After giving us “Like a Virgin” and “Like a Prayer,” Madonna’s new comeback single, “Medellín,” starts off sounding more “Like a Joke.”
“One two, one two, one two, cha-cha-cha,” Madge whispers, as if doing a mic check at the beginning of the track. But unfortunately, this is not a test, folks: Madonna’s first single since 2015’s “Rebel Heart” album, which she dropped on Wednesday, is a bafflingly bad cha-cha into Latin pop with Colombian reggaeton star Maluma.
It’s hard to imagine just what the Queen of Pop was thinking when she recorded this, which has to go down as one of the worst singles in a career filled with so many memorable ones. Having turned 60 last August, has she finally lost her touch?
It sure sounds like that could be the case on this painful preview of “Madame X,” her 14th studio album. After revealing the title of the LP — as well as cryptically teasing that Madame X is “a spy in the house of love” — on social media last weekend, Her Madgesty has just announced that the album will be released on June 14.
“Medellín” — which takes its title from Maluma’s hometown in Colombia — features a simplistic, singsong melody that only Madonna’s youngest kids could love. It’s that forgettable.
“I took a sip and had a dream/And I woke up in Medellín,” she intones, doing absolutely nothing to do boost tourism in the Colombian city. Maluma, singing and rapping in Spanish, attempts to pump up the energy of the mid-tempo track, but he has to try way too hard.
Although Madonna repeats the annoying “one two, cha-cha-cha” refrain in the song, the nadir comes when Madonna tells Maluma to “slow down, papi.” To quote the diva herself in this tune: Ay yi yi.
Perhaps Madonna — who has previously done a far better job of incorporating Latin influences with the likes of “La Isla Bonita” and “Who’s That Girl” — was looking to jump on the bandwagon of more recent hits such as Cardi B’s “I Like It” and Camila Cabello’s “Havana.” But we say “no mas” to this.
Hopefully, there will be better stuff to come on “Madame X,” which, featuring lyrics in Portuguese and Spanish as well as English, was inspired by Madonna’s move to Lisbon, Portugal. Maluma is also featured on another track, “Bitch I’m Loca,” while other guests include Migos rapper Quavo — returning the favor for Madonna appearing on his “Champagne Rosé” last year — and Swae Lee of hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd.
Meanwhile, the “Medellín” video will premiere April 24 in a live event on MTV, returning Madonna to her roots. Here’s hoping that she gets her old music groove back, too.
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