Review: The Queen of Pop Returns

Brett Daniel

Photo Courtesy: uDiscoverMusic

Madonna announces “Madame X,” drops sexy new single “Medellín,” licks Maluma’s toe

Review by Brett Daniel

April has been quite a busy month for Madonna, the music industry’s reigning Queen of Pop.

The legendary “Hung Up” singer-songstress posted a red “X” on her Instagram account on April 1, stoking the flames of a new era and poking the mass media dragon.

Thirteen torturous days later, she released a minute-long video teaser, welcoming us into the world of Madame X, the name of her new persona and upcoming studio album.

“Madame X is a secret agent,” Madonna says in the video, “traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light into dark places.”

Madame X is one persona encompassing many – a cabaret singer, a dancer, a professor, a student, a saint, a nun, an equestrian, a housekeeper, a prisoner, a teacher, a head of state, a prostitute and a cha-cha instructor.

Here’s what we know about Madonna’s new album:

  • It’s inspired by her life in Lisbon, Portugal, where she’s maintained a residence since 2017.
  • It features several prominent artists, including Maluma, Quavo, and Swae Lee.
  • It contains 13 tracks in total. Bonus tracks will be available on both the deluxe and box set editions.
  • It’s slated for a June 14 release.
  • Its first single, “Medellín,” was released on April 17
  • It features three primary producers: Mirwais, whom Madonna worked with on Music, American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor, Mike Dean and Diplo, both of whom had producer credits on Madonna’s thirteenth studio album Rebel Heart


After weeks of news articles, teasers and social media rumors, Madonna stormed back onto the pop music scene with “Medellín,” a sexy, mid-tempo, cha-cha-inspired club banger, named after the city in Colombia and featuring Latin pop sensation Maluma, known for his smash-hit duets “Chantaje” and “Clandestino” with Shakira.

“One, two, one, two, one, two, cha, cha, cha,” the Queen of Pop whispers at the beginning of “Medellín.” The song’s enclosed reggaeton synths begin to bloom, revealing a silky, smooth, autotuned Madonna. “I took a sip and had a dream,” she croons, the song’s tropical soundscape unfolding, “and I woke up in Medellín. The sun was caressing my skin. Another me could now begin.”

Maluma enters the song with a seductively enticing laugh and tells Madonna, en español, that talking isn’t necessary. He offers her a seat on his throne and hints at her proclivity for riding – horses, of course, since Madame X is an equestrian and all.

“Excuse me,” Maluma chimes in, “I know you’re Madonna, but I’ll show you how this dog makes you fall in love.”

Like a volcano, the chorus erupts. Madonna, sounding melodic but inhuman, invites Maluma on a trip and tells him that she’ll be good for him. Maluma accepts Madonna’s invitation, but not before he tells her that she’s going to fall for him.

The post-chorus repeats the song’s A-flat-major / G-flat major / E-flat-minor chord progression as the duo rejoice in their newfound love and join their hearts in holy matrimony.

“You’ll fall for me,” Maluma declares.

“If I fall for you,” Madonna sings.

“It’s what I love,” Maluma replies. “Then, mami, we’ll get married.”


“Medellín” debuted at No. 17 on the U.S. iTunes Top Songs Chart, peaking at No. 9. Globally, the song reached No. 2 on the Worldwide iTunes Song Chart, losing out the No. 1 spot to Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.”

Just under two weeks after its release, “Medellín” has garnered more than 7 million streams on Spotify, substantially increased Madonna’s monthly listeners and boosted her placement on the platform’s “Most Streamed Artists in the World” chart by 74 positions, from 289th to 215th.

Madonna also dropped the song’s thrillingly sexual, scenically equestrian music video in which she and Maluma ride off into the sunset, dance the cha-cha and roll around on a beautiful white bed, drinking champagne and smoking cigarillos. Madonna tantalizes the viewer with her perfect red lips, sips her drink and licks Maluma’s toe, paying tribute, perhaps, to an image in her best-selling coffee table book, Sex.

The video debuted at No. 3 on YouTube’s trending list, peaking at No. 2, and has accumulated more than 15 million views since its premiere on April 24.

“Medellín” continues to draw millions of listeners and viewers as Madonna and her team prepare the world for Madame X. Madonna and Maluma are scheduled to perform the song at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, May 1, and Madonna will reportedly release “I Rise,” the second single from Madame X, on Friday, May 3.

“Medellín” is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora, YouTube Music and Amazon Music.

Madame X is available for pre-order through Madonna’s official store, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Target, and comes with a free download of “Medellín.”