Madonna in Lisbon (Photo: Instagram)
Madonna is gearing up for the next instalment in her immaculate collection, three years after the release of Rebel Heart.
The Queen of Pop has been slowly drip-feeding details about her 14th (!) studio album, and luckily for her fans, this writer is hooked up to her IV.
So here’s what we know!
Back to basics
For long-time, and some may argue long-suffering, fans of Madonna, news that she is apparently hunkering down with producer Mirwais has come as a welcome sign of things to come. And a welcome change from the recent norm.
Madonna produces her best work when she picks one producer and the two huddle away without distractions. It’s that process that brought us focused epics such as the Stuart Price-helmed Confessions On A Dancefloor, and her William Orbit-assisted masterpiece Ray Of Light.
From 2008’s Hard Candy onwards however, Madonna has made a habit of collaborating with every so-called hot producer she can get her hands on. Or so it seems.
In an unexpected response to her manager Guy O’Seary’s gushing praise for Ray of Light on Instagram, Madge expressed her anger at being sent to ‘songwriting camps’.
‘Remember when I made records with other artists from beginning to end and I was allowed to be a visionary and not have to go to songwriting camps where no one can sit still for more than 15 minutes…’
Madonna has been accused from fans and critics alike of an obsession with chasing trends, by working with the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell, Timbaland et al for the last decade. By reuniting with the man who gave his magic to 2000’s Music, as well as 2003’s underrate American Life, we may yet see a return to the experimental yet cohesive work Madonna built her legacy with.
It might of course be too much to ask of Madge to completely forego at least one guest feature. And all signs are pointing to one Miss Minaj. The two grabbed each other on the red carpet at the Met Gala in May, with Nicki seemingly itching to reveal some sort of ‘secret’.
Two months prior, Madonna posted something cryptic to Instagram about secret songwriters.
Nothing official has been announced, of course. But should Minaj feature anywhere on this album, it would make the as-yet-untitled release her third Madonna album in a row to guest on. Which is a world record, in terms of pop music.
Minaj has already featured on two official Madge singles (Give Me All Your Luvin’ and Bitch, I’m Madonna) and performed alongside her at the 2012 Super Bowl. Why not go for a hat trick?
Speaking of tricks, Drake is also rumoured to feature on the new album, according to stories doing the rounds today. Given that he named a song after her and that infamous snog, it’s probably about time.
In the summer of 2017, Madonna relocated to Portugal with her ever-growing army of children. Being the culture-vulture she is, it was almost inevitable that she’d find something to pilfer for her next project.
Her latest European excursion seems to have led her to Batuque music. The singer posted footage of some sessions with a female band from Cape Verde at a Lisbon studio. Batuque is the oldest music genre in Cape Verde, an archipelago in the Atlantic ocean colonized by the Portugese in the 15th century.
The Batuque is also a traditional women’s dance, banned by King Manuel of Portugal during colonialism as it was considered a precursor to a slave rebellion. So maybe expect to see some of that on the inevitable tour.
Steven Klein music video?
In May, Madonna fansite DrownedMadonna reported that a music video had allegedly been filmed in London by Steven Klein.
Klein is responsible for some of the her more memorable concert backdrop videos and photoshoots, not to mention her 2013 short film SecretProjectRevolution.
So far no music video has yet surfaced. Yesterday, however, Madge posted to her Instagram a hyper-stylized video of her reciting poet Rupi Kaur. The video was shot by none other than Steven Klein.
It begins with Madonna apologizing to, ‘all the women I have called beautiful’.
The lead single for her next album is heavily rumoured to be Beautiful Game, a snippet of which she performed at the Met Gala in May.
Could this then be a taste of the album’s first video?
There isn’t one.
Madonna teased on her Instagram that new music was ‘coming soon’. That was in May. Not soon enough obviously.
We’re dying to hear what she’s got tucked away up her lacey sleeve, but until that time her social media is the best thing we got.
We know in our (rebel) hearts it’ll be worth the wait. Stay tuned!