May Her “Rebel Heart” Go On
By Lucia Rossi
It may sound like she’s an “unapologetic bitch,” but sometimes Madonna’s got to call it like it is.
On March 6, Madonna’s new album Rebel Heart was released by Interscope Records and caused quite the ruckus. The album will be followed up by the Rebel Heart Tour on August 29, 2015.
Madonna had various musicians who co-wrote and co-produced her album like Avicii, Diplo, and Kanye West. Her songs have special guest appearances from music artists such as Nicki Minaj, Nas, and Chance the Rapper.
Their collaboration helped change the genres of the music and gave it a more hip-hop, house, and reggae feel than just pop.
Madonna has evolved into a modern era artist but still stays true to her original image in the new album. It has the catchy pop and techno sounds that are contagious with lyrics that make you say, “Did she really just say that?”
Madonna is still full of surprises and her controversial music is just as significant now as it was in the 80s.
Reading the titles of the songs alone made me apprehensive. With titles like, “Devil Pray,” “Unapologetic Bitch,” “Bitch I’m Madonna,” and “Holy Water,” what is one to think? Listening to the songs, however, made me less apprehensive.
The songs give off many different tones and messages. It ranges from hopeful, to heartbroken, to lustful, and to religious, and overall, unapologetic and confident.
The album embodies everything Madonna is, a mature, strong, brave, sexual woman who has a rebel heart.
This shows especially in the song “Rebel Heart,” that is included in the deluxe version of the album, where she sings about how her rebel heart led her to where she is and how she survived “darkness.”
Rebel Heart is also a very personal album that has songs that may refer to her past relationships, like the album’s leading song “Living For Love,” which is about carrying on after a divorce or break up. It’s saying that even though love hurts, it can also lift you up.
“Devil Pray” can be interpreted in many different ways. It is a religious song about getting your soul saved, running away from your problems using drugs and not finding the answers you need.
It is about feeling lost but trying to be saved by believing in something. So the song is not sacrilege, okay?
The song “Holy Water” is a different story.
“Holy Water” is a very sexual and graphic song where Madonna refers to her vagina as “heaven’s door,” where it is “sacred and immaculate,” and you can “find salvation deep within.”
Apparently, it tastes like holy water where you should then “bless yourself and genuflect.” Yeah, she went there.
When her album leaked, there were bad press flare-ups about people comparing her songs to rape and that maybe Madonna has completely slipped from our reality. I think her songs suggest the complete opposite.
Of course some songs may be shocking and may sound inappropriate, but Madonna is a grown woman who can do what she pleases and this is nothing we haven’t seen from her before.
There was nothing fake about her exposing female desires, heartbreak, confidence, and sexuality. The songs are about enjoying pleasure and being in control of it, not being violated.
In some ways her songs may even be considered feminist because she sings about being sexually pleasured the same way a man sings about getting sexually pleasured, and why not? It is just as much a hot fantasy.
The most hot and heavy song of the album besides “Holy Water” is “S.E.X” from the deluxe album. This song has a serious “50 Shades of Grey” level of intensity. It is a very graphic song that mentions role playing, dominating your partner, and using all different types of toys and props.
Madonna referred to this as “a lesson in sexology,” in the song and she asks listeners, “What do you know about sex?” Clearly we can learn a thing or two from her.
I commend Madonna’s bravery in making the kinds of songs that she does because there will always be backlash. Even though she is a third generation pop icon, she still transcends music and time.
Madonna is just timeless and will always wow listeners whether in a positive or negative way. Either way it doesn’t matter because she is still making a difference and is saying something substantial with her music.
Madonna is everything her music says she is. She is unapologetic, she’s like Joan of Arc, she’s iconic, she’s living for love, and she’s a rebel who follows and is true to her heart. Period. Accept her, or don’t.