Albums to watch

Rebel Heart

Madonna

Rebel Heart

13th studio album for the Queen of Pop with guest appearances from Chance The Rapper, Nicki Minaj, Nas, and Mike Tyson

ADM rating[?]

6.3

Label
Interscope
UK Release date
09/03/2015
US Release date
09/03/2015
  1. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Madonna is never one to shun progress, and several songs on Rebel Heart see her use the “club banger” strategy first deployed on 2005’s Confessions on a Dancefloor, with help from producers including Aviici, Diplo and Kanye West
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  2. 8.0 |   The Independent

    If the lyrics mine familiar tropes of sex, dance, religion and celebrity, the music pushes out from her electropop template, with the brittle beats and wheezing dubstep electronic flourishe
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  3. 8.0 |   Digital Spy

    Some of her most captivating work in years
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  4. 8.0 |   All Music

    The ambition remains, along with the hunger to remain on the bleeding edge, but she's allowing her past to mingle with her present, allowing her to seem human yet somewhat grander at the same time
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  5. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The whole confection is so deliciously bonkers – and shot through with moments of such brilliance – that it replaces the musch-maligned MDNA as the comeback Madonna deserves
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  6. 7.6 |   Paste Magazine

    This new batch of songs feels and sounds raw and powerful, like the woman herself, if occasionally a little hamfisted
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  7. 7.0 |   music OMH

    For all the jibes about her age or her perceived relevance in 2015, there’s still more energy and invention crammed into this record than someone half her age could produce
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  8. 7.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    A record whose strengths are timeless and whose faults are somewhat more modern
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  9. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    There are moments throughout where Madonna carves out new, exhilarating territory for both herself and mainstream pop at large
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  10. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The album is at its strongest when Madonna shoves everyone to the side and just tells it to us straight
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  11. 6.7 |   A.V. Club

    While her reputation as a bulletproof dance-floor queen still looms large, Madonna endures because she’s never been afraid to own her imperfections, and be emotionally forthright about, well, everything
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  12. 6.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    It’s certainly not the worst record of her career, but it is the most frustrating
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  13. 6.5 |   Beardfood

    She still has it
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  14. 6.0 |   Spin

    Ultimately, even in the record's clunkier moments, it's gratifying to hear Madonna leaning defiantly (and gleefully) into what many would consider to be the less savory elements of her personality
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  15. 6.0 |   NOW

    Surprisingly full of acoustic sounds and wistful balladry reminiscent of her 90s material, but it also plugs into a load of dark, restless and weird club rhythms with help from a coterie of in-demand producers
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  16. 6.0 |   Time Out

    It all adds up to a sprawling and varied selection box that’s definitely worth cherry-picking from
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  17. 6.0 |   Q

    Often strikes a more tentative note. Print edition only

  18. 6.0 |   Uncut

    Almost gets the balance right, but at 19 tracks, most in the industrial party-pop style of cheeseball producers Diplo and Avicii, there's simply too much going on. Print edition only

  19. 6.0 |   The FT

    The tone swings wildly from poor-me break-up songs to hard-edged bangers
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  20. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Millennials will cringe, but Madonna just makes a far better basqued polemicist than she does a wise elder stateswoman
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  21. 6.0 |   Mojo

    No one does pop music like Madonna, at least as much for listeners as dancers. Print edition only

  22. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    With Rebel Heart she’s dropped the overt hit-chasing to instead take on her most radical incarnation yet: that of an actual, relatable human being, flaws and all
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  23. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    She can come up with songs that are both mature and reflective and that function as fantastic pop music, and they’re all the more potent because they sound like they’re being made entirely on her own terms
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  24. 6.0 |   State

    A Madonna album works best when there is a clear stylistic approach that sews each track together seamlessly but like its predecessor MDNA, Rebel Heart is more of a disjointed affair- perfect for the one track streaming Spotifiers
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  25. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    Musically it’s too of-the-moment for any songs to feel like real classics
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  26. 5.8 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Her taunts have become strident, and her cultural currency is no longer backed by gold
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  27. 5.1 |   Pitchfork

    Rebel Heart grows confusing and irreconcilably uneven as it progresses
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  28. 5.0 |   The Music

    Too often, quality control is sacrificed for the sake of sounding cool, but thematically at least, Rebel Heart is the most honest Madonna album since Ray Of Light
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  29. 5.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    When the world that you made goes on to change without you, keeping up becomes a bigger and bigger risk. If you’re Madonna, you take that risk no matter how likely you are to come out the other side without stumbling
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  30. 5.0 |   NME

    Ultimately, ‘Rebel Heart’ feels like a wasted opportunity
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  31. 4.0 |   Crack

    We’d rather return to the diamante cowgirl of 2000 or the Eva Peron vibes of ’96. It’s all depressingly vanilla
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  32. 4.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Most of the ballads (which make up almost half the record) blend into each other and are utterly forgettable
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Madonna: Rebel Heart

  • Download full album for just £9.49
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