Madonna’s newest single, “Medellín,” is finally here, but I still don’t know how to feel about it. After giving it a few listens, I can’t help but think that, as her fans, we’re sometimes too loyal and uncritical, but other times, too hard on her, expecting too much from our Queen. “Medellín” features Colombian reggaeton singer Maluma, which means this could go one of two ways: either it becomes the summer jam we didn’t know we needed, or it’s a bad collaboration that will soon fade into oblivion. We’ve all been witnesses to reggaeton‘s mainstream rise over the last couple of years, and many pop stars have been featuring reggaeton A-listers in several tracks. But is Madonna a little too late for this trend? Or is she simply choosing the wrong cards to play?
Read more: Making Themselves Up: Frida Kahlo, Madonna, And What It Takes To Be Unapologetically Genuine
@madonnaAfter days of promotion on social media (we were bombarded with constant and repeated Insta-stories from Madonna’s official account), frankly, the expectations created for the single have left me with a rather bittersweet taste. “Medellín” feels more like pop than reggaeton, or even cha cha. Also, the new track sort of feels like her previous album Rebel Heart (2015). Is she giving us something different this time? “Medellín” features bilingual verses from Maluma and Madonna. This, once again, is nothing new for her: “Spanish Lesson,” “La Isla Bonita,” and the Spanish version of “You’ll See” (“Verás”) are just some examples of her singing in Spanish. So, no, I guess the track is nothing new in the music scene. As someone who has loved and admired her work, “Medellín” feels unfortunately reductive, to borrow one of her majesty’s favorite words.
Read more: 10 Images Of A Girl Touched By Fame For The Very First Time
So, what’s next? Like some of Madonna’s songs from the last decade, it takes more than one listen to fully appreciate her work. And hey, I’m a firm and true fan: she is, undeniably, the one and only Queen of Pop. But, honestly, since Confessions On A Dance Floor (2015) (which, for me, is the best album of her almost four-decade-long career), Madonna has lost track of her music. It hasn’t have anything to do with age. And it hasn’t have to do with lack of talent or hard work. No. It has to do with the fact that, for someone who reinvented the music industry, who set trends before they were “too cool,” and for someone who is “the mother of pop monsters,” in her desperate need to fit in, she has outcasted herself.
Madonna made a career out of giving representation to those who lacked it, by bringing the underground to the mainstream, and by taking the eyes of an industry that refused to look on those sides of culture no one looked at. She challenged the status quo, but “Medellín” doesn’t challenge anything. We just hope that Madame X, which includes thirteen tracks, offers more as a whole than just plain verses in Spanish in a desperate need to spice things up.
Read more: The Best MTV VMAs Moments That Show Their Glory Days Are Long Gone