Today’s sample from the forthcoming ‘MDNA’ is of the contemplative song ‘Falling Free,’ where Madonna sidesteps the crunchy, sexy and synthy confessions on a dancefloor in favor of a tender ballad. The minute of ‘Falling Free’ that we’ve been exposed to reminds us of mid-’90s Madge, before she got all electronic on us.

The song is centered around a music box piano melody, with Madonna’s crystal clear singing voice front and center in the mix. It’s a showcase for her vocals, set to string-born tension. The Material Girl always knew her way around a ballad and this song is reminiscent of some of her softer, more sensitive songs.

It’s refreshing to hear Madonna ditch the pulsating studio effects — for a minute, at least, since the rest of the teaser previews from ‘MDNA’ indicate that this album is designed for lots of dancing — in favor of something a bit more organic and intimate.

It’s no ‘Live to Tell,’ ‘Take a Bow’ or ‘Crazy for You,’ which are her signature downtempo songs. But this William Orbit-produced track lets us in on Madonna’s emotional side at this stage of her career. It’s similar to ‘Frozen,’ if we had to match it up with something else is her expansive catalog.

Preview Madonna’s ‘Falling Free’