Bridgehampton pop icon Madonna has a new album out this summer, and judging by her promos, it’s shaping up to be, well, interesting. Dropping Friday, June 14, the conceptual Madame X record is Madonna’s 14th studio album and the followup to 2015’s Rebel Heart.
In her “Welcome to the World of Madame X” promo video, she says, “Madame X is a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places. She is a dancer, a professor, a head of state, a housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a mother, a child, a teacher, a nun, a singer, a saint, a whore, a spy in the house of love. I am Madame X.”
That’s a lot of things for one person. But if anyone has the character and drive to be a spy, a nun, a head of state and a housekeeper, let alone everything else, it’s the Queen of Pop. Her first single off the album, “Medellín,” was released, along with a video, on April 17. A duet with Colombian reggaeton star Maluma begins with our hero praying to God in a very theatrical scene where she whispers about the abuse she’s suffered. But she notes, “I still have hope. I still believe in the goodness of humans.” However, to remain open in this way, Madonna proclaims, “From now on, I am Madame X and Madame X loves to dance because you can’t hit a moving target.”
Part of Madonna’s new persona is a Nick Fury-like eye patch, which takes on various forms, from red to black, to silver rhinestones, to one version with a signature red X. The images she’s presenting—horses, suggestive BDSM themes, sex, dance and Latino- and religious-inspired scenes—are not actually a huge departure from Madonna’s past albums and incarnations, though it’s in a different context. The final riding sequence in the “Medellín” video looks like it could have almost been shot at her Bridgehampton horse farm, though it seems unlikely given the lack of mansions in the background.
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For those who don’t know, rather than it being a new name, Madame X is actually a throwback to Madonna’s early days. It was in fact a name bestowed upon her at age 19 by dance teacher Martha Graham. The 13-song Madame X album is available for preorder now, and it comes in multiple editions, including on vinyl, picture disc and deluxe boxed set.