April 11, 2012

Review: MDNA - Madonna's Still Got It


Miss Madonna Louise Ciccone Still Has A Lotta Talent!

I bought Madonna’s MDNA the day it came out, and I bought the Deluxe Edition CD, because I wanted the best quality tracks, so I could listen to loss-less quality audio, instead of the compressed format that we get when we purchase music via Itunes or amazon.com.


I was excited for some new music from the high priestess of pop. Don’t get me wrong, I love Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Rihanna, and buy their music - and own every album they’ve released to date. Each woman is a phenomenal talent, and they will have long careers. Kylie Minogue is in a league of her own, as far as pop princesses go, and I adore her too.

Miss Madge occupies her own space in my view of the pop landscape. She’s different from the new blood in pop music, and she’s still at the top as far as I’m concerned, and she’s still got it.

She’s an artist who I’ve grown up with. I can associate different albums and songs to different time periods in my life, and I hold some of her songs close to my heart for various reasons. I’ve never been a fanatical fan of Madonna Louise Ciccone, but I’ve followed her life, her career, and her music very closely for years - just like a lot of other queens over the years.

The first time I laid eyes on Madonna up close and personal (and not on a distant stage in a concert venue), was in a restaurant in Los Angeles, and she was seated at the next table. I tried not to look and stare, though it was difficult because we were facing each other. She struck me as a very confident woman. She has a wicked sense of humor, and kept her dinner companions laughing all night, and had no problem switching from her superstar persona one minute, to being just another girl from Detroit the next, which was interesting to watch.

The next encounter I had with my high priestess of pop was on the phone. We have a mutual friend, and when I called him, she answered the phone. I knew that they were together when I called, but never dreamed that I’d speak to her, or meet her over the phone that day. I’m glad that it happened like that, because I immediately recognized her voice, and in the instant that I heard that distinctive voice, my knees started to shake and bang together. I almost wet myself and had to run to the bathroom while we chatted. She wasn’t wearing her superstar hat that day, and she couldn’t have been more lovely.

I’ve digressed and shared enough, as this is supposed to be a review of her new album MDNA. I’m going to save my best Madonna stories for my book, so stay tuned!


REVIEW: MDNA Deluxe Edition [Explicit]

MDNA has got to be the most varied album musically, that Madonna has ever released. You’ll find peppy pop tunes, and great dance music that make you want to move, and there are a couple of dark singles too. This album really reflects her world view. She samples different styles of music, and you’ll hear electronic, European synth-pop, dubstep, rap and hip hop, and more sampled on this album. Does it all work? I think for the most part it does.

When I heard Hard Candy the first time I really hated it. Hate is a strong word - and I remember saying I hate Hard Candy. Then I listened to it a second time and I didn’t hate it, and after repeatedly listening to it I came to really like it.

I liked MDNA the first time I listened to it. There are classic dance hits, perfect pop songs, and lots of vintage Madonna. This isn’t the best album she’s ever done, but how can she top herself each time out? I dare anyone to sit still when you hear Girl Gone Wild, which is a great dance song, and best heard with the volume turned up. I also have to say that her vocals have never been in finer form.

One of the most interesting facets of this album is the personal nature of the lyrics, which is a huge departure for her. She shares a lot, and listen carefully, as these lyrics will be parsed by friends and foes alike, for a long time.

I’m Addicted is ripe for remixing, which will make this song a huge hit on the dancefloor.  Songs like Give Me All Your Luvin’, I’m A Sinner and Superstar are all immensely fun tracks, and Turn Up The Radio is an infectious pop song that should be a huge hit.

The one song that I’m ambivalent about is Gang Bang. Gang Bang is very dark, and explores new territory for her. While it largely works, it’s not my favorite song. This a sampling of the Gang Bang lyrics, where she is obviously talking about her ex-husband. I’m only reflecting a few verses here.

Like a bitch out of order
Like a bat out of hell
Like a fish out of water
I'm scared, can't you tell
Bang bang Bang bang

I thought you were good, but you painted me bad
Compared to the others, you're the best thing I had
Bang bang, shot you dead
Bang bang, shot you dead

I thought it was you and I loved you most
But I was just keeping my enemies closest
I made a decision I would never look back
So how did you end up with all of my jack
Bang bang, shot you dead
Bang bang, shot you dead

And then I discovered
It couldn't get worse
You were building my coffin
You were driving my hearse
Bang bang, shot you dead
Bang bang, in the head

Bitter? you betcha! I hope she can work through whatever is haunting her here.

I think this album is worth owning if you’re a Madonna fan, and I give this album a solid B. It’s an above average album, and will satisfy any fan of Madonna.

What do you think?





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