Madonna news - Feb. 2008


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29 February - Dazed & Confused magazine preview
Dazed & Confused"I have moments where I feel incredibly invincible and know that I have the audience in my hand... and then I have panic attacks, where I feel like everyone is breathing my air, and I might just die on stage" – Madonna
In the April issue of the magazine, out March 13th, undisputed heavyweight champ of reinvention Madonna talks exclusively to Dazed & Confused's Jefferson Hack about her latest incarnation.

In her first interview about her new album Hard Candy, worked on with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, and Timbaland, Madonna discusses her many different, and occasionally contradictory, roles – as performer and provocateur, mother and artist, style icon and campaigner. Photographed by long-time collaborator Steven Klein, the queen of pop looks as uncompromising, tough and sexy as ever.

This unique tribute issue also features 70 pages of Madonna-inspired fashion and art, including contributions from Katy England and Alasdair McLellan, Emile Larsson, Nicola Formichetti and Benjamin Alexander Huseby, plus new works from artists such as Matthew Stone, Alex Rose, and Daniel Sannwald.
Keep watching Dazed Digital over the next fortnight for exclusive Madonna previews and extras from the interview and shoot. (source: Dazed Digital)


29 February - Madonna discusses age & Hall of Fame induction
Madonna says she has "come around" to the idea of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a March 10 ceremony in New York City.
Initially, the 49-year-old Material Girl was hesitant about the tribute that will see her career honoured alongside fellow 2008 inductees such as Canadian Leonard Cohen.

"I heard about it and I kind of felt ambivalent, like, 'What is that, the place they put musical dinosaurs?' " Madonna told reporters from around the globe yesterday, including Sun Media in a Canadian print exclusive. She has just started promoting her new hip-hop and R&B-drenched dance album, Hard Candy, due in stores April 29.

"I didn't really know what to think of it," she said, "but then lots of people explained to me that it's an acknowledgement of singers and songwriters who have made a contribution in the world of music for 25 years, and so eventually I came around to the idea that it was flattering."

And she's pleased that she will be inducted by one of her Hard Candy collaborators, Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote many of the songs and sings on the new album, including the Timbaland-produced first single, Four Minutes. Timberlake also appears in the video alongside her as two superheroes trying to save the world.

"It was Justin who offered and kind of surprised me, when we were shooting the video -- he said he wanted to be the person to induct me, so to speak, so I said, 'Okay,' " said Madonna, who added how the rest of the induction evening will unfold is up in the air.
"It's supposed to be a surprise for me -- somebody sings one of my songs," she said before adding, "Yikes! No, I'm just kidding. I don't know."

The Material Girl -- dressed in a snug-fitting, low-cut black top, black pants and large yellow hoop earrings and yellow high heels -- entered a small conference room at a Beverly Hills hotel late yesterday afternoon and uttered a quiet "hi" before being seated. And for the next 35 minutes, she proved to be a challenging, if funny and thoughtful, interview subject.
For example, if she didn't like a question -- such as the one about how her views on life and music had changed in her 20s, 30s, 40s -- she'd take a pass.

"That's like a gigantic question -- I'm not answering that question, be more specific," Madonna said, before getting the journalist to narrow it down to music. "We'll be here for six hours if you want to know how my views on life have changed over the past 30 years."
One popular topic was of her turning 50 on August 16, which seemed to be a much bigger deal for reporters than Madonna herself.

"It's not a bad word, you can say it," she said when one reporter whispered "5-0."
And when the same reporter asked her about reaching "a landmark for a lady," she made the journalist clarify that to it's "a landmark for everybody."
She said she doesn't see turning 50 as a milestone.

"No, but everybody else keeps mentioning it," she said. "I see it as another excuse to have a birthday party."
In fact, Madonna said physically, "I feel stronger now than, maybe, 20 years ago -- but I think your physicality is connected to your consciousness so if your mind is strong, your body will be strong."

She also bristled when asked how much longer she wants to make music.
"I haven't the slightest idea, everyone wants to know the numbers," Madonna said.
Speaking of which, Hard Candy will be her final studio record with Warner after a 26-year relationship. But she says it's neither scary nor liberating to leave.

Her new, reported $120-million deal with Live Nation includes albums, touring and merchandising.
"It's just the end of my contract and the record industry is changing. And so the way that I make music and the way that I get it out to the people and the way that we market it and release it will also have to change," she said. "I'm excited about my new deal because it's more of a partnership, and after 25 years I feel like I deserve to be a partner."

Daughter Lourdes gets into the act
Madonna says she is not done with filmmaking after the first movie she directed, Filth and Wisdom, had its debut at the Berlin Film Festival last month.
"I would like to direct more films and write them and you know I've only done one, so to me that's the beginning of that career," Madonna told Sun Media yesterday.
As for her 11-year-old daughter, Lourdes, it turns out she wants to be in front of the camera and Madonna, whose own acting career has never matched her success in music, doesn't have a problem with it.

"She says she wants to be an actress, I don't mind," she said.
As for the plight of the current crop of Hollywood twentysomethings -- Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, etc. -- Madonna said she has sympathy for them.
"Yes, I do feel for them but I think we're all responsible for it as well," she said. "We buy the magazines. We are hungrily devouring all the information.

"So we all have to take responsibility for it and I think it's all tragic and I feel for the girls but you can't think it's their fault, you can't think it's the paparazzi's fault. Everybody's responsible for it and because of the Internet there's a lot of competition now with magazines -- and you just have to do the math. Now people have to do more and more and more to get attention, to sell their product, to sell their magazines so now they have no limits, no boundaries. It's a kind of madness."
She said she's not still in touch with Spears, with whom she collaborated on a song previously, but thinks Spears can come back from her current downward spiral.

"I think anything is possible," said Madonna.
And as for who she's supporting for the Democratic presidential nomination in the U.S., Madonna wouldn't say, other than, "I'm just very happy that it's a woman and an African-American." (source: Canoe Jam!)


28 February - New magazine cover: Dazed & Confused
Gossip site Perez Hilton revealed Madonna's first new magazine cover of the Hard Candy era, Dazed & Confused from the UK. The picture was taken by longtime Madonna collaborator Steven Klein. Other magazine pictures should follow soon, including a photoshoot by Like A Virgin / Erotica photographer Steven Meisel for Vanity Fair, and another one for Elle Magazine. We wonder if the unusual cover of Dazed & Confused is any indication for the Steven Klein photoshoot for Hard Candy...
UPDATE: Click here for the cover with a preview of the interview.


28 February - Album tracklist revealed
Australian radio journalist Sonia Kruger has had the chance to listen to the new album before interviewing Madonna. She has now revealed the track listing on her blog. These are the 12 album tracks of Hard Candy:

1. Candy Store
Tracklist of Hard Candy 2. 4 Minutes
3. Give It 2 Me
4. Heartbeat
5. Miles Away
6. She's Not Me
7. Incredible
8. Beat Goes On
9. Dance Tonight
10. Spanish Lesson
11. Devil
12. Voices


28 February - Madonna gives interviews about new album
Madonna has been giving interviews to the press about her upcoming album Hard Candy. Belgian journalist Ward Verrijcken had a 15 minute interview with her in Hollywood, which will air in april on celebrity program De Rode Loper on the VRT TV channel. Today Verrijcken reported on the interview on Radio Donna. He said Madonna looked very good, very fashionable with a black dress and boots. But she was very strict: journalists had to limit their questions to the album and when they asked too many stupid questions, Madonna stopped the interview. Apparently, that really happened with some journalists. Verrijcken tried to break the ice a bit with some jokes, but Madonna wasn't really in the mood for joking...

He said the album sounded great, very urban but also dance-y... you can still hear it's a typical Madonna album. The tracks seem to be mixed together like on Confessions On A Dance Floor. Verrijcken also asked if she would be touring Belgium, but Madonna replied that Belgium should come and see her in Germany instead.


27 February - Something to remember: And she feels like she just got home
Yesterday we were treated to the exciting news that Madonna has named her new album Hard Candy.

Today we take you back to another exciting day, exactly 10 years ago. On February 27th, 1998 Madonna released a brand new studio album. Ray Of Light was not only the first album after an absence of 4 years, but also marked the beginning of a whole new Madonna era. She had abandoned her reputations of a Material Girl and S&M mistress, and revealed herself - inspired by Kabbalah and the birth of her daughter - as a spiritual earth mother. This influenced the new album sound, on which she experimented with electronic pop and trance, in collaboration with British DJ and producer William Orbit. She drew lyrics from personal experiences, which made the album tracks some of her most personal ever.

The album produced no less than 5 singles, including the hauntingly beautiful ballad Frozen and the title track Ray Of Light. Ray Of Light quickly became critically acclaimed, winning 4 Grammies and to this date still being a favorite among music critics and fans. The album proved Madonna, now a 40 year old mother with 15 years of experience, was back after the Erotica backlash, proving the world she still had the lead in the music scene, taking her music and style into a new direction. As a tribute to this anniversary, Mad-Eyes serves you a Ray Of Light-themed intro.


26 February - Madonna names new album 'Hard Candy'
The title of Madonna's forthcoming album will be Hard Candy, EW.com has learned exclusively. The record, her last studio effort for Warner Bros., includes a track called Candy Store.

Madonna chose to stick with the sweet theme because "she loves candy," says her longtime rep Liz Rosenberg. "It's about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently expressed 'I'm gonna kick your ass, but it's going to make you feel good.'" The album, which features Justin Timberlake on multiple tracks and production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Nate "Danja" Hills, will see a U.S. release on April 29. The first single, "Four Minutes," will be out at the end of March. (source: EW.com)


26 February - Justin Timberlake to induct Madonna into Hall of Fame
Justin Timberlake will induct Madonna into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the organization's March 10 ceremony, a rep for the Hall confirmed to MTV News Tuesday (February 26).
Perhaps Timberlake is returning a favor from his 27th birthday last month, when Madonna presented him with a cupcake and champagne and sang him "Happy Birthday" on the set of the video for her song 4 Minutes To Save The World. The track features JT as well as Timbaland; the two collaborated on several songs for Madonna's forthcoming LP. (source: MTV.com)

~ The perfect choice, but it's no surprise at all. The latest rumour is that they wanted to perform the new single, but plans were scrapped, but we have to wait and see what happens on March 10th...


25 February - New song registered as "4 Minutes"
In both the Warner Chappell Music database and the ASCAP website, the new Madonna single is registered with the short title "4 Minutes". As expected the track has 4 writers: Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Timothy Z. Mosley (Timbaland) and Floyd Nathaniel Hills (Danja). We wonder if the registration means that an official announcement is coming up very soon...


24 February - Nelly Furtado praises Madonna's new sound
Popular recording artist Nelly Furtado performed in Chile today at the Viña del Mar Festival and at a press conference she was asked about Madonna and here's what she had to say: "Madonna's great. We met two weeks ago in a fund raising event. She's a generous, creative person who I admire. So, she likes to experiment and she likes contemporary sounds, so no wonder she chose to work with Timbaland. I listened to a couple of her new tracks and they're amazing!" (thanx to Drownedmadonna)

~ Timbaland was responsible for Nelly's hugely successful album 'Loose' from 2006, that included such hit singles as "Promiscuous", "Maneater" and "Say It Right".


23 February - No Madonna performance at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Future Rock Hall has learned that Madonna will not be performing at the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on March 10th, though she does plan to attend. No word on who will be asked to perform Madonna's music at the event.

This is undoubtedly a huge blow to organizers who were counting on Madonna to provide the star power at this year's event. Given the health of the Dave Clark Five's Mike Smith, it's unclear if they will perform either. The remaining 2008 inductees who will perform are John Mellencamp, the Ventures, and Leonard Cohen.
On March 10th, the Induction Ceremony will be broadcast live on VH1 Classic, and (presumably) webcast at AOL's spinner.com. (source: Future Rock Hall)

~ It is a bit disappointing, but supposedly the performances at this event are quite spontaneous and Madonna usually prefers to rehearse her performances to perfection. Which means her new single will have its live debut sometime later.


22 February - Erotica demos leak online
While we anticipate Madonna's next album, we're treated to a nice surprise from the Madonna vaults: the original demos of Erotica & Goodbye To Innocence have leaked online! The Erotica demo features verses of the album version and the now-famous You Thrill Me lyrics which actually served as the bridge and chorus of the song, replacing the "Give it up, do as I say..." & "Erotic, erotic, put your hands all over my body" parts, finally confirming that 'You Thrill Me' was always a demo of 'Erotica' (the Confessions Tour version is basically the old and new choruses sung together).

The instrumental of the song is much darker, the bass is more accentuated, Shep's signature house beats are very subtle and we personally think it sounds fantastic! Goodbye To Innocence is also quite different from the officially released version, it seems it has some different lyrics, melody and an instrumental that's also darker and less dancey. It features a sound from Fever, the track that eventually replaced Goodbye To Innocence on Erotica. You can download the demos here and here (links could disappear).


22 February - Madonna ends apartment dispute
Madonna has reportedly settled her lawsuit with a New York co-op board, which refused to allow her to buy her neighbor's apartment. "I bought the apartment upstairs, so now everything's A-OK," she told New York magazine.
For those who don't follow her exploits, the artistic force behind Like A Virgin - who, oddly, tends to slip into a British accent these days-is something of a property mogul. She and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, own several properties in London alone, in addition to property in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. In the industry, she is known as a savvy operator, who usually buys in top-end neighborhoods. Her deals have even been known to bump property values, according to this New York Times article.

In New York, a half-dozen blogs and columnists track the Material Girl's every real estate whim. It was big news when she (and Bono) decided not to buy in Julian Schnabel's much-discussed Palazzo Chupi. (source: International Herald Tribune)


22 February - Madonna, Moore to fill Oscar party gap
Talk about all dressed up with no place to go: Oscar night is going to see a surplus of guests and a dearth of hosts.
The 14-week writers strike took a toll, both emotional and economic, on Hollywood, but some have used it as an excuse to make cuts -- in deals, in holiday gifts and, apparently, in parties.

The Oscar-night party scene was getting to be pretty predictable, and this is the year that longtime traditions are taking a sabbatical. The net result is that with no Vanity Fair party and other cancelled events, and only about half of those at the Academy Awards invited to the Governors Ball, there will be quite the black-tie mob shuffling in their Jimmy Choo slingbacks seeking food and diversion.
In years past, the Governors Ball was the first stop on a serious round of party-hopping. But this year, there simply aren't many places to hop.

Beyond Vanity Fair's one-year hiatus, other party no-shows include People mag's fiesta; Dani Janssen's affair at her home, which has drawn the likes of Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood; and the latenight affair hosted by Rick Yorn and Patrick Whitesell.
For the second year, the Elton John AIDS fund-raiser is a viewing dinner followed by a John performance with no after-party (though about 75 nominees and execs have received invites to attend the perf).
One contender to fill this black-tie social vacuum is the party Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary and Demi Moore have put together at the last minute.

Whether this affair becomes an annual event hasn't been decided.
The party, to be held in a home in the Westside hills, will begin around 9 p.m. A few hundred people are invited, although this number will probably expand. One person who's seen the guest list said, "Everybody's on it. It gives the A-list Vanity Fair crowd someplace to go to. It will probably be pared down to where it's 85% talent, not a lot of suits."

But even if this party skims off some of the celebrity cream, the Governors Ball will still be the major draw. "It's the biggest game in town," said one exec. "This is going to put the glamour back into the ball."
~ Click here to continue article @ Variety.com


20 February - Danja reveals new Madonna producer
Hip hop producer Danja gave an interview to Rhapsody and here's what he said about his work with the Queen of Pop:

Nate "Danja" HillsQ: Are you still working on Madonna's album?
A: Actually Madonna is finished. Me and Tim did four or five [songs] together. He also did three more with a new producer, Hannon, out of Virginia. Then Pharrell did the rest. So it's like a Virginia-produced album. I'm actually kind of proud of that. Even though me and Tim and Pharrell didn't work together, just for us to completely conquer an artist such as Madonna ... I'm good. Either way, whether we got a single or [Pharrell] got a single, Virginia got a [Madonna] single.

Q: What was the vibe like?
A: She was cool. She had a dark sense of humor that I can't explain. She might just say something crazy that you might feel is out of line. But it's not. It's just her sense of humor. She was in the studio chilling with us, being open and the whole nine. With any session when you don't know somebody, the first session is the hardest. You gotta break the ice, but after that initial session, it was all good. Another person that I worked with, Mariah, was really cool and so down to earth. [I did] her new single that's coming out with T-Pain, "Migrate."


20 February - Madonna shot fools Monroe expert
A Las Vegas couple and a Marilyn Monroe expert have been left embarrassed after what they thought was a nude photo of the star turned out to be a shot of pop star Madonna.
Lawrence Nicastro, 73, said he found the grainy poster-sized photo at his home and thought it was a rare picture of Monroe posing as a naked hitchhiker.

Madonna hitch-hiking He and his wife Phyllis then spent four months researching the photograph.
Mr Nicastro suspected it had been left by a customer at his service station in New York city in 1962.
The couple brought in Monroe expert Chris Harris, who confirmed it was a genuine, exciting find.

Harris scheduled a news conference to unveil the image but allowed some journalists a sneak preview.
They suggested the photographic treasure was in fact a shot of Madonna from her graphic 1992 book, Sex.
It displayed the singer wearing just heels and a handbag, with a cigarette in her mouth.
Harris realised the mistake: "You're right; it's Madonna. If there ever was an embarrassing moment ..."
He still plans to hold the news conference to "face the music".
"Who wins here? Madonna, of course. She really looks like Marilyn Monroe," insisted Harris.
It is not clear where the photograph actually came from, but Harris said he believed someone had slipped the poster into Mr Nicastro's belongings as a practical joke. (source: BBC)


16 February - Liz Smith: Madonna's on a roll
Madonna just wrapped filming her video with Justin Timberlake, 4 Minutes To Save The World. This will be the first single off Madonna's next (and last) studio album for Warner Records. Mrs. Guy Ritchie and young Mr. Timberlake are said to have raised the roof and scorched the earth with their mutual writhings. She looks great, despite the British tabs obsession with capturing terrible photos of her. By this point, I'm sure Madonna has succumbed to surgical "procedures." But as she once told me, "Sure, I think about it, like everybody else. But I won't be holding a news conference when it happens!" (She is prettier and softer-looking in person. The camera does not always flatter her overexercised sinews.)

Advance word on her album is excellent. Forbes magazine has named her "the richest woman in music." She is declared, "washed up" every three years. But never underestimate the power of a woman who transformed popular culture by proclaiming she was Like A Virgin, back in 1984.

And what, you ask, will this remarkable icon be doing upon the epoch of her 50th birthday in August? She'll most likely be out on the road, touring, taking in another 200 million, give or a take a mil. Sure, she's a settled married woman with three kids and a satisfying spiritual life. But as Stephen Sondheim wrote and as she belted it out in [More, the song from Dick Tracy], "Nothing's better than more! More! More!"

Arriving soon is Madonna's directorial debut, a film called Filth and Wisdom. It's quirky, funny, off-putting, annoying, compelling, awkward and assured. I was distracted with the knowledge that Madonna had directed and cowritten. As with her acting, the mere knowledge of her affects our reaction.

But she got vivid performances out of a cast of unknowns, and though there's some sordid carrying on, the sex is mostly comic. ("It's ironic," Madonna always says, when explaining away controversies.) And the movie turns out sentimental, with an upbeat conclusion - the legendary provocateur is a middle-class Michigan girl, after all. It's not perfect - Madonna the director tries to tell too many stories - but it shows real promise. (source: Liz Smith @ The Buffalo News)


16 February - Madonna puts 'Filth' up for download, starts writing second movie
While her directorial debut Filth and Wisdom bowed to mixed reviews at the Berlin film fest last week, Madonna isn't one to miss a trick when it comes to getting her work to the masses.
The low-budget comedy about three struggling flatmates in London could be made available first via download in the U.S. and U.K. and released theatrically elsewhere.

"I've been speaking to iTunes about releasing it through them," the popstar turned scribe-helmer tells Variety. "I want the most amount of people to see it as possible. ... I don't like to do anything conventionally."
While her music career is marked by the constant glare of publicity, Filth and Wisdom made it to the bigscreen with an uncharacteristic lack of hype. She fully financed the pic -- which stars Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, Vicky McClure and Richard E. Grant -- with her own coin through her Semtex Films shingle. She co-wrote the script in two weeks with Dan Cadan, a frequent collaborator of hubby Guy Ritchie. Lensing took 16 days, with Nicola Doring produced.

She even pushed to get the film into Berlin's Panorama sidebar rather than its glitzier main competition or Cannes.
"I'm a beginner, so I think I should start off in an understated way," she says. "Just because I'm established in one field doesn't mean that's how I should approach anything else I do."

And in a career marked by constant reinvention, the Material Girl is already lining up her next film projects.
She's producing Nathan Rissman's doc "I Am Because We Are," about Malawi orphans, and writing the script for her soph helming effort.
"It's based on a true story and involves two historical figures and a young girl's obsession with their story," she says. "Ultimately it's a story about the cult of celebrity."

They do say to write what you know. (source: Variety)


16 February - A recap of Madonna's R&B roots
GayWired.com posted a nice recap of Madonna's previous efforts in the R&B territory:

Bedtime Stories, Madonna's R&B-influenced album"A lot of people thought that I was a black artist before they saw my videos," Madonna told an interviewer all the way back in 1984.
Don't laugh-I'm one of those people. When I first heard Borderline on the radio in 1984, I thought I was listening to a black girl. It wasn't until I saw the video on MTV that I realized Madonna was a blue-eyed, blond-haired white chick with a penchant for black jelly bracelets.

No one makes that mistake anymore, of course, which probably explains the eye-rolling reaction the 49-year-old singer received when she announced last year that she was working on an R&B record with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.
Take a look at Madonna's extensive back catalog, though, and you'll see this is hardly the first time she's taken a stab at "black music." Here are a few noteworthy examples:

1. Love Don't Live Here Anymore -Considering the big hits from Madonna's debut album were dance-pop ditties like Holiday, Borderline and Lucky Star, it's a bit shocking that she decided to cover this 1978 Rose Royce classic on her second album, Like A Virgin. The choice didn't sit well with critics-Rolling Stone called it "awful"-but the singer herself must have been happy with it, as she hauled it out of the vaults and released it as a single to promote her all-ballad album, Something To Remember, in 1996.

2. Love Song - Madonna threw critics and fans for another loop when she teamed with Prince for 1989's Love Song. The tune, which appeared on the Like A Prayer album, isn't really R&B, but it's not a pop song either, thanks to the scattershot percussion and funky guitar riffs provided by Prince. Whatever you call it, Madonna holds her own against 'The Artist' and proves she has the chops to do more than dance songs.

3. Justify My Love (Hip-Hop Mix) - So much has been said about the original version of this Lenny Kravitz-penned song that no one seems to remember this rather interesting remix, which appeared on the Justify My Love maxi-single released in 1990. Madonna coos the chorus like a contender-"Oooh, justify my love"-over a skittering backbeat and a bevy of samples. Who's that girl, indeed!

4. Waiting - Madonna spliced a few vocals from Justify My Love to come up with the chorus for this bass-heavy song, a standout on 1992's Erotica. It shares other similarities with its predecessor, too: spoken verses, a chorus sung with a bluesy bend and lyrics aimed at a lackadaisical lover. Despite being a fan favorite, Waiting wasn't released as a single, though a remix of the song (featuring rapper Everlast) appeared on another of the album's singles, Rain.

5. Forbidden Love - Anyone who doesn't believe Madonna has taken the B&B route before needs to pick up a copy of her 1994 album, Bedtime Stories. Except for the disco-rific Don't Stop and the trippy one-two punch of Sanctuary and Bedtime Story, every song on this under-appreciated album has a "new jill swing" vibe. Forbidden Love sticks out because it's one of two tracks the Material Girl wrote with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, though others, like singles Secret and Human Nature, display a similarly soulful side of the dance diva.

6. American Life - Madonna reportedly asked Missy Elliott for advice while penning the rap that appears partway through American Life. Unfortunately, the resulting stream-of-consciousness-Madonna raps about soy lattes, mini coopers and even the number of nannies she employs-was seen by many as an unintended joke. Still, Elliott gave the effort a thumbs up and even performed a rap of her own on a remix she produced for the maxi-single.


16 February - Rolling Stone previews 5 songs from new album
Music Magazine Rolling Stone posted an amazing write-up of 5 tracks from Madonna's new album, including some quotes by producer Danja:
Madonna has managed to keep most details about her still-untitled follow-up to 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor (due April 29th) under wraps, but Rolling Stone got an early listen to five tracks today and some behind-the-scenes info from producer Nate "Danja" Hills.

Fans who worried that Madonna might be losing inspiration as she approaches fifty need not be concerned. The new album takes a few steps away from the hyper-polished future disco of Confessions toward a more urban-oriented, thumpy funk, featuring production by Timbaland and Pharrell, as well as collaborations with Justin Timberlake. Danja says he worked on the album in London, and that Madonna indicated "she just wanted uptempo, dance, club [sounds] and everything to have a hip-hop underlining." He adds that Madonna was easy-going and frequently in the studio putting in long hours alongside himself, Timbaland and Timberlake: "She would come in and sit in her chair in the corner and just vibe with us."

The record's first single is 4 Minutes To Save The World, the track Timbaland partially debuted during a Philadelphia Christmas concert in December. "4 Minutes" has a bit of a marching band aesthetic as blasting brass play a scale-like riff, a hard, clanging beat enters and Madonna sings that the "road to heaven is paved with good intentions." Timberlake and Madonna trade verses, and he appears on the chorus, doing his best Michael Jackson impression while quickly crooning, "We've only got four minutes to save the world." The track ends after a brief breakdown where everything drops out but one of Tim's signature Bhangra beats, some stabs of brass and Madonna's urgent tick-tock's. It's a loud, busy, energetic track that is apparently getting an equally adventurous video: As previously reported, the clip (which is still being completed) is directed by hot French duo Jonas & François (Justice's "D.A.N.C.E."). Timbaland makes an appearance, and Madonna and Timberlake play superheroes tackling physical obstacles. The clip features choreography by Jamie King, who worked on Madonna's Confessions, Re-Invention and Drowned World tours as well as her video for Confessions' Sorry.

The Pharrell-produced Candy Store opens with a big beat and Madonna's invitation to "Come on in to my store, I got candy galore." The track is pretty bare on the verses, but there's a flash of brassy soul on the chorus when harmonies join Madonna singing, "I'll be your one stop (one stop) candy shop." The track is punctuated with throbbing breaks filled with hypnotic synths, and Pharrell jumps on the mike for a brief rhyme.

The most lyrical of the five songs is Miles Away, a wistful tune about a long-distance relationship with a melody that resembles Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, an album Danja says Madonna admired. "We would come up with a track and him and Madonna would come and do lyrics and melody together," Danja explains. The song opens with a quickly strummed acoustic guitar, then a stuttering beat drops in and the track slowly swells until it's filled with atmospheric synths. "You always seem to have the biggest heart when we're 6,000 miles apart," Madonna sings grandly, lamenting, "I guess we're at our best when we're miles away." The song has a more airy aesthetic compared to the heavy beats on other tracks, which reflects its more emotional lyrics.

The track that sounds most like a more urban, edgy continuation of Confessions is the excellent Give It To Me, which bumps along to a thick synth tone Danja employed on Britney Spears' Blackout. It's an aggressive, clubby track with a raw, house-y beat that's ripe for remixing, and Madonna sings, "When the lights go down and there's no one left I can go on and on." It ends after a fast, killer breakdown where she chants "Get stupid" over a xylophone chime as the beat builds into a frenzy and she proclaims, "Give it to me / No one's gonna stop me now."

The dance floor theme returns again on Heartbeat, which boasts a thumping hip-hop beat with a sandpaper shuffle and twinkling Eighties-reminiscent synths. Madonna opens up her voice more, singing, "Can't you see when I dance I feel free / Which makes me feel like the only one the light shines on." The song features a brief rap breakdown that recalls Nelly Furtado's chanty "Promiscuous" ("See my booty get down," Madonna speak-sings), but returns to its clubby roots in the end.
~ What can we say? All of that sounds amazing and we're very excited! Madonna is surely going to add another fantastic album to her impressive catalog! Just two and a half months left!!!

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