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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 23, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 12
Madonna's MDNA not her best, but a lot of fun
Arts & Entertainment
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Madonna's MDNA not her best, but a lot of fun

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

It's difficult not to compare Madonna to, well, Madonna. She's in a class by herself. Sure, the Lady Gagas and Katy Perrys have sprung up like fresh chewing gum flavors in the past five years, though nobody can claim world domination quite like the Material Girl. From the Middle East to Australia and all points in between, Madonna still reigns supreme as the No. 1 pop superstar.

On her latest and much-anticipated CD MDNA Madonna doesn't explore or break any new ground. Produced mostly by William Orbit, who helmed 1998's Ray of Light (considered by some to be her best album) MDNA seems over-worked and under-conceived. It doesn't have the punch, the edge, or even the shock and awe that Like a Virgin or Erotica did. Overall, it doesn't make a bold statement that a Madonna record used to make.

The leadoff single, 'Give Me All Your Luvin',' with help from younger trendsetters Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., becomes catchier and more infectious on repeat listens. There's a B-52s vibe going on here, and mixed with cheerleading chants and Minaj's turbo rap bit, the tune actually grows on you. Immediately addictive is 'Girl Gone Wild,' the second released track from MDNA, where Madonna borrows Cyndi Lauper's signature line on the chorus. This has become Madge's forte; whereas she once penned the greatest pop songs, she now writes the best dance cuts around - look no further than 2009's 'Celebration' and 'It's So Cool' for proof, and the Confessions disc prior to that.

'Beautiful Killer' is a solid mid-tempo entry, in the vein of other guitar-hooked tracks like 'Miles Away' and 'Across the Sky.' One can only hope it's chosen as a proper single, as the latter two never saw the light of day. 'I Don't Give A,' also featuring Minaj, has some bite and 'Masterpiece,' from the W.E. film and soundtrack, is generously added to the 17-song track list - clearly, one of Madonna's top ballads.

Perhaps Madonna just wants to have fun, and who can fault her for that? After three decades of blazing the trail, she wants to have her cake and eat it on the dance floor. MDNA could go down as one of her weakest albums, but this isn't to say her fans will be let down. Those who've loved Madonna from day one, and I'm one of the proud and faithful, will in time embrace this new batch of songs because that's what we do. She's the queen, and we follow her every move.

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