2. It's strange (and maybe unwise) that the pre-release promotion revolves around a '90s-style single that's so unrepresentative of the album.
3. I never imagined that my favorite thing about a Madonna single would ever be an Alicia Keys contribution: yep, the piano on Living for Love.
4. Introspective, navel-gazing, middle-aged Madonna is a bit of a snooze. She's best when she's being an "Unapologetic Bitch" and/or "Iconic."
5. Quieter songs like Devil Pray, HeartBreakCity and Messiah aren't repeat-worthy, but they have something largely absent from MDNA: melody.
6. Joan of Arc is the best of the slower songs, though OMD did far better by the title. It doesn't make me want to press skip...or repeat.
7. Madonna's rebel heart's in the right place, but there isn't much rebellion here. In fact, this may be her most mainstream music since Music.
8. No Madonna album would be complete without a little religion. Who else could make "genuflect" work in a pop song? Bitch, get off my pole!
9. Meta Madonna! This thing's loaded with references to her past work. I get the feeling she was also rooting for Birdman to win Best Picture.
10. If Veni Vidi Vici had appeared on Beyonce's next album, everyone would be calling it the best thing since sliced bread...or "XO." #NasIsGod
11. Speaking of Bey, did producer Kanye West make Madonna reference her in "Illuminati"? It's better than Beat Goes On, which isn't saying much.
12. Nas's blistering rap (and the irony of his closing rhyme "Madonna on track, Nas in the back") might be the best thing here. #BurnKelisBurn
13. Speaking of triple V, Madonna wasted two of her best new songs (that and Addicted) on the "deluxe" editions. She needs a stronger editor.
14. Nicki Minaj's cameo is the worst. Thanks to her, the final of Bitch I'm Madonna, like most of the others, isn't as good as the leaked one.
15. With contributions from Nicki, Nas, Mike Tyson, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, Rebel Heart is a lot blacker than the 2015 Oscars were. #Respect
16. Oh my God, I love the booming system on S.E.X., but what's with those callow lyrics? They sound like the heated rantings of, like, a virgin.
17. Addiction works for Madonna like religion. I'm Addicted was my MDNA favorite, and Addicted is a standout here. Sadly, it's a buried extra.
18. Madonna has never sounded better, which means her 56-year-old voice, like her body, is entering its prime. She's the Benjamin Button of pop.
19. Unconvinced? Listen to Ghosttown. It's hard to imagine Madonna singing the hell out of that song in her 20s the way she does now. #perfect
20. The frustrating thing is that the great album is somewhere in the mix between the official 14-track album and nine "deluxe" version songs.
If I were to create a four-star 12-track Rebel Heart, it would include these songs:
- Living for Love
- Unapologetic Bitch
- Bitch I'm Madonna
- Hold Tight
- Body Shop
- Holy Water
- Inside Out
- Veni Vidi Vici
- Beautiful Scars