sat 15/08/2020

CD: Madonna - MDNA | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Madonna - MDNA

CD: Madonna - MDNA

Madonna pleasingly, self-consciously holds her own in Gaga gangland

Madonna checks through the back door for LMFAO

Everyone wants their own Madonna. Some want the mischievous, tinny, Eighties, New York club chick; some want the sexadelic, Shep Pettibone-produced art-nudie; some want the gently euphoric Ray of Light trance angel; some want the house-tinted fashionista “Vogue” queen, and so on, and so on – but what does Madonna want?

I’d hazard a guess she stopped knowing shortly after her last great single, the ABBA-sampling Stuart Price-produced floor-slayer “Hung Up”. Since then she’s been flailing about more than usual, and misfired into R&B with 2008’s Hard Candy album. Finding new producers is possibly no longer done with joyous intuitive suss, but via some survivalist radar. Nevertheless, with MDNA (never knock a drug gag in these quietly sanctimonious times) La Ciccone steps up to the plate, hauls in Italian cheese-houser Benny Benassi, French DJ Martin Solveig and old pal William Orbit to face down Gaga, Rihanna and LMFAO on their own territory. She cannot win, of course, because it’s their shtick and she’s just visiting. But, at least half the time, she makes an impressive hash of it.

Anyone who went to Nineties gay Mecca, Trade, or recalls filthy hard-house queens Twisted, should enjoy “Gang Bang” (featuring bonus Skrillex-style dubstep), “Some Girls” is an enjoyable high grade Gaga romp, the spicy, speedy rap-chat of “I Don’t Give A” with Nicki Minaj is great fun, “I’m a Sinner" is a catchy celebration of naughtiness, “Love Spent" musters Ladytron vibes crashing into country and western to skewer a man who loves cash more than Madonna, and “Masterpiece” is a lovely, vulnerable love song which, if Noah and the Whale strummed it, would have Uncut magazine all over it like a rash

Fair enough, when Maddy sings that she’s “going straight to Hell” and she’s “got a lot of friends there”, we don’t believe her. Then again, we never did. She has, however, nailed a Saturday-night album that’s very much on the enjoyable side of America’s current obsession with European techno-pop cheese.

Watch Madonna enjoy "them 808 drums" in the video for "Girl Gone Wild"

Finding new producers is possibly no longer done with joyous intuitive suss, but via some survivalist radar

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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