Unlike millions of people around the world, I’ve never been a fan of Madonna‘s music. Mostly because I’ve always found that her success was in large part due to her sexiness more than her music. What would have been Like a Virgin or Like a Prayer without their sexy clips? Good 80s pop songs, no better than Cindy Lauper’s or a-ha’s hits. I do respect the hit-maker, the business woman behind the singer and how she led the way for hundreds of women in the music industry. But hey, still showing your butt at the Grammy’s at 56? Come on.

So today, I’m LISTENING to her new album, ignoring videos and promo shots (like I always do with every album, by the way) entitled “Rebel Heart”, released last March 6. Most of her fans think she’s innovating at each album, but I always found Madonna following pop where it goes.

Ghosttown sounds every bit like a Lady Gaga ballad, Unapolegic Bitch is based on a reggae rhythm like Shakira’s hits, with a more rap twist. Bitch I’m Madonna is a very predicable duet with Mickey Mouse voice Nicki Minaj that won’t surprise anybody. Joan of Arc was promising with its soft folky intro, but quickly turned into another formatted song. Boring.

I didn’t hear any sparkles on this album that I hoped would have been a great pop, like I did on the last Shakira effort, or Sia’s “1000 Forms of Fear”. Even Rihanna has more edge than Madonna, and a way more interesting voice, full of soul. When the Barbadian rebel sang on Paul McCartney guitar chords on the 4-5 Seconds single (also featuring Kanye West), she proved how good she can be. Madonna doesn’t even come close to these pop standards on “Rebel Heart”.

You’d hope that an artist with 30+ years of a hugely successful career would aim higher once in a while. “Rebel Heart” will please Madonna’s millions of fans that love everything she does, but musically speaking, there’s strictly no interest here.

Rebel Heart
(Interscope Records, 2015)

-Genre: pop
-In the same mold than Lady Gaga

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About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.