Review Round Up: Madame X by Madonna

The Queen of Pop is back with her 14th studio album – but what do the critics think of it?

The Guardian: **** ” by drawing on the Latin influence of not just reggaeton-crazed recent pop but also her new home base of Lisbon, she has, at 60, produced her most natural-feeling, progressive and original record since Confessions.”

The Telegraph: *** “Madonna has often depicted herself as a pop revolutionary, a transgressive, barrier-breaking iconoclast fighting for feminism and sexual freedom. Her latest battle, though, is for survival.”

NME: **** “For the first time since ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’, perhaps, there’s a glint in Madonna’s eye; her visible, un-eyepatched one, at least.  Sonically restless, ‘Madame X’ doesn’t imitate current pop trends as much as it mangles them into new shapes. A record that grapples with being “just way too much”, ultimately, it refuses to tone things down.” “Latin rhythms figure heavily on the whole album — a side effect, maybe, of her primary residency in Portugal over the past few years. But its global sounds and millennial guest stars, including rappers Quavo and Swae Lee, can feel more like obligatory flag-planting than organic evolution.”

The Times: **** ” probably her boldest, certainly her strangest, album yet. 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. She isn’t really, of course, but she does a good job of pretending she is.”

The Sun: “For the creator of some of the biggest pop choruses in history to throw caution to the wind and create some of her most daring music ever, at the age of 60, is a welcome reminder of why Madonna has remained at the cutting edge of music for four decades.”

The Independent: *** “It is an intriguing, often brilliant, though occasionally awful record.”

Irish Times: *** “Standing up against technological, social and political distortion, it’s a big and ballsy production that’s so bizarre in places, you can’t help but be impressed.”

The FT: *** ” Trying to be something to everyone has been Madonna’s Achilles heel over the past decade. During the odder moments of Madame X, she actively flaunts that heel, as with the universalising phrases uttered in “Killers Who Are Partying” (“I will be poor if the poor are humiliated . . . I will be Islam if Islam is hated”). These tracks bring a disjointed feel to the album, but also an unfettered and expansive sensibility.”

iNews: **** “Thematically the album is all over the place, but this is Madonna’s strongest material for years.”

Madame X is released on the 14th June.

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