Hurrah! Madonna has released a pop album!
Her last album, Hard Candy, was universally panned by critics worldwide (still reaching the top spot in the US, UK and 35 other countries). In my opinion the album’s biggest fault wasn’t the actual material, but the fact that it wasn’t fun, dramatic or typically Madonna. I saluted Madonna for trying something different, Timbaland and Pharrell’s production style was achingly current and ‘cool’ but it wasn’t a Madonna record. That’s not to say that I didn’t love it, I did.
Perhaps taking note of Hard Candy’s criticisms Madonna has released ‘MDNA’, a poptastic, fun and stupid work of art. The album consists of massive dance numbers such as the pounding & synth driven ‘Girl Gone Wild’, the euro flavoured ‘Turn Up The Radio’ and the dizzy ‘I’m Addicted’. These songs are ready-to-go singles, perfect for the club and summer barbecues, Madonna at her best.
Half way through you have a song that is so typically Madonna it could have featured on one of her 80’s albums, ‘Superstar’ is a bouncy love poem that works surprisingly well. With a lack of voice distortion working in its favour, ‘Superstar’ comes as a welcome relief and introduction to the album’s second, chilled half.
Madonna is not all party though, the career defining album ‘Ray of Light’ proved that. This album’s Orbit cuts are the poignant, simple and frankly beautiful ‘Masterpiece’ (already picked up by radio although not listed as an official single) and the massively revealing ‘Falling Free’ - Guy Ritchie quite clearly still on Madonna’s mind.
Weakest songs? Definitely the second track featuring Minaj, ‘I Don’t Give A’ and the annoyingly repetitive ‘I’m A Sinner’.
Overall this album has come with a sense of relief. Gone are the boxing gloves and R’N’B beats with synths and disco back in the driving seat. Perhaps not matching ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ and it’s flawless track listing but easily surpassing 2003’s ‘American Life’ in originality, MDNA is a return to form.
Single b*tch is back and firmly in control.