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> Rebel Heart ● 1 year on, The best the world has ever seen ~
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liamk97
post Mar 9 2016, 11:13 PM
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Today marks one year since the UK release of Madonna's 13th studio album Rebel Heart. We had been teased throughout 2014 of producers, lyrics and potential music genres, but anticipation for the new album really exploded in November when glorious dance demos of 'Wash All Over Me' and the title track leaked and were met with universal praise amongst fans. Following a turbulent journey of further, more substantial leaks and attempts of redeeming the situation (the early Christmas gift of 6 completed songs; the promise of leaked songs being re-worked; the lead single and album being pushed forward), Madonna unleashed the finished result in March, available in three editions - the latter housing a whopping 25 tracks!

Rebel Heart focuses on two sides to her personality: the romantic and the rebel. This wasn't the initial plan for the album, but it became apparent that two distinct themes were emerging during the recording sessions, leading Madonna to explore this idea and what it meant to her. She proposed that contemporary artists are not encouraged to be rebellious; to speak their minds; think outside the box; take risks; and that rebellion is a key component to successful art. However, she also acknowledged that it is important not to be a rebel for the sake of it - there has to be meaning behind it; a message grounded in love and humanity. This fusion of two seemingly conflicting personality traits proved to be a good chance to reflect on her career too and consider how they've shaped her as a person and an artist, which has in turn shaped the people around her and the people that her music resonates with, and this too became a key theme in Rebel Heart. Of course, Madonna has always written records that have been revealing something about herself, but not so much in regards to past endeavours or how factors of her career have affected her, nor in such literal and hurt-driven ways, opposed to being mysterious and merging reality with fiction.

Critics and fans alike agreed that there was no doubt Rebel Heart was Madonna's best piece of work since Confessions on a Dancefloor; much of the praise stemming from the return of classic Madonna ballads which had the right balance of what were so special about them back in the 80s/90s as well as something quite refreshing: 'Ghosttown', for instance, stepped away from the subtle piano-supported ballads of old and had a bit more 'oomph' with the added drum beat, organ and synths complementing Madonna's honest vocals. Furthermore, 'Living for Love' brought together classic traits of house and gospel choirs with the sounds of now with Diplo's EDM beats. Not only was Madonna lyrically reflecting on her career, she was doing it sonically too. Other genre sounds included the likes of folk, reggae and hip-hop.

Of course, no modern Madonna album comes without its down points, but there is something for everyone, with those somethings ranking among the greats of her discography. It's undeniably an album that keeps on giving, whether that be lyrics suddenly resonating with you in a whole new way, subtle aspects of the production shining through or new songs poking their way through to the top of your affections, so how have songs changed for you on the umpteenth listen? What does the album mean to you? Is this a step in the right direction to secure Madonna's position as pop's biggest icon?
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HausAlone
post Mar 10 2016, 07:14 AM
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I love the duality of the romantic and the Rebel. The romantic side is what initially hooked me in with beautys such as Joan of Arc, the two singles etc but now I adore pretty much all of it. It's a fantastic mix of crazed and restrained and while it doesn't really flow as well as most of her albums the tracks on their own are mostly fabulous.

I'll try to give more in depth thoughts about most of the tracks later but for now HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rebel Heart you absolute stunner wub.gif wub.gif party.gif
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Regina
post Mar 10 2016, 08:20 AM
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Doesn't feel like a year ohmy.gif oh my.
As I've said many times times before, this is the most "Madonna" album she's done in years (despite me adoring Hard Candy and MDNA) and it contains some of her
best lyrics and songs ever (Ghosttown, Wash All Over Me, Living For Love, Queen) but then it has some real turds on it (Autotune Baby, Unappologetic Bitch) but with 25 tracks it was bound to happen.
Also the album art for the super deluxe is one of my favourite Madonna covers ever, stunning with the red and black representing the two sides of the album, the romantic and the rebel like Haus said.
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Joe ho ho!
post Mar 10 2016, 11:26 AM
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I think this is the best she put out since Confessions but at the same time, as I've said previously, she really needed to let go of some of her babies and cut the fat. A 10 - 12 track album would have been so much better. Listening from start to finish is a bit of a mess. SO many highs, but it's not cohesive and some of the lows are jarring.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 10 2016, 11:38 AM
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QUOTE(JoeTheSats @ Mar 10 2016, 11:26 AM) *
I think this is the best she put out since Confessions but at the same time, as I've said previously, she really needed to let go of some of her babies and cut the fat. A 10 - 12 track album would have been so much better. Listening from start to finish is a bit of a mess. SO many highs, but it's not cohesive and some of the lows are jarring.


Exactly! Trim the fat is always the expression I've used with this album, but some of the material on this is undoubtedly her best since Confessions and as a whole I'd say it's a good album (on balance).
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Sceryl_Streep
post Mar 10 2016, 11:54 AM
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It is such a shame she couldn't have controlled herself because I 100% agree that it contains some of her best work since Confessions, but it also contains some of the worst stuff she's EVER done and as a whole it is a messy, directionless collection of songs and the 'Rebel' and 'Heart' aspects could work perfectly together but all it really ends up being is an artist without any cohesive thought process or sense of direction. A bizarre mismatch of songs thrown together simply because she liked them.

Had it been a probable double disc album then I'd have been more forgiving, granted one would have been night on unlistenable, but at least it would have shown a sense of clarity and direction to the album. Ghosttown is, without a doubt, her best single since Hung Up. It's classic Madonna, yet still sounds like it's been recorded 30 years into her career, not 10.

This is my version of the album:

07 Living For Love
09 Devil Pray
10 Ghosttown
08 Hold Tight
10 Joan Of Arc
09 Messiah
09 Rebel Heart
08 HeartBreakCity
07 Beautiful Scars
09 Inside Out
07 Borrowed Time
08 Addicted
07 Queen
10 Wash All Over Me
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dandy*
post Mar 10 2016, 12:29 PM
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I have no time for Beautiful Scars but the rest of the tracklist is pretty spot on there John.

I've had a listen to my version of the album this morning and it's OKAY. It's not quite the return to form I thought it was capable of being but it's a definite step up from her previous few albums. Best tracks for me remain Ghosttown (which is my favourite of hers in AGES), Rebel Heart, Devil Pray and Queen. Time for her to completely ditch trying to tap into more urban trends though, they're just not her whether she likes it or not.
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HausAlone
post Mar 13 2016, 09:49 PM
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I'll try and give a short comment for each. I really do love the album and it's grown so so so so much over time.

01. Living For Love
02. Devil Pray Should've been a single over BIM
03. Ghosttown
04. Unapologetic Bitch The tour made me like this a fair bit. Fun ~
05. Illuminati The demo >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
06. Bitch I'm Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)
07. Hold Tight The latest song to properly hit me, i've always liked now i LOVE
08. Joan of Arc Loved this initially but haven't listened to it much recently
09. Iconic (feat. Chance The Rapper & Mike Tyson) Probably my favourite album track
10. HeartBreakCity
11. Body Shop One of my real least favourites UNTIL recently. Now I find it so cute and gutsy and really infectious
12. Holy Water ALWAYS LOVED AND ALWAYS WILL. Don't care about the hate it gets
13. Inside Out
14. Wash All Over Me
15. Best Night One that hit me quite early on, but a fantastic instrumental and spooky vocals so a WIN
16. Veni Vedi Vici (feat. Nas) Really like this
17. S.E.X. I actually quite like this now blush.gif Hated it at first but another grower~
18. Messiah
19. Rebel Heart Superb and totally HER as an artist as the tour showed off
20. Beautiful Scars Loved this initially but quite bored of it now
21. Queen One of the best. A true MOMENT
23. Borrowed Time
23. Graffiti Heart Another early fave
24. Autotune Baby No.
25. Addicted Utterly superb and explosive

I'd probably only get rid of Autotune Baby and EVEN THEN it can be fun in a so bad it's quite funny sort of way so i'm not gonna touch anything. :')
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liamk97
post Mar 13 2016, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE(HausofKubrick @ Mar 13 2016, 09:49 PM) *
20. Beautiful Scars Loved this initially but quite bored of it now
23. Graffiti Heart Another early fave

Hey I remember those PMs of you badgering me to love these. sleep.gif
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HausAlone
post Mar 13 2016, 10:09 PM
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kink.gif hey times change! I still enjoy them, particularly GH but so many others snuck up ahead of them that I listen to them much less. smile.gif
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