Big news: Madonna previewed her 13th studio album for her friend, fashion photographer Mert Alas, on Monday, and I've got a feeling we're going to be hearing new material from the pop music icon sooner than expected. Monday morning, Alas posted the above photo of Madge to his Instagram with the caption, "In my room listening to the NEW ALBUM!!!!! Im DYING!!!!!! LET ME LOVE YOU FROM INSIDE OUT.” Ooh, do I spy some possible new lyrics? Needless to say, Alas seemed pretty excited to be listening to Madonna’s new jams. Could the album possibly be done already?
Unfortunately, no, the album isn’t finished. A source told Billboard yesterday that the LP hasn't been completed quite yet — but I would bet that we’re getting close. Here’s what we know so far: Madonna has put in studio time with Swedish DJ Avicii, pop singer Natalia Kills, and Interscope Records executive Martin Kierszenbaum.
We also just recently learned that she’s been working with songwriters Toby Gad (Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy”) and MoZella (Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”), as well as with producer Symbolyc One (Kanye West’s “Power”). Wow, that’s quite a diverse collection of collaborators! I wonder what kind of sound we can expect from this new album? I don’t really care which musical direction Madonna goes in, I just have one simple request: I want her to have fun.
The biggest problem I had with Madonna’s last album MDNA is that she didn’t sound like she was having a very good time on it. Songs that should’ve been joyous and uplifting, like “Turn Up the Radio” and “Superstar,” felt dull and lifeless. Instead of focusing all of her energy on creating an album that she really wanted to make, I think Madonna got caught up trying to remain "relevant." That’s the only way I can explain the disposable dance-pop that appears on MDNA, not to mention forgettable lead single “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” which features rappers Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. for some reason.
The sad reality is that pop radio is plagued by ageism. Madonna may never have another major hit record, but that’s okay — she’s got plenty of money and nothing left to prove. I mean, she's Madonna. I just hope that she’s actually excited about the music she’s making this time around. I have to say, she looks pretty pleased in Monday's Instagram photo — is this a sign of good things to come?