Tag Archives: Madonna

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.)

THIS NEW TRACKLISTING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.*

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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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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We need to talk about Madonna.

Madonna.

Madonna looking pretty.

She’s had a fairly good career so far hasn’t she? She’s smashed down barriers by barely batting an eyelid, released some (read: eight) superlative albums, performed on some jaw-dropping tours and had approximately seven truckloads of hit singles that, importantly, were not only hits but were of the highest quality of their respective ages. Sometimes leading the pack, sometimes taking existing trends and twisting them to suit her idiosyncratic style, her singles have come to be what define Madonna because, and let’s be frank here, they were 96% FUCKING INCREDIBLE.

And then came 2008, and Hard Candy. And there was nothing particularly exceptional about it. None of the songs were classics. The beats simply rolled in and rolled out, the well of ideas and inspiration the project drawing from remaining completely dry. The lead single, 4 Minutes, was lost in a sea of it’s own potential. And for the first time, Madonna seemed to openly acknowledge that she needed help in order to stay relevant. By roping in people she saw as big names, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Timberland, Madonna made a significant choice. She was no longer making exceptional music of the moment. She was chasing hits. And more worryingly, she was chasing hits with producers past their commercial prime.

She was doing it wrong. Continue reading

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Marina And The Diamonds’ new single is called…

Primadonna

And it is basically the most collosally brilliant thing you will have heard this year by the time you eventually hear it. I’ve only heard the track twice and that memory is fading fast, so i’ve tried to think of three different ways to describe Primadonna (which is, possibly, Marina’s best single yet), but I overshot a little, so here are the four I ended up with:

  1. Some clever chap takes Radioactive and removes the synth riff. They then remove the beats from the first verse and the first half of the choruses. The melody is then completely changed (for the better). Before chucking the remnants of Radioactive away this bloke remembers the middle eight and thinks “Blimey! Can’t waste that!”. He then takes this surging synth-line and smacks it on top of the  post chorus bits. And some versey bits. And possibly some other bits too, my memory fails me. Basically in the end it sounds like the sort of thing Katy Perry would be doing in a parallel universe where pop-rock doesn’t exist. Voila! We have Primadonna.
  2. The rotating ballet dancer from a music box comes to life, becomes a bloody good popstar, and sings a song. Voila! We have Primadonna.
  3. Madonna (circa 2003) is hard at work. She’s just penned an excellent melody and layered it over some light guitar strums. Mirwais is obviously involved in some capacity and is ‘doing his thing’  to the track but in this instance his ‘thing’ is a much more subtle, nuanced touch than I AM A GUITAR HEAR ME STRUM. Madonna then somehow discovers how to travel through time and does so, arriving in 2012. Here she discovers Britney Spears‘  Hold It Against Me, and the power of the WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP. She then travels back in time, and asks Mirwais to place said WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP in various levels of WHOMPINESS throughout the track. He does so. Voila! We have Primadonna. (Except with Marina on it and not Madonna). (But the moaning about being a star is still all there).
  4. God, or some form of omnipotent deity, takes the phrase ‘fucking amazing’ and changes the entire of space and time and science and matter so that instead of being an adjective, it is instead a noun. A big physical poptastic noun. VOILA. WE HAVE PRIMADONNA.

Basically folks, the moral of this story is not to write an overlong bit of waffle when you can just slap on a number…
…and be done with it.

Amazing.

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