watching all the fun with a glass in-hand.

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Madonna released the reggaeton-inspired single, Medellin, last week and the lyrics hint at her finding love and getting married again - hence the bridal attire. She sings: ‘If I fall in love/If you love and we stay there, no, no, Mommy, because mommy got married. We built a cartel just for love/ Venus was hovering above us I took a trip that set me free/ Forgave myself for being me.’ Medellin is certainly a new, trendier sound for Madonna and she recently explained how her collaboration with Maluma came about. Speaking last week after the single release, the singer said: ‘I met him backstage at the (MTV) Video Music Awards and he was very sweet.'

‘The next day he sent me flowers and said what a great honour it was to meet me.’ Medellin is expected to be the lead single from Madonna’s next studio album, Madame X, which is inspired by her recent trips to Lisbon, Portugal. Madonna had previously teased her new album and alter-ego Madame X on Instagram.

From Metro.co.uk


Fans delighted as Madonna ends four-year hiatus with new track Medellin

Medellin, from Madonna’s first new album in four years, is an experimental return to form, fans have said.

The first single from the Queen of Pop’s forthcoming record Madame X was released on Wednesday to a generally positive response.

US radio and television host Andy Cohen was among those enjoying the track.

'I can’t handle this Madonna song I love it so much. I’m going nuts,' he said.

Drag queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Pandora Boxx was also a fan, writing: 'Yes!! I LOVE Madonna’s new song with Maluma!! Medellin out now! I love that Madonna is back doing what she does best – whatever the hell she wants! But seriously a great song!'

Maluma, the Colombian singer who appears on the track with Madonna, posted a video to Instagram in which he is brought to tears listening to it.

Some criticised the song for taking influence from Latin trap and reggaeton but fans leapt to Madonna’s defence.

One said: 'For such a long time we’ve wanted Madonna to take risks, really have a vision, try things, make things interesting, do the exact opposite of what everybody thought she’d do, and shake it up. And she’s really doing it with Medellin and Madame X.'

Another announced, 'The Queen is back,' before launching a robust defence of the track. 'Medellin signals another reinvention for Madonna, and clearly promises a new direction for her music after three distinctly average albums (Hard Candy, MDNA and Rebel Heart),' she said. 'Personally, I like the single and cannot wait for Madame X.'

Madame X was recorded over 18 months between Portugal, London, New York and Los Angeles and sees the pop veteran adopting the guise of the titular character.

The album will be released on June 14.

From PA Via Yahoo! News


Attend MTV’S ‘MEDELLIN' Video World Premiere with Madonna

Iconers!

Madonna will officially unveil the world premiere of her 'Medellín' music video during a globally televised MTV music event on April 24th at 9:00pm BST / 4:00pm ET !

The live conversation with Madonna, along with the video world premiere and fan Q&A will take place in London. We also will be hosting official fan viewing satellite premiere events in New York, Milan and São Paulo.

If you are in London on April 24th and would like to be a part of the studio audience with a chance to ask Madame X a question about her new music, then this is your opportunity!

Now that you got to discover her journey to Medellín, please answer the following question: Where is Madame X going next?

Share your vision and interpretation in visuals, music or text by e-mailing it, along with your RSVP to madamex@madonna.com before 11:59pm BST on April 20th.

For more details visit: www.madonna.com/madame-x-on-mtv


Madame X Album: Standard and Deluxe Versions

Madame X will come in a standard and deluxe version of the album. A variety of special bundles of Madame X with one-of-a-kind limited merchandise, as well as special vinyl and cassette versions of the album, are available now for pre-order HERE. Further details regarding the album, videos and appearances will be announced in the coming weeks.

The full track listing for Madame X standard and deluxe versions are:

1. Medellín with Maluma
2. Dark Ballet
3. God Control
4. Future ft. Quavo
5. Batuka
6. Killers Who Are Partying
7. Crave ft. Swae Lee
8. Crazy
9. Come Alive
10. Extreme Occident **deluxe version only
11. Faz Gostoso ft. Anitta
12. Bitch I’m Loca ft. Maluma
13. I Don’t Search I Find
14. Looking for Mercy **deluxe version only
15. I Rise

STANDARD COVER

Standard

DELUXE COVER Deluxe