We start off with “Living For Love” which is the typically dance-inspired electro-pop track that Madonna does with such relative ease, it’s got a simple beat, subtle RnB influences are layered throughout and it’s a decent intro. “Devil Pray” on the other hand is a predominantly stripped back acoustic driven piece of music, with a touch of dub here and there. It actually works really well, and combined with the ever so slightly dark lyrical tone results in an early album highlight, a great track.
“Ghosttown” is another slower number but has a really strong emotive chorus that lifts the song, which can also be said for tracks such as the blissfully laid back “Joan Of Arc” and “HeartBreakCity”. There are the more up-tempo tracks too, naturally, such as “Bitch I’m Madonna” featuring NICKI MINAJ, and while we’re on the subject of guest vocalists, there’s the interesting inclusion of MIKE TYSON on “Iconic”…yes…THE Mike Tyson, the boxer…lends his voice to the track…as far as collaborations go, this has to be up there with the most random, but the track itself is a decent one, before we eventually end up on “Wash All Over Me”, a brooding, slightly dramatic sounding track to some extent.
Madonna may be getting on a bit now, from a pop-music perspective at least, but she’s still as motivated as ever, holding her own in a much more competitive market, especially with younger artists such as LADY GAGA and KATY PERRY all waiting in line to claim her throne. This new album may not contain any huge floor-fillers or instant hits like past releases, but it does hold a lot of solid songs that have been written well. Rebel Heart proves she’s still got a lot to offer, and the youngsters still have a lot to learn.