Madonna – MDNA: Album Review
April 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
When Madonna announced a few months ago that she was going to release her 12th studio album, I (among many others) were estatic and anticipating the comeback of the pop queen. While I expected her to return to the sound of her pop mastermix that was 2005’s Confessions on a Dancefloor, I was left with a dry aftertaste once MDNA dropped on March 23. It seems like I wasn’t the only one not buying it – MNDA scored the biggest second-week chart drop in history.
The album opens up with the Benny Benassi-produced “Girl Gone Wild” which immediately gives me Confessions vibe with the speed turned up. It is electro-dance perfection with traditional four-on-the-floor influence that will be spun by many Miami and Ibiza DJs.
Following is the dangerous stunner “Gang Bang”. The German Industrial-influenced track oozes sex with the femme fatale seething lyrical venom meant for her ex-husband:
“I thought it was you and I loved you the most,
but I was just keeping my enemies close.”
While the jolt of dubstep in the bridge is unneeded and off-putting, it is one of the more solid tracks on MDNA.
“Turn Up The Radio” is classic Madonna. It has a refreshing late ’80’s/mid-90’s vibe that separates itself from all the current wannabee dance fluff that’s out right now. It makes you feel good, which is what Madonna’s music is all about.
The first single off MDNA, “Give Me All Your Luvin” still sounds like a cry to stay relevant with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A, who were both uneeded features. Madonna could have definitely held her own on this track.
The album shows its first sign of weakness with the track “Superstar”. The lyrics are dumbed down and does not reflect Madonna’s 53-year-old mature “womanness”. Then the random and unnecessary dubstep breakdown comes in…
Nicki Minaj pops up for a another feature, this time it’s a fun guest verse for the cheekily bold “I Don’t Give A” – a middle finger to ex-husband Guy Ritchie:
“You were so mad at me. Who’s got custody?
Lawyers, suck it up. Didn’t have a pre-nup.
Make a film, write a song. Gotta get my stockings on.
Meet the press, buy the dress. All of this to impress.”
Going back to her not so skilled rapping a la 2003’s American Life, Madonna is still giving it to her ex-husband with no regrets whatsover. She really doesn’t give a…
The album takes another turn for the worse with the exhaustive and boring “Love Spent”. But “Fallin Free” reigns in the album, serving as a strong closure with Madonna’s delicate vocals finally highlighted. The icy and mysterious ballad takes notes from the ballads from 2008’s Hard Candy and revs up the hauntingly beautiful yet simple aesthetic.
2012 shows many pop singers vying for the number one spot, and with MDNA Madonna tries to prove herself worthy of that spot. But what she doesn’t realize that she has already secured that spot decades ago.
MDNA recycles current themes in today’s music that doesn’t sound genuine for the Queen of Pop. If she blocked out the techno noise currently dominating the globe and focused on her identity within the pop realm – a mature, confident and innovative woman, NOT young adult – MDNA would have soared. Instead, it simply fizzed.
Overall Rating: 3.3/5
Songs on Repeat
“Girl Gone Wild”
“Best Friend” (Deluxe Edition)
Songs to Skip
“Give Me All Your Luvin'”