If you didn’t hear, Madonna’s MDNA album leaked to the internet just hours before the release of her latest music video for “Girl Gone Wild.” Hypable writer John Thrasher had a chance to listen to the new music, and, while it shows flashes of excitement, it does leave something to be desired.

MDNA has leaked all over Tumblr, YouTube and every other mainstream file sharing site on the internet that you can think of. Twenty-four hours later, we’ve had a chance to listen to and absorb the new album, which Billboard tagged as the most highly-anticipated album of 2012.

We should also mention that you should definitely go out and buy the album when it comes out on Tuesday. Support the music industry and the law! I know I definitely will.

This album, while it left me cringing in a few moments, is a pop record that every Madonna fan will instantly enjoy. The lead single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” which was released in January, sounds nothing like the rest of the album. But that’s a good thing!

Her second single, “Girl Gone Wild,” reminds me of her single, “Celebration” that was released along with her last greatest hits record with Warner Brothers; it’s a fun song that you’ll find yourself singing along to on the dance floor. If you haven’t seen the just-released music video for it, make sure you aren’t at work and do so. You won’t regret it.

Speaking of dance floors, the dark and ominous “Gang Bang” is the type of song that we haven’t heard from Madonna in quite a long time…if ever. It’s the type of song that many Madonna fans will be eager to dance to at a club. It’s filled with gun shots, bodies dropping, cars screeching, a dubstep breakdown and Madonna saying things like, “Drive b***h! And while you’re at it, die b***h!” It has Girl, Interrupted all over it! Needless to say, people have been abuzz about this song for awhile, and for good reason. It should be interesting to see how she performs this particular song on her next tour.

Another song that stands out is the whimsical-yet-danceable “Turn Up The Radio.” Completely diferent from “Gang Bang,” this song makes you want to put the top down, enjoy life and go driving down a highway in the middle of a summer’s day.

When the world starts to get you down \ and nothing seems to go your way \ and the noise of a maddening crowd makes you feel like you’re going to go insane \ there’s a glow of a distant light \ calling you to come outside \ to feel the wind on your face and your skin.

This was one of the only songs that I liked from the very first listen. Tons of synth and definitely radio friendly. I would be surprised if this isn’t her third single.

Other songs that I enjoyed were “Masterpiece,” which won Madonna a Golden Globe and “Falling Free,” a synth orchestra-driven ballad that really showcases the best of Madonna’s vocal styling.

While there are flashes of fun pop/dance records on MDNA, there are just as many parts of this album that had me cringing.

The song, “I Don’t Give A,” which reminds me of her “American Life” days, might be one of the most cringe-worthy songs I’ve heard since Ke$ha was a thing. Madonna attempts to pseudo-rap while vocal effects try to make the vapid lyrics seem interesting, but, trust me, they aren’t. In what might be the absolute most ridiculous lyrics I’ve ever heard in a song (remember, I just mentioned Ke$ha), Madonna pseudo-raps:

I know how to multi-task
Connecting to the Wi-Fi
Went from nerd to superb
Have you seen the new guy
I forgot the password
Gotta call the babysitter
Tweetin’ on the elevator
I could take a helicopter
I don’t even feel the pressure

Did she really just sing about connecting to a Wi-Fi network and forgetting the password? This sounds like a song one of the Real Housewives would be singing. Madonna! You’ve had six years to experience life, grow and mature, and this is what you come back with? If you think “Tweetin’ on the elevator” is bad enough, let me remind you that Madonna doesn’t even have a Twitter account! What? The only good thing that keeps this song afloat is a surprise verse from Nicki Minaj – and I’m not a huge Minaj fan.

Another song that had me reaching to pull the plug was “I F****d Up.” The slow, boring, diary-entry-turned-song would be better off as a poem. I could only see this song being used as background music in a slideshow someone made to apologize to his or her boyfriend or girlfriend.

If I had to give one more example of the hollow lyrics of this album, it would have to be in the song “Love Spent,” where Madonna sings about – are you ready for this – a bank account:

If we opened up a joint account \ will it put an end to all your doubts? Frankly if my name were Benjamin \ We wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.

While I usually despise comparing artists to other artists – particularly solo, female, pop acts – I can’t help but draw comparisons of this album to Britney Spears’ latest effort, Femme Fatale. It’s a familiar recipe: synth heavy, some dubstep, some bizarre lyrics here and there, a fluffy pop song as a potential single (“I Wanna Go”), and a couple of personal “from the soul” songs.

There’s no doubt that this album will be a must-have for anyone looking to add to their Madonna collection. It is definitely a light and airy pop record, but it’s a far cry from the classical, artistic brilliance of her 2005 release “Confessions On A Dance Floor.”

MDNA will be out on Monday, March 26th!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Barnes & Noble has announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already a gigantic hit. In fact, it’s the most pre-ordered book since Deathly Hallows.

It’s been 9 years since J.K. Rowling publsihed Deathly Hallows in the summer of 2007, but Harry Potter fans are evidently still eager for more stories from the Wizarding World. In a press release on Monday, the biggest book chain in the United States revealed that they haven’t seen pre-orders this huge since the last Harry Potter book.

deathly-hallows-book-cover

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Barnes & Noble’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and we expect it to be our biggest selling book of the year,” said Mary Amicucci, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble in a press release. “To guarantee that our customers get the new Harry Potter book as quickly as possible, Barnes & Noble is the only national retailer that’s guaranteeing delivery of the book on August 1, for both online and ship-to-home pre-orders placed by noon ET on Friday, July 29. Our booksellers are also preparing to host big crowds for our signature Midnight Magic parties on July 30.”

If you’ve passed by a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in the past few months you’ve probably seen the heavy promotion they’ve been doing. Headers that state “HARRY POTTER IS BACK” will clearly entice people to pre-order.


HARRY POTTER IS BACK! (Spotted at a Barnes & Noble) #harrypotterforever #harrypotter

A photo posted by Hypable.com (@hypable) on

In a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month we learned that Scholastic was printing 4.5 million copies of “the eighth story” for the United States and Canada. This is a far cry from the 12 million printed for Deathly Hallows, but still a very large print run for a book in modern times. (Also worth noting: Many readers have switched to eBooks in the years since Deathly Hallows.)

It’s nice to see that Harry Potter fans haven’t lost their interest in the series. Perhaps the success will inspire J.K. Rowling to continue writing within Harry’s world?

The book has also been a huge success on Amazon. The Cursed Child has sat at the top of the online retailer’s bestseller list for months.

Hypable will have lots of coverage surrounding The Cursed Child once it’s released this weekend. Stay tuned! AHHHH!

Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?