Like A Messiah: Hopes For Madonna's New Album

Okay, so I don't HOW I could've missed this--blame my studio rat tendencies--but Madonna has shared a teaser clip of a new song tentatively titled "Messiah," on her Instagram.

Madge has been spilling tea on her new album--posting in-the-studio photos with DJ/producers Avicii, S1 and Diplo, as well as songwriters Natalia Kills and Mozella (who's written for Miley Cyrus), sharing snippets of new, club-oriented tracks under pseudonyms--for months (for a full breakdown/conspiracy theory, check out this article over at Vulture). However, the short clip of "Messiah" is our first aural evidence she's been putting in work in the lab. Take a listen below:

 Given her collaborators, it's pretty likely this new set of tunes will be uber electronic, four-on-floor ear-drum busters. However, while I love to take it the club as much as the next queen, I do hope the new album has a balance of both uptempo ravers, midtempo cuts and ballads. MDNA had its share of quieter moments--"Love Spent," Masterpiece" and "Falling Free" come to mind --but those gems were relegated to the back end of the album in favor of lesser numbers like "Some Girls" and "I Don't Give A...," either of which could have been swapped it out for "Beautiful Killer," a bonus cut. Hmmm, maybe the problem wasn't so much the tracks as it was the sequencing.

Another crucial element that will help the album's case? Single choice, specifically the first single. "Gimme All Your Luvin'" was a cute, surf pop-style song; but next to a monster like "I'm Addicted," it should have been a no brainer as a first single, one that should be followed by "Turn Up The Radio and then the aforementioned "Love Spent" or "I'm A Sinner." Song quality notwithstanding, singles, like videos, are essentially promo for the album.

And really, if Madonna truly wants to set fire to the rain chart-wise, or at least have a fighting chance, she has got to promote. I'm talkin' debut album, fresh out of Danceteria with dark roots and a blond dye job, doing track dates then cruising for Latino boys afterward-type promotion. Hell, I'm talking about a Confessions On A Dancefloor blitzkrieg! A few one-off performances, a couple of interviews and a Vanity Fair cover does not a platinum-selling album make. Reclaim your blond ambition.

But what I light candles for the most is that the new album will be what Like A Prayer, Erotica, Ray of Light, and dare I say American Life were: a musically adventurous, ambitious work that, for better or worse, is utterly and completely Madonna, sonically, lyrically and aesthetically. Nevermind sales or singles or promo campaigns. What I want is an album so great I'll beat the brakes off the CD's grooves (yes I still buy CDs!) and videos that'll make me snap in Z-formation.

Mariah's done nothing but disturb my spirit with this elusive chanteuse business, Whitney's gone (or gone on to glory, depending on what you believe) Janet's practically retired, and who knows when Sade will emerge from her mellifluous cocoon and bless us mere mortals with new music--going by her last album-to-album stretch (eight years between '01's Lovers Rock and '09's Soldier of Love) we've got at least another three years to go. That leaves Madonna to hold it down for the old school iconic divas. Don't let me down girl.