Interpol/El Pintor

El Pintor

Interpol is an American rock band from New York City.[1] Formed in 1997, the band’s original line-up consisted of Paul Banks(vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass guitar, keyboards) and Greg Drudy (drums, percussion). Drudy left the band in 2000 and was replaced by Sam Fogarino. In 2010, shortly after recording finished for the band’s fourth album, Dengler left to pursue personal projects.

Having first performed at Luna Lounge along with other notable bands like The Strokes, Longwave, The National and Stellastarr, they are one of the bands associated with the New York City indie music scene, and was one of several groups that emerged from the post-punk revival of the 2000s. The band’s sound is generally a mix of staccato bass and rhythmic, harmonized guitar, with a snare heavy mix, drawing comparisons to post-punk bands such as Joy Division and The Chameleons.[2] Aside from the lyrics, their songwriting method includes all of the band members, rather than relying on any given chief songwriter.[3]

The band’s debut album Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) was critically acclaimed, making it to tenth position on the NMEs list of top albums in 2002[4] as well as No. 1 on Pitchfork Media‘s Top 50 Albums of 2002.[5] Subsequent records Antics (2004) and Our Love to Admire (2007) brought them greater critical and commercial success. The band released its fourth, self-titled album on September 7, 2010. The band went on hiatus from 2011 through 2012 while they focused on other projects.[6] Their fifth studio album El Pintor was released on September 9, 2014.

The Analysis—-

All The Rage Back Home—-After such a long wait between releases, when Paul Banks distinctive voice meets your ears you are almost jubilant. Gone is the bass that was driven by Carlos, in fact, the song songs a bit treble laden…but the urgency in the voice is pure Interpol….it makes me secretly smile to myself as the song develops…a huge chorus and an almost warm feel…remarkable.

My Desire—-Sounding even more-so like the Interpol of old, there is a bit more of a familiar sound to this track. The voice is remarkable and the music comforting. I like the slight English sound to this track…and when the trademark noise kicks in….this is Interpol.

Anywhere—-Wow…what a stellar intro…the slight feedback sound, the urgent driving of the music, the baritone that delivers the dark tale. Just remarkable…there is a noticeable jangle sound to this release that is somewhat new…but the sentiment is clear…dark and miserable….I feel very at home with the whole affair!

Same Town, New Story—-One is really taken back by the difference in the musical direction that this band has taken with the lack of the Joy Division bass line that drove most of the earliest releases. This all comes across as a band making an attempt to somehow grasp the past success with out key players. That is not to say I am disappointed…but this is not the same Interpol you were familiar with.

My Blue Supreme—-Giving me a bit more of a comfort feel at the onset, even Banks deviates from his baritone for a mock falsetto that leaves me with a bit of an empty feel. Even though there are many trademark sounds to the band…this is so different that I feel somewhat disappointed and alienated by the feeble attempt to continue.

Everything Is Wrong—-Wow!!!! This is what I have been craving musically…..this is elemental…everything is in place…making an almost perfect Interpol track. I have been waiting for this song….this is brilliant. It is bass laden…urgently vocal and noisy…..remarkable…maybe they still have it!

Breaker I—-Again, the band pulls out a few tracks and surprises me. The vocal reverb is magnificent…making the song even louder than I expected it to be. The urgent almost fast vocal makes you a bit crazy as you feel it push your ears to keep up with all the many sounds. This is as close to brilliant as I have heard Interpol sound in a long time. Banks has a long career ahead of him…with or without this band.

Ancient Ways—-And then the band goes here…delivering an almost unrecognizable rendition of former glory days. This is acceptable…but it lacks feeling….almost like people going through the motions…delivering a instrumentation that makes me want to listen to the Stone Roses for some reason…this isn’t horrible…but I could never hear it again and still feel complete.

Tidal Waves—-When you give up hope and shrug your shoulders, they come out of the dark and deliver something that gives you hope for the future…this is one of those tracks…it makes me laden with dread…but somehow happy at the same time…exactly as music is supposed to do….because….MUSIC MATTERS.

Twice As Hard—-Suppressed and leaving me wondering if that was how the creation of this release without Carlos was….twice as hard.

*** out of 5

Sia/1000 Forms Of Fear

1000 Forms of Fear

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (born 18 December 1975), better known mononymously as Sia (/ˈsə/), is an Australian singer, songwriterand music video director. Musically and artistically precocious, Sia became interested in performing in the style of musicians including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Sting. In the mid-1990s, Sia started a career as a singer in the local acid jazz band Crisp. By 1997, when Crisp disbanded, Sia released her debut studio album titled OnlySee on Flavoured Records in Australia. Following the event, Sia moved to London, England and provided lead vocals for British duo Zero 7.

In 2000, Sia signed to Sony Music‘s sub-label Dance Pool and released her second studio album, Healing Is Difficult, the following year. Displeased with the promotion of the record, Sia signed to Go! Beat and released her third studio album, Colour the Small One, in 2004. Dissatisfied with the project’s struggling to connect with a mainstream audience, Sia relocated to New York City in 2005 and began touring across the United States. Sia released her fourth and fifth studio releases, Some People Have Real Problems and We Are Born, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. In 2014, Sia released her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, which was preceded by the top-ten single “Chandelier“. She is currently working on her seventh studio album This Is Acting.

The Analysis—-

Chandelier—-An international smash hit all over the entire world, this is a stellar reminder of how many artist get pushed under the rug and we never get to experience. Sia…..gives an incredible Rhianna impersonation with her vocal on much of this release and this is a prime example. For me though, it is the emotion and the urgency that is in the lyric and singing style. I have listened to this song perhaps a million times…and will probably listen many many more…because it is timeless and never gets old. This is a stellar performance….emotional, raw and damn real.

Big Girls Cry—-With a fantastic piano and manufactured break beat, Sia enters with her vocal and fills you with a melancholy that is overwhelming. The chorus comes alive with a sadness and intensity that fits her voiv=ce so well. a huge empowerment song, this is a brilliantly, painful delivery…I love this woman.

Burn The Pages—-Swirling with an almost familiar bass line, this track has a fullness to it that makes me feel some kind of misplaced joy. The vocal is clearer, less slurred if you will. The chorus has a huge feel that is sweeping and overwhelming for me. I literally find it almost impossible to convey how incredibly much I love this woman. The future for her…now that she has broken the surface…is endless. This is remarkable. A true goose bump experience for me.

Eye Of The Needle—-Returning to a more downbeat and introspective mood, Sia again delivers a slurred vocal that is so loaded with an intensity that tears creep into my eyes. This is moving and incredibly powerful. The chorus sweeps and wipes out any jubilation the last track might have given you. Perhaps this is about drug abuse…perhaps this is about pain…it really does not matter…because it makes you feel SOMETHING!!!

Hostage—-With an almost Duran Duran sounding intro, the vocal enters and gives you a malt shop feel. This is almost surf-pop for me…it makes me happy and energetic…the song placement, so important for a cohesive release, is perfect on this CD. This is happy…..the vocal drawl impeccable and the music perfectly suited for the mood of the song!

Straight For The Knife—-With a heavy piano based intro, the sound of the song…even with the back beat bass is still haunting and sad. The lyrics are so enticing and descriptive. This is an incredible song…almost…well certainly more powerful than Chandelier. This is a horror story of relationships, love, longing and misery put to a beautiful landscape of music. So moving….damn!

Fair Game—-The music that introduces this track is a bit minimal…and Sia does not much croon as she talks her way through most of this song. The tale is of poorly receipted love and a disappointment with the way life is going by being the fair individual. The double layered vocal gives the song a boost that only adds to the urgency of the song and the message…..

Elastic Heart—-Ahhhh….the video that caused all of the controversy..lol. The song is a pumped up electro source of tales of alienation, loneliness and sometimes fierce dependence. This is an incredibly emotional track as well…alternating between an elation and an over-whelming sadness. This is just a wonderful display of a singer at the peak of her artistic expression and finally being appreciated for the brilliance that is her own. Just incredible!

Free The Animal—-Coming out of a minimal darkness, building into another almost surf sound, this is Sia delivering yet another incredible performance. The chorus of this song…reaches from your speakers and grabs you by the neck…shakes you and forces you to feel something. Despite the slight hick-cup of the vocal…this still has no mis-steps to be found. This is brilliance.

Fire Meets Gasoline—-Suffering a bit from a ‘same-ness’ calamity, the song still manages to stick to your ribs and allows you to feel. When the chorus smacks you…a huge sweeping affair, you will be in love all over again…this is an incredible example of lyrics and messages overcoming a sedate sound that is much like other songs…the message carries the song…and that is what music is all about….

Cellophane—-Full of ghost and relying on little but the power of words and the voice, this sticks to your ribs…despite the minimalist delivery. This is so sedate and powerful…the voice is so incredible…and the message…applies to every part of your life where things might be a bit sticky. That is the power of this release…it applies to us all.

Dressed In Black—-With a tin toy piano intro, the song does not open as much as expected…because the voice perfectly delivers the music instead of instrumentation. The suddenly the chorus opens up and sweeps you in waves and waves of emotions. There is in my opinion…humble as it might be, not a single mis-step on this release. This is a triumph….making me want the other 6 releases, and practically dying for the upcoming one. I love this woman…and I’m gay….LOL.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Nightwish/Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardistTuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen. The band soon picked up drummer Jukka Nevalainen, and then bassist Sami Vänskä after the release of its debut album, Angels Fall First (1997). In 2002, Vänskä was replaced by Marco Hietala, who also took over the male vocalist role previously filled by Holopainen or guest singers.[1]

Although Nightwish have been prominent in their home country since Angels Fall First, they did not achieve worldwide fame until the release of the albums Oceanborn (1998), Wishmaster (2000) and Century Child (2002). Their 2004 album, Once, has sold more than one million copies[2] and was the band’s breakthrough in the United States. Their biggest US hit single, “Wish I Had an Angel” (2004), received MTV airplay and was included on three US film soundtracks to promote their North American tour.[3][4] The band produced three more singles and two music videos for Once, as well as a re-recording of “Sleeping Sun” for the “best of” compilation album, Highest Hopes (2005), before Turunen’s dismissal in October 2005.[3] Her last performance with Nightwish was recorded on the live album/DVD End of an Era; after the show, the other members announced to Turunen that she was no longer a member of Nightwish.

In May 2007, Nightwish announced Anette Olzon as Turunen’s replacement.[5] That September, the band released their sixth album,Dark Passion Play, which has sold almost 2 million copies. The album’s lead single, “Amaranth“, became one of Nightwish’s most successful in Europe.[6] The supporting tour, one of the band’s largest, started on October 6, 2007 and ended on September 19, 2009.[7][8] The band released an EP/live album, Made in Hong Kong (And in Various Other Places), in March 2009 as a CD/DVD, and their seventh studio album, Imaginaerum, was released globally on various days in late 2011/early 2012.[2][9]

On October 1, 2012, Nightwish announced that they had parted ways with Olzon and would be finishing the current tour withReVamp and former After Forever vocalist Floor Jansen.[10][11] In October 2013, Nightwish made Jansen and longtime sessionuillean pipes player Troy Donockley permanent members of the band, and they were featured in the acclaimed album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, released in March, 2015.

Nightwish is the third-best-selling band and musical entity in Finland with certified sales of nearly 900,000 certifiedcopies.[12][13][14][15][16] The group is also the most successful Finnish band worldwide, selling more than 8 million records and receiving more than 60 gold and platinum awards, having released five Number 1 albums and thirteen Number 1 singles.

The Analysis

Shudder Before The Beautiful—-I admit, I approach this release with some trepidation. A band that I fell in love with has gone through so many changes in the past few years…but the introduction and first taste of a new vocalist fills me with hope. This is consistent and familiar. The guitars and drums…the entire orchestration, is more forceful than expected. This track has a huge full sound…the breaks and bursts from the guitars are classic Nightwish….very nice!

Weak Fantasy—-The intro to this track is fuckin’ brilliant…there is a nice aggression to the music that I have not hear from this outfit in quite sometime. The moment the vocal hits, I am a bit disappointed…the airy breezy feel seems out of place to me. But the entrance of Tuomas on vocals gives the track a punch of aggression that is needed. Classic stuff!!!

Elan—-The lead in single from this release is a strong contender for one of my favorite songs from this bands entire catalog. The gentle flute that introduces the track leads into a melodic guitar force that reminds me of cold snow and capped mountains. The voice is so consistent wit the bands previous recordings….obviously there are long lines of women waiting to give this band a try! The music builds and the chorus becomes a catchy affair that I have listened to over and over. This is not a disappointment…but rather a triumph.

Yours Is An Empty Hope—-With a huge flourish of an intro, you can have no question what band this is. This plays for a moment like a soundtrack…than…just as quick the guitar enters the fray and turns the whole affair into an aggressive romp through progressive metal land. The joint vocals and back drop double layered vocal gives the song the most aggressive sound of anything yet on this release. The melody is brilliant….and the instrumentation classic metal. This is incredible!!!

Our Decades In The Sun—-Slowing things down to a snails pace, the vocal is too much like a re-vamped Tarja. This is a bit to sedate for me…the strings a bit to heavy and the gentleness a bit annoying. The piano adds little to pump up this track and I dismiss the entire thing….not what I was hoping for.

My Weldon—-At first listen, I was not sure what to make of this track. It does grow on you…but the vocal is almost too pretty at the onset. The music lacks a muscularity….sounding a bit flat. Te chorus though…..WOW!!! It has an addictive harmony that stays with you and allows you to forgive the less than triumphant sound of the rest of the song. This is a favorite…but only for the huge chorus.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful—-Returning to a somewhat more traditional Nightwish sound, The urgency in the guitars are back in tact and the music has a driving force to it that pleases my palate.I love this track….but it is all to do with Toumas. I don’t see a huge life for this vocalist either…if there was a disappointment with Tarja and her delivery…then this is more of the same. I much preferred Annette and wish she would have stuck around. This is beefier and more pleasing but it lacks life.

Edema Rush—-With yet another piano driven intro, the guitars kick in soon but sound like a constant revamp of everything we have heard thus far. The voice is way to pretty, as is the music for the most part. This release began so promising but seems to have run out of steam as quickly as it began.

Aspenglow—-This track allows a great instrumentation at the onset…but seems to fall away for the weaker voice. When the voices combine, the force is incredible…I really wish Toumas would sing more often and do away with all this pretty bullshit…this band can be damn aggressive when it wants to…but when it tries to allow for a gentle vocal it loses all of its appeal.

The Eyes Of Shabat —-Beginning with a slow ominous beat that fills you with hope and promise, the music almost has a sound of X-Factor era Iron Maiden. But then comes the damn irritating slow and pretty piano….removing my momentary elation This really was a disappointment for me.

The Greatest Show On Earth—-. Ending this release as much as the CD has delivered…I am left with a disappointed acid reflux…how long do we wait now for yet another replacement singer and a failed attempt at a career revival. The music is pleasant enough…but studio manufactured thunder can not save this release from the future bargain bin status. I had such hope and anticipation for this release…it sadly…fell very short.

*** out of 5

Ov Hell/The Underworld Regime

Ov Hell is a Norwegian black metal supergroup started by Shagrath and King ov Hell in 2009. The band’s debut album, The Underworld Regime, was released in Feb. 2010.

The Analysis—-

Devil’s Harlot—-The very second you oush play, this band commences to rip your head off…the familiar sound of the vocal from Shagrath makes me smile…I love that man. He sounds even more aggressive and driven than anytime in the past 10 years with Dimmu. It is hard to catch all of the lyrics…but the intense delivery tells the tale. The drums are immaculate…the guitars are a wall of sound….and the mood is diabolical….nice for a sunny Georgia afternoon!

Invocker—-There is little time to catch your breath before the journey continues with a death scream from the mouth of the North. The music is so schizophrenic that you hold on to the top of your head…there is a nice underlying melody though…it shows this was not just thrown together. The song even has a rather addictive chorus…it will stick with you…many did not care for this release…I still listen and love it….

Post Modern Sadist—-This track is huge…..with a classic metal jangle that drives and drives until you feel like your head might explode. The vocal is full of evil tones that make me smile. There are nice mood shifts in the music…a rhythm that is remarkable despite the evil undertones of the sing….I adore this recording…..I only wish Dimmu would do something….like tomorrow already….This is a masterpiece of a song! The drums are jst incredible….the production…immaculate!

Perpetual Night—-With a nice wolf intro [lol] what else would you expect except mayhem to ensue. Shagrath actually delivers a few almost clean vocals in and out of the song…but the familiar growl is the most prominent as you would expect. This is a driving track….that sounds amazingly like everything else on the release…but I will take it…the drums…so damn fast…makes my heart feel like it will burst…the bass guitar is loaded with speed…this is fantastic!!!

Ghosting—-With a almost funeral sound at the onset, the track has a downshift guitar sound that reminds me of classic Black Sabbath…..the delivery is slow…deep and intense. I love the added thunder…and then the the rhythm section kicks in with a nice twin movement that reminds me of swaying guitarists and fan blown hair. Shagrath delivers a vocal that seems pushed way back in the mix by the production…allowing the guitars to be right in your face…this falters a tad…but fits in with everything incredibly well.

Act Of Sin—-With an incredibly confusing beginning to this song, I am unimpressed by the under production of this song…it sounds like it was recorded in a metal barn or something. All of the urgency and quality is lost because the song sounds like crap…wonder what happened with this….I hate the hollow and desolate sound of the entire thing….humph!

Krisgate Faner—-With a better production sound, this is a rather huge and urgent sounding track….I just love this shit.The vocals are muscular and sound layered…giving the whole damn affair an aggressive and HUGE sound. The guitars are blazing through this entire track…..sending the downshifts into a shaft of descending hell that is accentuated by the vocal that is formed of evil and disgust….a perfect recipe!

Hill Norge—-Beginning with a somewhat abstract sound, the release ends with pure mayhem as the song progresses. This has such a driving force to the guitars and drums that I almost salivate for more songs…I’m sorry to see the entire thing wind down. The vocal is mundane…Shagrath rarely offers anything new…just the familiar…which somehow seems to work perfectly for me…say what you will about this offshoot band…..they have satisfied me a great deal!

**1/2 out of 5

Madonna/Rebel Heart {Deluxe Edition}

Rebel Heart is the thirteenth studio album by American singer Madonna, and was released on March 6, 2015 by Interscope Records. Following the completion of the MDNA era, Madonna worked on the album throughout 2014, co-writing and co-producing it with various musicians, including Diplo, Avicii, and Kanye West. She teased by uploading pictures of her recording sessions on herInstagram account. Working with a number of collaborators on the album, Madonna faced problem in keeping a cohesive sound and direction for Rebel Heart, since her previous efforts have been only with a core group of people.

Thematically Rebel Heart represents the two different facades of the singer, listening to one’s heart and being a rebel; the themes grew organically during the writing and recording sessions. Musically, it is a pop record which merges an array of genres such as 1990s house, trap and reggae, as well as the usage of acoustic guitars and gospel choir. Some of the songs are autobiographical in nature while others talk about love, personal reflections, as well as introspection of Madonna’s career. Rebel Heart features guest appearances from boxer Mike Tyson and rappers Nicki Minaj, Nas, and Chance the Rapper.

The record had been set for a March 2015 release, with the first single to be released on Valentine’s Day. But after a flurry of unexpected album content leaks, the singer released the album for pre-order on iTunes Store on December 20, 2014, with six songs being available for download. Police investigation led to an Israeli man being arrested, who was charged for hacking into Madonna’s computer and leaking the songs. The cover art for the deluxe edition of the album became popular, leading to numerous memes being created on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. To promote the album, Madonna made several television appearances and performances, including the 57th Annual Grammy Awards and the 2015 Brit Awards. Further promotion for the album would come from the Rebel Heart Tour, which is set to kick off on August 29, 2015. “Living for Love” and “Ghosttown” were released as singles from the album.

Rebel Heart received predominantly positive reviews from music critics, who called it her best effort in a decade. They found that unlike her last two studio efforts Hard Candy (2008) and MDNA (2012), the album was progressive in its sound. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States and the UK Album Chart. It peaked at number one in various countries across the world, including major music markets such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, while reaching the top-ten of the charts in France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Sweden.

The Analysis—-

Living For Love—-The lead-off single from this release is pretty classic Madonna…..the instrumentation…the backdrop choir of voices are very familiar, The sing-a-long chorus is just classic….even bringing forth a strong backdrop vocal that takes you to church. Th instrumentation is perfect dance floor fodder…this is what we have come to expect and it makes me smile…not bad for an old broad!!!

Devil Pray—-With a gentle acoustic intro, Madonna displays a wonderfully seductive and discreet vocal that reminds me of some of my favorite songs from the superstar. I like her when she is much quieter….the chorus of the song does open up a bit….giving you more drug references in one song than in the entire Madonna catalog put together. I like this…it has a gentleness…but with a nice instrumental track that slides easily between acoustic and house….really nice.

Ghosttown—-From the very first listen to this track, I knew that it had single written all over it….surprise…the video was released this week. This has all of the elements of a Madonna tear jerk er….this is full of emotion and a huge chorus that flows like the high tide that rolls in every evening. This is lush, quiet and full of textures and layers of feeling. Thus far, my favorite track on this release.

Unapologetic Bitch—-The instrumentation at the onset of this track gives way to a reggae inspired flow that s again…classic Madonna. Madonna is unapologetic….and at this point in her career she can be. The lyrics are geared to the haters that continue to speak ill of her career….the words glow very rapidly from her…which is a surprise….the chorus is a nice catchy refrain that manages to stick in your head….this is nice…but not my #1 favorite….this track does have a rather personal feel to it…..Guy Ritchie…..

Illuminati—-The track is deep and murky in its musical delivery….Madonna continues to push the envelope with references to devil worship, occult and pentagrams. She delivers a very nice rap refrain that you strain to catch as the words flow rather quickly The murky sound can be a bit distracting as it comes and goes rather quickly and interrupts the flow that is set down…but this is nice…production magic…with vocoder and all..

Bitch, I’m Madonna—-Takes a cue from the Britney songbook…..even sounds familiar to me. This is a bit to bubble gum for her age, but the song still plays well. I don’t like the jerky feel to the music….Madonna sometimes tries to hard to stay relevant. I would have preferred something more genuine in the place of this song….Nicki Minaj is a nice addition to the song….again….begging for relevance!

Hold Tight—-This is the Madonna I love the most. Songs that have some substance and lyrics that actually mean something. This reminds you that regardless of superstar status…everyone needs love, people who care and a place in another’s life. The backdrop music is brilliant…a downbeat sound that is comfortable and somehow familiar….another favorite.

Joan Of Arc—-Even more sedate than the previous track, this song is directly aimed at the cruel life that the paparazzi and tabloids cast on those in the public eye. This is the most sincere I have heard Madonna sound in years…it reminds me again that this woman has feelings and is as human as you and I…..she begs for acceptance also….from everyone. It makes me a bit sad…

Iconic—-How odd that Madonna would feature Mike Tyson on a song….it’s kind of funny….but it really does fit in with the theme of the song I suppose. This is nice…it is another slight downturn track…but the chorus is huge and addicting…you can’t help but have it stuck in your head. This has many musical moods to it…I rather like the bipolar feel to the whole thing. Just brilliant!

Hearbreak City—-Again, I am treated to a revealing Madonna that makes me break out in goosebumps all over my body. This is full of emotion and hurt feelings….a tale of another lost relationship that I’m sure is a true story. This has a huge chorus…another of those songs that plays in my head so loud I wake in the middle of the night….I just adore this!

Body Shop—-With a jaunty fun intro, Madonna is back i a full on pop diva mode. This is fun…but kind of old sounding to me…perhaps this has been around a bit. I like the wordplay that makes up the refrains…but this is really nothing new or groundbreaking….it settles in nice with the rest of the release though…I won’t complain to loudly.

Holy Water—-This is a bit juvenile for such a seasoned performer….I mean really…stripper poles at 56? The chorus is the thing though…it grabs you and settles into your cerebellum for days at a time. This sounds a bit to familiar….Madonna continues to tread ground that she has swam through already…..The sacrilegious reference to Jesus and pussy seems rather unnecessary…..I’m just sayin’…..the references and lines from glories of the past make me wonder whether this was all necessary…..give me something genuine and new please.

Inside Out—-This is nice…another track that instantly sticks to my sensory glands. I love the almost begging refrain for love and acceptance. I am reminded when I hear tracks like this that even the most famous person lives a life that can be quite empty without love or care from another person. This is another track that is a huge favorite of mine….I think this is single material also!

Wash All Over Me—-Resplendent with gentle piano and a lush arrangement, the vocal is deep and luxurious….this is just about perfect from the first note…making me both smile and feel a sadness at the same time. There is a nice marching sound to the track that makes me feel comfortable and lonely at the same time. This is wonderful!

Best Night—- This first bonus track is a perfect fit with the rest of the release…fitting right in with the rest of the CD. The chorus is catchy and sounds like throwback classic Madonna…there are few missteps on this release…and the bonus tracks that are included keep the party going just as well as it was at the onset….I like this track a lot…it could have replaced some of the less than wonderful attempts that were included on this release seeking relevance. I always like it when Madonna delivers a spoken word interlude…it usually means something…this is no exception.

Veni Vidi Vici—-This is a fun track…rapper Nas delivers a great vocal that gives huge credence to the song…but this sounds like something right off the Empire Soundtrack….hmmm…that is an interesting thought! I like the spirally feel of the music….the backdrop sounds are hyper kinetic and there are numerous references to songs of the past….no surprise. The break on the track is nu=ice as it becomes almost silent and then picks right back up again…this is a nice trip….

S.E.X.—-Again….a slight misdirected attempt to seem relevant in the world of sex and stardom. Madonna is a talented songwriter that should not have to depend on sex and filth to make herself sell records….I must admit though…it’s a pretty damn catchy song…despite the lyrics!

Messiah—-This is brilliant….lush and rich with musical textures…I just love this track…the deluxe edition was worth it just for this song. The chorus is a huge emotional fanfare that makes you almost ache with pain….I am in love all over again with the Queen who is Madonna! I just love this song!!!

Rebel Heart—-With a nice guitar base that makes up the foundation of the song, this tells tales that we have been subjected to before…but it still sounds new and fresh in this delivery. I love the chorus…it is so damn catchy…this needs to be a huge single…the tone of the song is magnificent. Truly a favorite track of mine…just because of the delivery…subtle…but it manages to play huge. This is incredible.

****3/4 out of 5