Madonna

I know this will seem like a cop out but honestly all of the demos are well worth seeking out, if for no other reason than we don’t usually get so much insight into her process…at least not until the demos leak years later. Having them (sort of) in real time was interesting and while I feel like she made the right choices regarding which versions made the album, as a Madonna stan it’s cool to have alternate versions when the mood strikes. I’m also partial to the sillier stuff like ‘Score’ and ‘Back That Up (Do It)’ [which eventually found a home as a Madame X bonus track, albeit with different production] but yeah…all of the demos offer a fascinating snapshot of Madonna at the time. I’d honestly recommend finding all of them and sifting through the whole thing. There are some gems in there.
Cool, thank you!! Does this playlist have all of them:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJdIBuH1jZgQpeKEjn_S7w4yjKL7aqmPQ
 
It’s missing ‘Back That Up’ and a few other ones, as well as the various mixes of certain songs. But to think that would be a great place for to start for sure.
Great, thank you! I'll do more in-depth research later and will use this playlist for now.
Sidenote: is that her in the outro for the Living For Love demo? Because I really wish that had been kept in the song.
 
Great, thank you! I'll do more in-depth research later and will use this playlist for now.
Sidenote: is that her in the outro for the Living For Love demo? Because I really wish that had been kept in the song.

Ah now that I do not know…I can’t remember the differences between the different demos and I can’t listen to it at the moment to say for sure. I’m confident someone here will know though.
 
Ah now that I do not know…I can’t remember the differences between the different demos and I can’t listen to it at the moment to say for sure. I’m confident someone here will know though.
Ahhhh okay. Thanks anyway. It did sound like her, in a pretty low register, especially compared to the rest of the song.
 
I was a huge Rebel Heart champion back in the day but the album hasn't aged particularly well for me. It's not the production that's the problem IMO. I love most of the choices she made in terms of the album's sound. Plenty of exciting production moments and the songs are well structured and arranged. Plus, the melodies slap. The problem is that some of the songs feature lame and lazy songwriting that is almost hard to listen to. Iconic and Vini Vidi Vici's chorus is some straight up nursery rhyme shit (in the case of the latter, the sickly sweet voice she sings it with makes it even more cringe), HeartbreakCity has some of the dullest most linguistically pedestrian lyrics she's even penned, Hold Tight is nothing but cliches, S.E.X is shockingly unclever (Holy Water is better in this regard), Devil Pray is a great song but that pre-chorus is straight up uncomfortable to listen to and somewhat downgrades what could have been one of her best, Best Night sounds very good but, like S.E.X, lacks wit. Finally, Addicted is probably the lyrical nadir of the whole package.

Bitch, I'm Madonna has terrible lyrics on paper but the song is so good that she somewhat sells them.

The rest of it is pretty good in terms of wordsmithing but there's enough lyrical jank to stop the album from being among her best. It's definitely a course correction from MDNA but not a complete one IMO. There's still a bit of shakiness, still a bit of basicness.

Madame X is a huge improvement lyrically. Sure, Killer's lyrics are straight up white savior speaking over marginalized groups stupidity and Future's smugness is so unwarranted, but the rest of it is solid as hell. Some of the words are so inspired and gorgeous.

"I took a trip, it set me free/Forgave myself for being me"

"It's a weird kind of energy/A bizzare thing that happens to be/An abnormal fraternity"

(I thought about putting "Everybody knows the damn truth" but that's just not true. Many people are ridiculously unaware of how they're being screwed).

"Swear the road is long and the highway listens"

"I bend my knees for you like a prayer/Oh God, look at me now/Pulled off my weakness layer after layer/Nothing left for me to keep round"

"I can't react how you thought I'd react, I would never for you/Front line, I won't stand in the back cause you want me to"

"They say be all I can be/All I want is peace, peace, peace, peace, pace/See the world, haven't seen it all/I wanna see, see, see, see, see, see its dreams"

"No, I wasn't lost/It was a different feeling/A mix of lucidity and craziness"

"We live between life and death/Waiting to move on/And in the end we accept it/We shake hands with our fate"

"Finally enough love"

"Platinum gold, inside your soul"

"Is it really faith if I'm weak? Can you tell the truth when you live lies?"

"Not bulletproof, shouldn't have to run from a gun" (This single lyric is better than all of Borrowed Time)

Like any Madonna album, there are some cliches, but it's not even close to as bad a situation on that front as Rebel Heart.
 
Last edited:
I would cut Hold Tight (sounds like a OneRepublic reject or something), Best Night (Inside Out covers similar ground much more effectively 2 tracks prior), Vedi Vidi Vici (too on the nose for an already self referential album) and S.E.X. (Holy Water does the same thing better)
 
Vini Vidi Vici gets points for being an odd kettle of fish and for that magnificent Nas verse, but it really should have been more clever. This is basically what Vini Vidi Vici was trying to do but with more subtlety and wit:

 
I haven't played Rebel Heart in full for years must admit. Lots of fantastic songs on it including two of her strongest ever singles full stop for me via Living For Love and Ghosttown. But, just find it rather long and don't ever really seek it out either. As albums go, I prefer MDNA.
 
I haven't played Rebel Heart in full for years must admit. Lots of fantastic songs on it including two of her strongest ever singles full stop for me via Living For Love and Ghosttown. But, just find it rather long and don't ever really seek it out either. As albums go, I prefer MDNA.
To this day, I still can’t believe Living For Love and Ghosttown weren’t hits.
 
I realized last night that I'd never shown my fiance the video my tattoo came from. He'd asked before, obviously, and I'd told him it came from a Madonna video but I'd never actually shown him and since I've been back on my Madonna bullshit the last couple of weeks, I figured it was a good opportunity to torture him with more Madonna videos show him the actual video.


It's truly one of her best for me. The remix works perfectly with the video and I love the juxtaposition of her soft vocals gliding over those synths while she takes grandma on a crime spree. It's at least in my top ten of her videography, for sure, tattoo inspiration or not.
 
Top