It’s been one hell of a week for Madonna. More than three decades into her phenomenally successful, exceptionally prolific music career, the undisputed Queen of Pop and Dance Anthem Enchantress officially released her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart,” to critically acclaimed reviews.
Ticket sales launched for her next concert series, presumably entitled “The Rebel Heart Tour,” which is scheduled to kick off in Miami on August 29 and will continue worldwide through at least early 2016. This of course also means the Marketing Girl has embarked on one of her legendarily calculated full-court-press media tours, which, naturally and luckily, included several gay publications.
EDGE witnessed the media mayhem that only the Material Girl can create firsthand last Monday night when Madonna sat down with select members of the gay press at the Midtown Manhattan offices of her record label, Interscope.
The album is arguably Madonna’s best effort in years. From the first single’s deep-house, gospel-infused empowerment anthem, “Living For Love” (her record 44th number-one hit on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart) to moody and mature ballads like “Devil Pray” and “Joan of Arc,” the hauntingly redemptive “Ghosttown” (the likely next single), and just about every other genre in between, the album fully embraces its diversity.
Among the many standouts in the epic 19-song set (just 14 are featured on the standard album) are the ridiculously over-the-top “Holy Water” (“Whenever I write about sex, I always do it tongue-in-cheek,” she recently told Rolling Stone. “[This song] is obviously meant to be funny.”) and the girl-done-been-wronged track “HeartBreakCity.” And then there’s the deluxe album’s fierce finale, the Avicii-produced, rock-tinged title track “Rebel Heart” (oddly not included on the standard album).
Mondays are almost always a drag. Except on the rare occasion when Madonna offers to sit down, face-to-face, with an intimate group of gay journalists to talk about her new album, her favorite collaborators, her favorite carburetors, and, well, just about anything and everything — except what she has planned for her next tour.
They say you should never meet your icons or heroes, because you’ll likely be disappointed if they don’t live up to the pedestal upon which you’ve placed them. In this particular case, though, speaking as a hardcore, decades-long loyal fan, I am thrilled to report that “they” were wrong. The meeting, interview and brief impromptu photo shoot that followed were everything for which any gushing fan could hope.
As polite and professional as any superstar you’ll surely ever meet – it’s quite obviously not her first time at the rodeo – Madonna went out of her way to personally greet and shake hands with all of her would-be questioners, not just with intent eye contact, but also a seemingly genuine interest in actually hearing who we were. Perhaps her Stevie Nicks-inspired flowing black gown with black chiffon half-cape and black lace gloves helped balance an ethereal yet affable grounding that encouraged her casual kindness and candidness. Or maybe it was the eucalyptus oil-scented humidifier situated by her side that delicately lubricated not only her vocal chords but the all-white-embellished ambiance as well? We may never know, and, honestly, it does not much matter.
Here’s a taste of what the gorgeous, golden-locked goddess had to share.
EDGE: I’d like to ask you about the process of the album — it is a great album, by the way — I know that you’ve generally stuck with one producer on the last few albums —
MADONNA: Thank you. I try to…