When Madonna releases a new album, it isn’t so much an event as it is an international holiday.
Her Madgesty is now on her 13th studio album. 2012’s MDNA gave us just a little bit of the life we needed for the icon’s 12th release, but of course we wanted more. It’s only natural, given this is a woman who has consistently reinvented herself for three decades straight.
Now it’s 2014, which feels like the perfect time for her to drop off a new project and deliver that breed of cross-genre pop that only she can provide.
Details on the album thus far have been hit or miss: While other websites have speculated by way of Instagram posts and other random clues, Idolator played detective and dug up even more info on the album. Of course, nothing is conclusive since this is Madge, but we do have enough information to at the very least be excited for the project.
So without further ado, let’s see what we have in store from the Queen Of Pop herself.
10. The Album Is Already Done…Or Nah?
Back in April, fashion photogs Mert & Marcus put a pic up of Madonna on Instagram, rolling her tongue and looking like a sexy Greek goddess with leaves behind her ears. The caption read: “In my room listening to the NEW ALBUM!!!!! Im DYING!!!!!! LET ME LOVE YOU FROM INSIDE OUT ????????” However, going back into the photo now — the caption has been deleted! What gives?! Are we led to believe that the album isn’t done after all? Or maybe Madge switched up some tracks since then? Probably a combination of both. This is Madonna, and she does whatever the f#@$ she wants. (Imagine the text she sent to Mert & Marcus getting them to delete that photo?)
9. Another Surprise Release?
In March, Digital Music News revealed that an anonymous member of Apple stated that iTunes is preparing for another surprise album from a gigantic artist. The suspects were Madonna and Mariah Carey, but as we all know, MC dropped Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse on May 23rd, so that leaves Madonna as the number one pick for a surprise album release. If she pulls a Beyoncé and delivers it unexpectedly on iTunes, imagine what will happen to the Internet? Then again, it could also be Kanye West’s album, since he too is planning to randomly drop his this fall.
8. Sounds Like…An Electro-Punk Choir?
Ever since 2005’s Confessions On A Dance Floor, it sounds like Madonna has fully submerged herself back into dance culture. Well, back when she first ventured into that sound, we didn’t have the all-inclusive “EDM” title. Now, we do! And given the list of collaborators (more on that later), it’s safe to say the EDM thing is still present. However, there’s more to it: Last month, the Queen released an Instagram clip showing the London Community Gospel choir singing some soothing coos that sounded eerily reminiscent of “Like A Prayer.”
In addition, we have some anti-establishment-sounding things happening: For one, she has a track called “Rebel Heart” on the album, which may or may not include the following lyrics: “Day turns into night. I won’t give up the fight. Don’t want to get to the end of my days. Saying I wasn’t amazed!” Madge also started hash-tagging #revolution and #revolutionoflove on Instagram. By words alone, could that be inferring a punk edge? Or, it could also be hip-hop. We’ll just have to wait and see.
7. Diplo Says That Shit Cray
Remember when Idolator spoke with Diplo regarding the Madonna project? Madge asked the Mad Decent kingpin for “some of the craziest shit” he had in his arsenal, so he gave it to her. They wrote seven songs together, and Diplo told us that he hoped at least four or five would make it to the album. Of those songs, one is titled “Bitch, I’m Madonna,” so we can only imagine what that will sound like. Hopefully she keeps that one on the project. With a title like that, how could she not?
6. We Hear There’s A Messiah Coming
Typically, at this point in a star’s album-making process, we get something to snack on when it comes to leaks, but Madge has been super elusive about this project. She’s dropping little hints via Instagram, and our greatest glimpse into the project has been the track “Messiah.” An Instagram video revealed an orchestra piecing together a beautiful tune, and there were also some lyrics (plus sheet music) revealed: “I am the promise that you cannot keep / Reap what you sow / Find what you seek / I am the sorceress / Down in the deep / I am the Earth / Under your feet.” Sounds like pure poetry. Keep it coming, Ms. Ciccone.
5. Some Songs Titles Are Better Than None
Okay, so far we have the aforementioned “Messiah” and “Rebel Heart,” along with “Bitch, I’m Madonna.” There are a few more though! Madonna has been all over her Instagram #hashtagging what seem like song titles. One is “Living For Love,” and then we have “#UnapologeticBitch” and “Trust No Bitch,” in addition to all of the others. That’s a lot of bitching going on, no? The titles sound like they’ll be a stark contrast to the little bits of music we’ve already heard. That’s fine, though! Perhaps the project will be equal parts emotional and badass. We’ll take it. Also, just two days ago, Madonna posted a pic of her doing an elbow stand from the Re-Invention Tour with #UnapologeticBitch hashtagged and the caption “What was I thinking? The world is upside down!” So, we have five song titles and a few bits of music/lyrics. Will there be five more to come? Seven? Hopefully more clues arrive soon.
4. William Orbit Approves
If you don’t know the role that William Orbit plays in Madonna’s career, then you’ll at least know the songs: Orbit produced some of Madge’s most noteworthy songs from 1998 onward, including “Ray Of Light,” “Frozen,” “The Power Of Good-Bye,” “Beautiful Stranger” — the list goes on. He also collaborated heavily with Madonna on MDNA, (which was arguably the most lackluster out of the M-catalog), but he’s heard the new Madonna album and it “sounds good.” That might not seem like a lot, but for someone who has worked with Madonna through some of her greatest (and not so great!) work, he knows what sounds good. No official word on whether or not he’s producing on the album.
3. Okay, so who IS producing?
While Diplo is already a definite, we have some other top-shelf producers helping to shape Madonna’s vision. Avicii is on board, as the two have been exchanging cute Instagram “In the studio” updates. Ariel Rechtshaid has also been in the studio with Madge. (You might know his work from Kylie Minogue, HAIM, No Doubt, Usher, Sky Ferreira and many others.) Symbolyc One (S1) is working with Madonna, too. He produced Kanye West’s “Power,” among other major hip-hop cuts. One rumored producer of epic proportions is Giorgio Moroder. News of him working on the album came as early as last year, back when it was assumed that Madonna’s next project would be totally disco. Since she’s changed the direction a bit and has been working with newer talent, Moroder might not make the cut. (That collaboration would be fabulous, though.)
2. Write On, MoZella
In addition to top-tier producers, Madge has enlisted the pens of some major songwriters too. Toby Gad is involved — he wrote Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy” and Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Cherrytree Records founder and songwriter Martin Kierszenbaum has also been writing on the project (he A&R’ed Lady Gaga’s early days) along with his artist Natalia Kills. One writer has come full circle: MoZella, who was formerly signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records, has evolved from a pop singer to a respected songwriter. Her most recent contribution to songwriting is Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” Now she’s writing for Madonna. Go figure.
1. Speaking Of Miley Cyrus…
Yes, you may have already heard… Miss Miley Cyrus is rumored to be collaborating with Madonna for her album. Once again, this is all pulled from their Internet banter, but after Madge popped up for Miley’s Unplugged, it’s obvious they’re pals.
Revisit Madonna’s most #unapologeticbitch moments: