Pop superstar Madonna is heading in a new direction on her next album, which will see her ditching dance-flavoured tracks in favour of a more rocking sound.

The MATERIAL GIRL, who spends much of her time in England where she lives with her film-maker husband Guy Ritchie, has been listening to various British rock bands which have proved a huge influence on her almost-completed new record.

An insider says, "Living in Britain she has become a real fan of FRANZ FERDINAND and loves the kitschy sound of The Darkness.

"She is moving more in that direction - real sounds, like a real band.

"Madonna always keeps in touch with what is popular in the charts and has been really into the guitar-based rock bands of 2004.

"The new album is taking shape as one of her best ever."

16/02/2005 03:02