SOUND THE FREE MUSIC SIREN: Soso’s giving her album away.

This is Soso in her bathroom.

Some bastard's been scribbling on her tiles.

I haven’t written about Soso before, but if I hadn’t forgotten about her smashing debut single ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me’ then it certainly would have made my ’41 Greatest Singles Of 2011′ list. Perhaps I didn’t forget about it, perhaps at the time I thought I shouldn’t include it because she gave it away for free or something. Perhaps that’s complete bullshit because i’ve just checked on iTunes and it appears to be available for download for seventy nine pence. REGARDLESS. It was amazing, Soso looked like she had the potential to be very amazing, and basically all was fine and dandy and amazing.

Well, yesterday, this happened: Continue reading

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MDNA: One week later.

Let’s have a look at a nice picture of Madonna from the MDNA album booklet.

This is quite a nice picture isn't it.

It’s fairly nice isn’t it.

The lingering feeling that MDNA has more to give than it let on was overwhelming me, but I was losing the will to listen to it with the oddly fragmented and very skippable tracklisting. So I did something i’d never properly done before: swizzled it all around in my iTunes to an order I found more appealing and hacked off the dead weight without mercy. (Spoiler warning: Girl Gone Wild didn’t make it.)


1. Turn Up The Radio
2. I Don’t Give A
3. I’m Addicted
4. Masterpiece
5. Love Spent
6. Gimme All Your Luvin’
7. I’m A Sinner
8. Some Girls
9. I Fucked Up
10. Falling Free
11. Gang Bang
12. B-Day Song

The first thing you’ll notice is that there aren’t any shit songs on it any more. This is often a fairly important step in ensuring that an album is not shit (‘The Music Industry’ might want to take some notes at this point). But the second thing you’ll notice is that there’s none of this ‘winding down’ bollocks towards the end. The fasties aren’t all piled at the top and the ballads aren’t all shoved to the bottom. Because that’s how albums and, importantly, Madonna albums, used to be. The album has room to breathe, and to pull every single one of its twelve ‘very good or better’ punches.

And that’s that. I understand that i’ve written about Madonna three times within the last week, but don’t complain. Most people born within the last 10,000 years will understand that when Madonna releases an album it’s generally a FAIRLY BIG DEAL. And now, finally, we can enjoy MDNA for what it was meant to be: a joyful and at times completely riotous ride through what lies at the core of a woman Wikipedia calls ‘an entertainer’.

The music.

Now that’s more like it.

*Well, it won’t actually change your life. Because MDNA isn’t a life changing album. But it has the potential to be ‘just’ a brilliant album. And that’s okay. Pop doesn’t have to change your life. Being ‘very good’ is often enough.

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Madonna was on Twitter the other night.

Ever ahead of the curve, Madonna promoted MDNA in trailblazing fashion on Monday evening – by joining Twitter. Reading back through her few hours of online presence there were some mildly amusing moments, but nothing hugely informative, entertaining, or all that important. That is, until I re-read it and discovered this:

But I’d like to disregard for a second that Madonna just told the world what she likes on her toast – amazing – and focus for a moment on that question. “Do you like your toast buttered or plain?”.

This has got to be the stupidest question anyone has ever asked.

Who the fuck likes plain toast? Toast is a human creation so magnificent that I created a bloody blog half dedicated to its presence in my life, but the key word is half. Toast needs a meaning, an accomplice, a partner in crime. Whether that partner is cheese, chocolate, music [HAHAHA etc.] or just plain butter, toast is simply not whole without a delicious companion.

Asking  anyone, let alone Madonna – MADONNA – whether they prefer toast plain or buttered is a complete waste of time. And ‘@teoshay’ I do believe, though sounds like its from the mouth of a two-year old child, that “dry toast yuck” is more than enough of a response for you.

You complete tit.

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The new Gossip album cover is not wonderful.

Oh dear.

I was desperately trying to pick out something I liked about it, but upon settling for the band’s logo I realised with some sadness that in the grand scheme of things (‘things’ being monstrous hands, awful Marilyn Manson-esque contact lenses, large amounts of pointless purple space and bad nails) it probably doesn’t count.

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MDNA isn’t perfect. But it isn’t always bad.

Another MDNA review.

MDNA is a strange one. Not since ‘Music’ has Madonna presented us with such a mixed bag of sounds, influences, styles, and as such we’ve gone twelve years without a straight-forward Madonna Pop Album. And I must say that as a reviewer it threw me into a complete tail-spin. I barely had time to catch my breath after the dirty gyrating squelch of ‘Some Girls’ before I was thrown right into ‘Superstar’, all cheery guitars and handclaps.  ‘American Life’, ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ and ‘Hard Candy’ were all easily labelled as albums because it was clear with each album what Madonna set out to do. Acoustic techno. Disco dance. ‘R&B’. But with MDNA its all very murky at first…and indeed with time you begin to realise that in fact no, it’s not obvious what Madonna’s trying to do, or whether she was even trying to do anything at all.  Continue reading

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