About two months ago, I wrote an extensive blog post about Madonna’s discography and waiting anxiously to hear her new album MDNA.
The album came out at the end of March. I bought it on the first day (like I have done with all of her albums, as well as for all of the artists whom I have pledged loyalty for life). I brought it to work, and it was my background music for the day. But what I found while I was listening to it was that it was the exact opposite – it completely does not function as background music. I found myself listening closely to certain lyrics, certain production choices (was that a banjo I heard?). And by the end of it, I knew only one thing – I was confused but I didn’t hate the album. For days afterwards, I didn’t really know how to sum up what this MDNA was – it definitely was a step up from Hard Candy, and it was definitely showing that Madonna had indeed not thrown in the towel when it came to creating music…..and yet, I still didn’t know.
I once read a great comment from producer of awesomeness Timbaland who said that when you hear a song and you don’t immediately like it, that’s actually a good thing. Because a song should challenge you with every listen, rather than just be ear candy.
A few more days passed and the breakthrough happened. I got it, or rather I understood what was happening. This album is a dark one, it’s a schizophrenic, weird, revealing little thing that some people will understand (most do!) and some will think it’s just too bizarre. I like this album – I really do. It’s no Ray of Light but really, she ain’t gonna repeat herself and I think I have to let go of the idea that she will replicate mastery like that one. MDNA is decent.
And here is the track by track:
Girl Gone Wild – still irresistible beat, dumb lyrics somewhat. She opens with the act of contrition, which she did creepily and geniusly at the end of the Like A Prayer album. Still, I can listen to this one for a while.
Gang Bang – hello, crazy! This isn’t a song, but more like a weird sonic experience. I’m sure when she does this on tour, it will be awesome. I quickly took this off of my iPod because like I said – it’s not a song!
I’m Addicted – you really feel that you’re on drugs listening to this song. Really like it.
Turn On The Radio – not bad, kinda dumb…but not a total waste of time.
Give Me All Your Luvin’ – skip.
Some Girls – great song, crazy sound to it.
Superstar – her daughter Lourdes sings back up on this one – don’t like the song.
I Don’t Give A – the first track that she reveals some of her breakup. Nicki Minaj’s voice is a welcome addition, which is nice considering that I really can’t stand her. The weird choral arrangement at the end is bombastic, but it kinda works.
I’m A Sinner – LOVE it. Hello, William Orbit revisiting Beautiful Stranger! Fun stuff, and the rundown of the saints is funny.
Love Spent – LOVE it!! That banjo kicks ass, the lyrics are sad and superficial. Sounds awesome.
Masterpiece – I am a sucker for a Madonna ballad. Simplistic song, but I can listen to it endlessly. However, I don’t like that she uses the word “light” twice in one verse.
Falling Free – very, very complex ballad here – and really revealing. Madonna’s in sweet vocal form here too. Very solemn song.
and then she has some extra songs (on the deluxe edition of the album):
Beautiful Killer – meh.
I Fucked Up – Has some really revealing moments, ends funnily.
B-Day Song – with M.I.A. – do yourself a favour and skip this one.
Best Friend – great song, sad, catchy.
There ya have it.