More Madame X Review from the US Press
There are a few more Madame X reviews published on the online websites of several American media outlets – unsurprisingly many make sure to mention in a way or another that new Madonna album is dropping on the same day of the new record by Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars.
“Madonna takes a weird, wild ride on Madame X,” says Rolling Stone, adding that her latest is full of bold moves as well as moments that trigger that “worried about Madonna” feeling, rating the album 3 stars out of 5.
“Re-energized Material Girl gets freaky,” headlines the New York Post for their Madame X review.
While Bruce Springsteen gracefully accepts his senior citizenship on his new album, Western Stars, Madonna isn’t having any part of acting like an old lady on her Madame X LP, which also drops Friday.
Sounding more energized and adventurous than she has in years, for the first album of her 60s, she’s still pushing herself to the borderline.
In the review from The Los Angeles Times the Springsteen-Madonna comparison is the main theme of the story, starting from the title that states the two “strike a pose, with varied results, on new albums.”
Thirty-four years later, Madonna and Springsteen are going head to head again on Friday, with the release of her “Madame X” and his “Western Stars” — each artist’s first studio record since Prince’s death in 2016 made them the two survivors of the ’80s’ Big Four. With little A-list competition (and with a determined ticket-bundling strategy by Madonna), one of the albums is likely to finish the week as the country’s bestseller. Unlike in the ’80s, though, there’s virtually no chance that the two titles might switch places the following week: The way pop works now, big event records like these — especially those by well-known old-timers — debut high on the chart, then sink quickly as listeners move on to other things.
In general, Madonna, 60, and Springsteen, 69, have responded differently to this changing environment. She’s tried to play by the new rules, as when she blew up social media in 2015 by making out with Drake at Coachella, while he’s sought to bring fresh attention to his legacy with a memoir and an intimate Broadway production. Yet the choice to release their latest albums on the same day, effectively blocking one of them from No. 1 (where the majority of their recent efforts have started out), seems to reflect a shared understanding of themselves as icons outside the hurly-burly of the modern pop marketplace.
Stereogum gets straight to the point saying that “Madame X is the best Madonna album in a long time.”
So here goes nothing: Madame X strikes a balance between accessible and experimental that would be impressive at any age but feels especially momentous coming this late in Madonna’s career. The album acclimates to current trends more naturally than she has managed in years while still feeling like its own thing. It dares to be weird in ways that feel like genuine expression and not just attention-grabbing stunts. Madonna has always taken inspiration from David Bowie, and although Madame X is not a Blackstar-level masterpiece, I see similarities in the way it merges personal heaviness with a sort of artistic fearlessness. It’s not going to silence the scoffers, but it may well reward those who engage in good faith.
Forbes says that Madonna’s Madame X “offers a blueprint for multigenerational and multicultural artistry.”
If Madame X is meant to inspire acceptance, inclusion and love; if it’s meant to call out the hypocrisy of double-standards; if it’s meant to address exclusion and judgment against difference as one of the most pervasive societal diseases we’ve yet to eradicate, then it hits the mark. Whether people are open to receive its message remains to be seen.
“Who is Madame X? Is it you or Madonna?” asks V Magazine. Tackling large issues in her songs, Madonna points her questioning of society at herself and back at her listeners with her latest album, Madame X, they say.
The highs and lows of stardom are not just exclusive to the famous, because anyone ever with an Instagram account deals with the anxiety of the public self and the private self, and the possibility of being “burned at the stake” with the flames of “receipts” being revealed, at the risk of losing it all.
Maybe we should challenge ourselves as a culture to be better, in the way we treated her with misogyny, lack of openness and understanding, and creating the trials that made her so symbolic to the pain that so many women and female artists experience daily.
We can all try to invalidate Madonna’s pain but she has a one-up on us, because she already knows what is going to happen next, and now she doesn’t seem to care and in today’s society, we are all Madame X: on a quest, lost, searching for ourselves and our identities, trying to reach an idea or aesthetic of perfectionism to display what is going on with us inside, and trying to tell our story whether it is constructed or real. Maybe nobody cares. And to that, it is time. We must go dance.