Madonna, Crave | Track Review
Although ‘the vibe’ is potent, Madonna falls short of expectations on “Crave” (featuring Swae Lee), the third single from her 2019 comeback LP, Madame X.
The good news is that Madonna is returning with a brand-new album, Madame X, arriving June 14, 2019. The not-so-good news is that the singles leading up to Madame X have been a mixed bag. “Medellín” (with Maluma) received respectable marks from myself upon its release but looking back, it’s definitely not anywhere near being among the crème de la crème of her prolific collection of hit singles. Follow-up “I Rise” was well-rounded in my eyes thanks to its messaging, yet it’s not a single ready-made for the discothèque, club, etc. Now we come to arguably the weakest single of the bunch, “Crave” which finds Madge assisted by Swae Lee.
Starting with the positives for “Crave,” it’s a lush and sexy record, definitely giving off a vibe if nothing else. Hence, the production – Madonna, Billboard, and Mike Dean – is a selling point. Furthermore, Madge sounds fine, but of course, it’s no game changing or transcendent performance. Lyrically, early on, it’s easy to see exactly what the craving and hunger is about. As for Swae Lee, he’s a ‘vibe’ all by himself on the third verse. The moments where he drops the falsetto is a plus. The biggest rubs regarding “Crave” includes ‘showing its hand’ early (predictability) and ultimately, a lack of oomph and thrill. Honestly, she just doesn’t sound particularly inspired. Hard to be inspired by the uninspiring, right? Right.
All in all, “Crave” is mediocre or okay at best. This is not 80s-90s Madonna who pushed the envelope by any means. Sure, she’s 60 as opposed to 25 when Madonna was released in 1983, but there’s still a high expectation for the pop icon and it’s not quite met on “Crave.”
Madonna • Madame X • Boy Toy, Inc. / Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. / Interscope • Release: 6.14.19
Photo Credits: Boy Toy, Inc. / Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. / Interscope