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Thematically, introspection was also listed as one of the foundational themes prevalent in Rebel Heart, with genuine statements of careerist and personal reflections of Madonna and her "obsessive self-regard". "Ghosttown" was one of the songs carrying on the subtle messages while talking about unity and religious consciousness. Madonna reverses the concept of "loss of love" with her romantic idealization, according to Matthew Harden from Samesame.com.au, as the lyrics go "When it all falls down, when it all falls down. We'll be two souls in a 'Ghosttown'." Jim Farber from New York Daily News said that the song brings out "the warmest elements of voice" and "at times, her alto sounds like Karen Carpenter's, while the melody has the enveloping calm of hits like 'Live to Tell'".

The song's composition is "uplifting and euphoric" in nature, far-reaching with a number of melodic effects generated by electronic music. A cinematic visualization with the track is accomplished by different chord progressions, making the whole song sound compact. "Ghosttown" begins with sounds of single organ chords and a dusty drum beat. Instead of being a straight-up pop ballad, the composition sounds a little "edgy", due to the usage of synth percussion and vocoder effects. Chris Rosa from VH1 stated that the song "features tight production and an ear-crashing chorus that is pure pop bliss", while Elysa Gardner from USA Today described the song as a mixture of "disarmingly earnest sweetness with a stark, chilly arrangement". The chorus appears after 40 seconds in the song, with a distortion filled pause, a thumping beat and a repetitive chord progression. "Ghosttown" is set in the time signature of common time with a moderate tempo of 79 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of D minor, with Madonna's vocals spanning from F3 to B♭4. The song has a basic sequence of Dm–F–C–Gm during the verses and B♭–F–C–Dm during the chorus as its chord progression. Demacio "Demo" Castellon engineered and mixed the track, while Ron Taylor did additional Pro Tools editing of Madonna's vocals and Evignan provided background vocals on the song.

On March 31, 2015, Billboard premiered a remix of the song by Dutch DJ Don Diablo, who changed the ballad into an EDM track. Another set of remixes were released later as a Remix EP. Two of the remixes were released on Madonna's Tidal streaming account, including one by DJ RedTop as well as Armand Van Helden, Offer Nissim and Roger Sanchez. According to Idolator, "RedTop completely deconstructs 'Ghosttown' and turns it into something you might hear in a post-apocalyptic piano bar. It's sad and depressing yet defiantly groovy." Another remix, by Paul Andrews, gave emphasis on Madonna's vocals while adding piano and orchestra in the production. Andrews explained that the music video of "Ghosttown" was how he had imagined it, "two people in a dark place with destruction all around them, but they have each other". Hence he wanted the verse to represent the reality of the situation and the chorus would represent their view of the world because of their love. The non-dance remix was approved by Madonna and was another exclusive release to her Tidal account.

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