The Times review: Madame X is probably Madonna’s boldest album yet
According to The Times, Madame X is probably Madonna‘s “boldest, certainly her strangest, album yet.”
The Times rates Madame X with 4 out of 5 stars, describing it as “her most intriguing album in a decade.”
“There are no obvious big hits and much of the music is downbeat, albeit with orchestras and choirs adding lush expansiveness,” The Time adds. “But Madonna has taken a risk here.”
The Times describe Dark Ballet as “one three-part experimental epic,” and “quite a trip.”
Below you can read the most interesting excerpts from this 4-star review.
Madame X veers between pop, Latin and clubby dance music, jumps from the personal to the political and is bound together by an exotic, breezy mood that feels strangely intimate, as if she is revealing a hitherto hidden part of her soul.
Dark Ballet, recorded with the French producer Mirwais, throws all of these qualities into one three-part experimental epic. Over piano-led, minor-key pop, Madonna variously tells us that she can dress like a boy or a girl as she wishes, castigates the world for being obsessed with fame and concludes by saying that some unnamed people, at a guess Donald Trump and his team, are naive to think that we aren’t aware of their crimes. At one point she says something indecipherable in a half robot, half Disney princess voice. It is quite a trip.
Then there is Killers Who Are Partying, on which Madonna goes the full Bono as she identifies with Africa, poor people, exploited children and pretty much everyone else who isn’t a rich, old, golf-playing white man. “I’ll be poor, if the poor are humiliated,” she claims over a touch of Portuguese fado. “I’ll be Islam if Islam is hated,” she continues. “I’ll be Israel if they’re incarcerated.” World peace through song may be a naive endeavour, as John Lennon found out five decades ago, but this flash of idealism at a time of rising global division is welcome nonetheless.
The Latin-tinged Batuka has a wayward quality reminiscent of Brazil’s late-1960s tropicalia movement and features the unequivocally Trump-bashing line “Get that old man and put him in jail”.
On I Don’t Search I Find she reconnects with her core audience via the medium of high-energy, pumping house music.
There are no obvious big hits and much of the music is downbeat, albeit with orchestras and choirs adding lush expansiveness, but Madonna has taken a risk here. The result is her most intriguing album in a decade.