Madame X (album)

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Madame X
Madonna - Madame X standard.png
Cover for most physical and digital formats
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Recorded2018–2019[1]
Studio
Length56:01
Language
  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish[1]
LabelInterscope
Producer
Madonna chronology
Rebel Heart Tour
(2017)
Madame X
(2019)
Singles from Madame X
  1. "Medellín"
    Released: April 17, 2019
  2. "Crave"
    Released: May 10, 2019

Madame X is the upcoming fourteenth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. It is scheduled to be released on June 14, 2019, on Interscope Records.[3][4] The album follows Rebel Heart (2015) and its first single "Medellín" was released on April 17, 2019.

Background and development[edit]

In January 2018, Madonna announced on Instagram that she had begun working on her fourteenth studio album.[5] Four months later, in May 2018, she performed at the Met Gala in New York. As part of her performance of her hit single "Like a Prayer", Madonna sang a short segment from a brand new, yet unreleased song. The song has been referred to as "Dark Ballet" (previously known as "Beautiful Game"). [6] In July 2018, Madonna contributed a spoken part in the music video for "God Is a Woman" performed by Ariana Grande.[7] In October 2018, she was featured on the song "Champagne Rosé", from Quavo's debut solo album, Quavo Huncho.

I started getting invited to people’s homes and they have things called living room sessions. So everyone would congregate. People would bring wine, they would bring food, sit around the table. And then suddenly musicians would get up and start playing instruments and singing fado music and morna music and samba music. I was like, ‘Wait. What’s going on here?['] Like artists just get up and perform and you don’t get paid and they're just doing it for fun and love and passion?[8]

Madonna relocated to Lisbon, Portugal in 2017, seeking a top football academy for boys for her son David, who wanted to become a professional soccer player.[8] However, she later found her life becoming relatively dull, so she decided to meet artists, painters, and musicians.[8] Believing "music is the soul of the universe", she felt connected to her new influences, so she then decided to record an album based on her musical experience in the Portuguese city, which she referred to be "a melting pot of culture musically, from Angola to Guinea-Bissau to Spain to Brazil to France to Cape Verde".[8]

Throughout her sojourn in Portugal, Madonna posted short video clips and images chronicling her work on the album. French producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï, who has previously co-produced 2 of Madonna's albums, Music (2000) and American Life (2003), was confirmed to be one of the key producers for Madame X. Mike Dean, who co-produced Rebel Heart (2015), was also enlisted in the album's production.[9][2] In February 2019, Maluma uploaded a picture on his Instagram account with Madonna in a studio.[10] In her interview with Vogue Italia, Madonna divulged that her album was due for release in 2019.[11] On April 14, 2019, she posted a series of teaser clips on her Instagram account, revealing Madame X as the album title.[12]

Title, artwork, and themes[edit]

In a one-minute teaser uploaded to Madonna's official Instagram and YouTube accounts, Madonna declares herself as "Madame X", an alter-ego her album is named after. The video opens with Madonna singing, "The thing that hurt the most was that I wasn't lost...I wasn't lost..."

She then elaborates that Madame X features different personas and characters:

Madame X is a secret agent. Traveling around the world. Changing identities. Fighting for freedom. Bringing light to dark places. She is a dancer. A professor. A head of state. A housekeeper. An equestrian. A prisoner. A student. A mother. A child. A teacher. A nun. A singer. A saint. A whore. A spy in the house of love. I am Madame X.[12]

Madonna was given the name of the album at the age of 19 by her then dance teacher Martha Graham. Graham rebranded her saying “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. You’re a mystery to me.”[13]

The album artwork features a close-up of the Madame X persona, with the title etched across her ruby red lips to give the illusion of her mouth being sewn shut.[2] Mike Wass from Idolator called it an "already-iconic artwork" and compared the imagery to that of Frida Kahlo. It is used in most of digital and physical formats of the album, except the digital deluxe and box set, both of which feature another photograph of blonde Madonna.[14]

Promotion[edit]

Singles[edit]

Madonna during the premiere of the music video for "Medellín" on MTV.

The album's lead single, "Medellín", was released on April 17, 2019, coinciding with the album becoming available to pre-order. The track is a duet with Colombian reggaeton singer and songwriter Maluma.[15] The music video for "Medellín" premiered on April 24, during a live MTV UK and MTV special. It aired across numerous MTV networks and digital channels.[16] Spanish director Diana Kunst and multi-disciplinary artist Mau Morgó, directed the video.[17]

"Crave", featuring American singer and rapper Swae Lee, was released as the second single on May 10.[18] It will officially impact adult contemporary radio in the United States on May 20, 2019.[19]

Promotional singles[edit]

In the lead up to the full release of the album, Madonna released several promotional singles on digital and streaming services to accompany the album cycle.[20]

"I Rise", the first promotional single, described as a "powerful and uplifting anthem,"[21] dissects surviving and rising up from the adversities from social, modern world, as a "way of giving voice to all marginalized people who feel they don't have the opportunity to speak their mind," in words of Madonna herself.[20] It contains a spoken intro taken from the speech of social activist, advocate for gun control Emma González, survivor from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and co-founder of committee Never Again MSD,[21] during an interview in February 2018.[22]

"Future", with American rapper Quavo, was released as the second promotional single on May 17, 2019. [23]

Live performances[edit]

Madonna and Maluma performed "Medellín" together at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on May 1, 2019.[24] Madonna performed two songs in Tel Aviv, Israel, during the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on May 18, 2019. She performed her 1989 hit "Like a Prayer", followed by "Future", accompanied by Quavo as a guest performer. The appearance reportedly cost the European Broadcasting Union US$1 million, paid for by Israeli-Canadian businessman Sylvan Adams.[25] It was met with polarizing reviews, with commentators torn on Madonna’s vocal performance and political statements.

On May 6, 2019, the Madame X Tour was officially announced, with concerts in theatres starting in September 2019.[26]

Track listing[edit]

Madame X – Standard edition[27]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Medellín" (with Maluma)
  • Madonna
  • Mirwais
4:58
2."Dark Ballet"
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
 4:14
3."God Control"
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
 6:19
4."Future" (with Quavo)
  • Madonna
  • Diplo
  • Picard Brothers
3:53
5."Batuka"
  • Ciccone
  • Banda
  • Ahmadzaï
 4:57
6."Killers Who Are Partying"
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
 5:28
7."Crave" (with Swae Lee)
3:21
8."Crazy"
 4:02
9."Come Alive"
 4:02
10."Faz Gostoso" (featuring Anitta)
  • Rodrigo Carmo
  • Nuno
  • Emanuel Oliveira
  • Mateus Seabra
  • Luíz Vieira
  • Karla Rodrigues
  • Ciccone
 4:05
11."Bitch I'm Loca" (featuring Maluma)
  • Ciccone
  • Lauren D'Elia
  • Londoño
  • Barrera
  • JAMES
  • Rodriguez
  • Stiven Rojas
 2:50
12."I Don't Search I Find"
  • Ciccone
  • Ahmadzaï
 4:08
13."I Rise"
  • Evigan
  • Ciccone
  • Hazzard
  • Madonna
  • Evigan
3:44
Total length:56:01

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Madonna To Release New Album 'Madame X' On June 14th". Madonna.com. April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Everything We Know About Madonna's New Album 'Madame X'". Billboard. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  3. ^ "Madame X marks the spot for Madonna's Portuguese album". The Press. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  4. ^ "Madonna on Instagram: "Madame ❌ June 14, 2019 ❌ listen to #Medellin ft. @maluma now ❌"". Instagram. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Copsey, Rob (January 17, 2018). "Madonna Confirms She Is Working On New Music". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Madonna (August 16, 2018). "Madonna - MET Gala 2018". Retrieved April 14, 2019 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Mahdawi, Arwa (July 13, 2018). "God is a Woman: Ariana Grande taps into a long herstory of a female lord". The Guardian. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Madonna Talks Giving 'Zero You-Know-Whats' on New 'Madame X' Album at London 'Medellin' Video Premiere". Billboard. April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "A 'Magic' Collaboration? Madonna Hits The Studio With Maluma". idolator. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Jessie Cervantes (April 1, 2019). "Maluma habla de su nueva gira y sobre Madonna". Retrieved April 14, 2019 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ View Gallery (August 1, 2018). "Exclusive Interview with Madonna". Vogue. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Kreps, Daniel (April 14, 2019). "Madonna Teases New Album 'Madame X'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Polk, Milan (April 22, 2019). "Everything We Know About Madonna's New Album Madame X". Vulture. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  14. ^ Wass, Mike (April 17, 2019). "Madonna Reveals The Cover & Tracklist Of 'Madame X'". Idolator. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  15. ^ Fernandez, Suzette (April 15, 2019). "Madonna and Maluma Unveil Single Art Cover For Upcoming Collab 'Medellin'". Billboard. United States. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "Madonna and Maluma Engage in a Lustful Liaison in the "Medellín" Video: Watch". breatheheavy.com. April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  17. ^ "De Madonna a Rosalía: Diana Kunst, la madrileña con la que todas quieren rodar". El Confidencial. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Lipshitz, Jason (May 3, 2019). "Inside Madonna's ambitious album campaign for 'Madame X': augmented reality, multiple tracks, tour prep and TikTok". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  19. ^ "Hot/Modern/AC Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Madonna releases empowering ballad 'I Rise'". Madonna.com. May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Alston, Trey (May 3, 2019). "Madonna brings soft power to resilience on striking 'I Rise'". MTV. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  22. ^ "Florida student Emma González to lawmakers and gun advocates: 'We Call BS'". CNN. February 17, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  23. ^ Legaspi, Althea (May 18, 2019). "Madonna and Quavo Welcome the 'Future' in New Song". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "Madonna and Maluma to Perform 'Medellin' at 2019 Billboard Music Awards". Billboard. April 19, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  25. ^ Aubrey, Elizabeth (April 8, 2019). "Madonna confirmed to play at this year's Eurovision Song Contest". NME. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  26. ^ "Madonna Reveals Madame X Tour Dates". Variety. United States: Penske Media Corporation. May 6, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  27. ^ "Madame X Standard CD". Madonna. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "Madonna - Madame X Deluxe Digital Album". Madonna.com. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  29. ^ "Madonna - Madame X Black Vinyl (2 LP)". Madonna.com. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  30. ^ "Madonna - Madame X (Deluxe) (Target Exclusive)". Target.com. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  31. ^ "Madame X [Regular Edition] [Japan Bonus Track]". CDJapan. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "Madame X Deluxe 2CD". Madonna. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  33. ^ a b "Madame X - Deluxe Box Set (2CD + 7" Picture Disc Vinyl + Music Cassette) (CD)". cdon.se. Retrieved April 18, 2019.

External links[edit]