Forgive us, Madonna, for we have sinned. We tried to restrain ourselves for what must have been at least seven seconds… but we finally caved and listened to the leaked demo of ‘Rebel Heart’.
On Thursday, Madonna fans were given the first taste of the material (reference!) from her forthcoming 13th album, when a 43-second clip of ‘Rebel Heart’ leaked online.
Her manager seems pretty narked about the leak - Madonna herself is yet to comment, probably because she’s too busy larking about on a swing about in Malawi - so enjoy the above clip while you can, because it could disappear at any moment.
True, it’s in demo form, and some of it is so grainy that it’s basically inaudible, but we’re unabashed Madonna fans here, and this has got us pretty excited to hear the rest of the album. Here are five reasons why…
1. It doesn’t sound like everything else Avicii released this year
When we found out Avicii was on board for the new Madonna album, we don’t mind admitting it made us feel a little uneasy, and not just because she proved herself completely unable to spell his name on Instagram.
One of the biggest criticisms Madonna has faced in the latter half of her career is that she’s no longer a trendsetter, and has become a total hit-chaser instead. While we don’t agree (at least not completely), the news of Avicii co-producing songs gave us harrowing images of Madonna recording ‘Wake Me Up!’ 2.0 rather than something a bit more befitting the Queen of Pop.
Thankfully, from what we can hear of ‘Rebel Heart’ it’s taken the best parts of Avicii’s sound and blended them with Madonna, rather than giving us an ear-assaulting ‘Avicii feat. Madonna’ number about “putting your drinks up” and “getting down on the floor”.
2. The lyrics are actually halfway decent
And speaking of the fact she’s apparently ditched the dance floor, at least on this track, we think it’s really interesting that rather than a club banger, she’s choosing to launch her album (assuming her Instagram hints are right, and ‘Rebel Heart’ will be the first single) with such an introverted track.
After ‘Girl Gone Wild’ essentially went down like a cup of cold sick, it’s good to hear that Madonna is experimenting with more introverted lyrics, lamenting on her past mistakes.
She sings: “I spent some time as a narcissist/Hearing the others say ‘Look at you, look at you!’/Trying to be so provocative/I said ‘Oh yeah, that was me’/All the things I did just to be seen.”
Because nothing says “I’m over my narcissistic stage” quite like devoting an entire song… to yourself. Nice one.
3. “As a narrrr-cicist”
We’re not quite sure why Midwestern Madonna, who has taken to speaking in a bizarre British accent in recent times, is now pronouncing words like a Southern belle, but whatever her reasons, we love it. We’re guessing that’s Miley Cyrus’s influence.
Now, we know that when Madonna whips her guitar out during a show, audible groans descend on the stadium, but actually some of her best songs have had guitar sounds, like ‘Don’t Tell Me’ or ‘Miles Away’ (if you’ve not heard the latter then we recommend you take M’s advice and “look it up”).
The guitars heard on the verse really do give the song a more sincere and genuine sound (let’s face it, Madonna isn’t always known for her sincerity, is she?) and mean it’s a lot easier to actually take in what she’s singing about, before the chorus crashes in with its echoing backing vocals and swirling beats.
5. No references to either “waiting” or “hesitating”
We have only heard one verse, though.