Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Madonna teases new material - let us speculate

The Queen of Pop has really taken a liking to Instagram lately, and now she's even using the social media platform as the first place to share the news with her fans. News such as new music. Apparently, there's a new song on the way called "Messiah", the sheet music of which she shared on her Instagram earlier today.

Using the hashtag #messiah, the Girl Gone Wild hitmaker also shared a brief clip of some theatrical string arrangements being recorded for the song in question. Interesting.

So what do we know about her forthcoming album, then? Well, not much. What we do know, however, is that she's been working with a bunch of different people judging by the photos she's uploaded. These people include Disclosure, Diplo, AviciiNatalia Kills, and renown hat enthusiast Pharrell Williams. There's going to be a lot of collaborators, that is to say.

And then there's also the rumour of a Katy Perry collaboration. The two previously teamed up for a V magazine photoshoot, as seen below...

...and eager fans began speculating instantly of a possible musical collaboration between the two, as well. Around the same time, Billboard teased its readers with a mysterious snippet of an untitled nu-disco tuned by an unnamed 'shape-shifting dance legend'. Together with Madonna's frequent use of the hashtag #unapologeticbitch and Perry mashing up Madge's classic hit "Vogue" with her own tune "International Smile" on her latest tour, many joined the dots, assuming this tune to be the rumoured Madonna/Katy Perry track. Unfortunately for the fans, this groovy Daft Punk-esque song turned out to be the latest single of Dutch DJ Sander Kleinenberg, titled "We-R-Superstars". The music video for the song does feature a lot of funny dogs, though, so you might as well take a look at it anyway.

So, the internet is awash with rumours that ought to be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, there are some things that have garnered my attention, such as the hashtags Madonna has been using often, namely #unapologeticbitch and #rebelheart. Perhaps one or the other is the upcoming album title, considering how much she's been adding them to her pictures lately. (Although, Rebel Heart sounds like something that Lorde or no, wait, Avril Lavigne would use. Not a 55-year-old pop icon.) And while the Katy Perry collaboration is still nothing more than a rumour, Madonna's confirmed to have been in the studio with the rest of the aforementioned musicians, and in addition to "Messiah", there's another song title that has been revealed: Diplo has stated that he has recorded a handful of songs with Madonna, and one of them is titled "Bitch, I'm Madonna". Hmm, I sense some shade about to be thrown.

Now, someone cynical might say that Madonna's just trying to latch onto younger, more 'hip' artists in order to regain her relevance as a pop pioneer and sure, there might be some truth in that. Still, I hope she's not just trying to ride on the coattails of her successors, outsourcing her latest reinvention. While her previous album MDNA wasn't nearly as bad as some made it out to be, it lacked consistency because there were way too many people involved as songwriters and producers. Because of that, I hope she's not going to make the same mistake again and that there's going to be an executive producer of some kind in order to create a unified soundscape for the album - something that MDNA lacked.

There's indeed very little we know of Madonna's future album. Perhaps she's just pulling a Beyoncé and releasing the album as a nearly complete surprise (we do know she's working on one, though). I'd expect an album release in late 2014 (Oct/Nov) or early 2015 (Jan/Feb), with the lead single being dropped without a warning, mainly promoted with vague social media hype and ubiquitous hashtags. But we'll see.


Madonna has now also shared (a part of) the lyrics to "Messiah", and they are as follows:

Hmm. Is Madonna going all dark and mysterious again? Whether the rest of the album follows the apparent spiritual theme of "Messiah" remains to be seen but at least this tune seems to be quite a dramatic one. Furthermore, in addition to #rebelheart and #unapologeticbitch, the hashtag #livingforlove has started to appear more and more in Madonna's Instagram pictures as well. Could it also be a possible album title? Who knows.


We might even have the possible single artwork at our hands now:

I have a hunch the lead single might be dropping quite soon.

Do stay tuned for more.

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