From the Liz Smith column on the Chicago Tribune...
I lived my life like a masochist. Hearing my father say/’I told you so; I told you so. Why can’t you be like other girls? I said: ‘Oh, no, that’s not me/And I don’t think it ever will be’
Those are some of Madonna’s lyrics from the title track of her upcoming Rebel Heart album.
Whatever Madonna does, whomever she marries, beds, or no matter how many children she has, whatever her age, she will never ever be like “other girls.”
Also, apparently, Madonna will never reconcile her issues with her dad. (One of the star’s most powerful songs, with an accompanying haunting video, was 1989’s Oh, Father.)
Madonna refuses to bow down to any tiresome convention relating to her art or to what is expected of a woman over 40. (Her recent accident on stage in London, wound up too tightly in a cape, causing her to fall, has unleashed the usual ageist trolling vitriol on social media. When did 56 become “old?”)
La Ciccone’s new album is a source of tremendous controversy already. Half of it was hacked and leaked, forcing the star to officially release six songs. The deluxe version of the disc contains 25 tunes. England’s most popular newspaper, The Sun, says Rebel Heart is the greatest album of Madonna’s long career, and reviews 10 of the albums unreleased songs.
The pop icon also decorates the cover of Rolling Stone magazine yet again, profiled by the excellent Brian Hiatt. (I keep waiting for Madonna to become “irrelevant” but somehow that never quite happens.) Madonna talks of many things — her chronic insomnia (although she can’t relate to people “who sleep 12 hours a day”) … her four children … her parenting (“bossy — but what parent isn’t?”) … what she might have been (a schoolteacher in Detroit) … the sexism inherent when a woman displays herself … how Guy Ritchie didn’t approve of her image (who did he think he married?) … Kanye West (“He’s a beautiful mess. I love him”) … still trying to understand the “degrading” remarks made about her age … her mortality (“In some respects I will never die. Because art is immortal”) … Lady Gaga (There is no feud: “Here’s the thing. One day everyone’s going to have to shut up about it. You’ll see! I have a plan.”)
And finally, writer Hiatt asks her if she is still open to falling in love again?
“That was a fast answer.”
“I don’t doubt love for a second. Come on, listen to my songs!”
Well, for all the blatant behavior — for which she makes no apology — underneath, Madonna has always been the ultimate romantic. That’s why I think her mournful ballads will be better remembered in years to come than her dance tracks.
Rolling Stone also reviews Rebel Heart, giving it three and a half stars, calling it a “long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times. … Madonna does have a rebel heart and you can’t fault her for reminding us that pop music is all the better for it.”
Thanks to MadonnaTribe!