It’s all just a little bit of history repeating
I almost feels like I need to start this note with a disclaimer, just to make sure that after I have posted it, there will be something more left of me than a wet puddle on the floor.
So here it goes, the disclaimer: I have been listening to Madonna, and watching her on TV, for all of her almost 30-year-long career. When Holiday was released as a single, I was 5 years old. Since then, Madonna’s songs, music videos, and each album release after another, have been an integral part of my life as a consumer of pop music. And I have to say, for most of that time, I have remained a fan.
There is a difference between ‘hating’ and constructive criticism, a concept that for some reason does not seem to be clearly understood on the Internet lately. But suffice to say, after almost 30 years of listening to Madonna’s songs, I am sure I have earned the right to honestly say what I think about her latest album without being instantaneously slated for voicing my opinion. And if you are still having problems getting it then, to quote Madonna, you better F Off. We all know she doesn’t give a f*ck, so why should you?
ANYWAY, HERE IS MY TRACK-BY-TRACK REVIEW OF ‘MDNA’
Girl Gone Wild – Benassi, Celebration, etc. We already heard it three years ago so why make us hear it again?
Gang Bang –All the previous track-by-track reviews gave me such great expectations of this song, having branded it the best track on the album, that I no longer know what to think about it myself. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) was a single in the Sixties. ‘Drive bitch, die bitch’ is not something that we haven’t heard before either. There used to be a techno band in the Nineties, called Brooklyn Bounce, and perhaps this track would have fit better on one of their albums. But I seriously doubt it would have done well in the charts back then. I mean, it is decent enough, I wouldn’t mind hearing it in a club, but I am far from going mad about it.
I’m Addicted – This one is a little puzzling too. Kylie had already gone electro back in 2001 and, to be honest, there has been nothing new in this genre since then. Ask Alison Goldfrapp, if you don’t want to take my word for it. There are a lot of words one could use to describe someone who has been ‘delayed’ by ten years, but using any of them here and now does not seem appropriate. We are being civil and respectful after all.
Turn Up The Radio – Some say this should have been the first single. Perhaps, it should have. It is definitely much catchier and much less cheesy than Give My All Your Luvin’. Would it really have made any difference if it was the first single though? I am not so sure.
Give Me All Your Luvin’ – Yuck, don’t get me started on this. I am like Madonna, I don’t like repeating myself. Here’s a link to what I had already wrote about this song before.
Some Girls – Musically, it is slightly reminiscent of, again, Kylie’s songs from her electro era. Speakerphone, perhaps. Lyrically, though… Well, if I knew Britney Spears, I would love to ask her whether she would consider singing these lyrics and I am seriously hoping that she would have enough self-respect to say ‘No’.
Superstar – No comment.
I Don’t Give A – A repetition of the American Life ‘rap’, plus synthesised ‘I don’t give a …’ chants which sound like something Timbaland would have done for Madonna’s previous album. There isn’t much more than that in this song, but the ending is nice. Whether or not it helps that Nicki Minaj hails Madonna the only queen in this very track is very questionable.
I’m A Sinner – It seems that William Orbit and Madonna’s getting together again after all those years had only one purpose – to show how great they are at recycling their old samples. There is a very obvious Beautiful Stranger beat in this song, and some electric guitar which sounds like taken directly from Ray Of Light, the song. If you’re into recycling, then this is the most ecological song in the world.
Love Spent – Surprisingly enough, this is one thevery few songs on this album that I like in their entirety. Actually, I found it to be so good that the fact it sounds like an outtake from the Ray Of Light sessions didn’t bother me at all.
Masterpiece – It is probably the most melodic song on the entire album which, given that it is a ballad, is a bit of a shame. In the lyrical layer though, the fact that the realisation that ‘nothing is indestructible’ appears in this song and on this very album, speaks volumes. Is this the best song on this dance album? I’m afraid so.
Falling Free – It is actually a pretty decent song. Sounds a bit medieval, old-English, which – if it is addressed to whom we think it is addressed – is actually a pretty clever idea on this otherwise surpriseless album.
It is hard to say what Madonna’s aspirations were when she was recording this album (other than the money, of course), but MDNA is definitely not even close to any of the best albums she had released in the past.
Without any doubt though, it is the best example of her
reinvention recycling skills to date. Think ecology, holes in the ozone layer and melting ice caps while listening to it, and her efforts to recycle her own songs from the past will sound almost, well, noble I guess, for the lack of a better word.
PS. I took the above picture seven years ago trying to show some recyclable items lying around on my desk at the time. Paper, carton, pop music. Not much has changed since then. I mean, I don’t eat that much pizza anymore. I still listen to Madonna though, and I will, even being as disappointed with this album as I am.