Madonna’s 13th studio album is really something special. Recalling the artistic heights of 1992’s “Erotica” and 1994’s “Bedtime Stories,” “Rebel Heart” highlights all of Madonna’s strengths: Effective and powerful signing, meaningful lyrics, inventive producers and a willingness (nay, a drive) to step outside her own comfort zone. While there are entertaining beat-heavy numbers like lead single “Living for Love,” “Bitch I’m Madonna” and the addictive “Unapologetic Bitch,” it’s the somber, plaintive numbers like “Best Night” and “Inside Out” that stand-out as some of her career-best work. There’s plenty here for newcomers but this album is a treat for longtime fans, harking back to peak-Madonna heights, with fresh and often boundary-pushing numbers (like “Holy Water” and “S.E.X.”) that find the legendary performer at complete ease with herself, her career and her public image, and becoming all the more compelling for it. (Super Deluxe Version reviewed).
Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)
You can watch the video for “Living for Love” here: