Saturday, May 19, 2007
By "free Madonna," we don't mean a campaign to liberate the queen of pop from the Kabbalah, but rather an absolutely free download of a new song called "Hey You" at MSN. It's part of the promotion for Live Earth, a 24-hour, seven-continent concert series on July 7. Live Earth U.K. will include performances by Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis and Beastie Boys. The song — a sort of personal-empowerment ballad with acoustic guitar and a light marching rhythm — is surprisingly sedate given that Pharrell Williams is co-producer. With a melody that takes hold by the second listen and nicely layered vocals, it's absolutely worth downloading. It's arguably a b-side sort of tune and sounds nothing like the pulsating Confessions on a Dance Floor material — it's not a stretch to imagine this being churned out during the Ray of Light era. It's also not a stretch to imagine Mo and Pharrell turned this out in a couple of hours over some tofu. Word is the song won't go to radio, and it's available as a free MP3 or WMA download for a limited time, although the end date seems to be unspecified.