Was Madonna's hand forced, or was the release of this new song a calculated move planned to ride the ripple of waves the leak of her album generated earlier in the week?
The Diva is still pushing the leak angle, saying:"I was hoping to release my new single 'Living For Love' on Valentine's Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring," and "I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift."
Whatever the truth, the main take away from this is we've now been given a proper introduction to Madge's new album, Rebel Heart, with the song Living For Love.
Though dealing with a breakup this dance anthem manages to lyrically remain upbeat and defiant. It's a theme mirrored in the warm electronic production and gospel overtones of chords and melody. Vocally Madonna is sounding shockingly good! MDNA (her last album) found the Diva whiny and thin, with an almost mechanical timbre- a massive put off. But here the voice appears fuller, meatier, (thankfully) less nasal and, if truth be told, a thousand times more easy on my ear.
Living For Love is a solid return from the Diva. I don't quite see it as "single" material, but it does illustrates that the heart and warmth has returned to Madonna's music after being so noticeably absent from the cold and (often) soulless MDNA. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is reason enough for me to be excited for Rebel Heart.