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I am a huge Madonna fan and own all of her albums so as you can imagine hearing that MDNA her 12th studio album was to be released I couldn't wait to get my mitts on it! So this album was released after Hard Candy and released in 2012 with 12 tracks on it. The Tracks: Girl Gone Wild: Starts off slow and goes to a beaty dance track with plenty of echo on it and I think this a good enough opening track and gives us a good idea of what to expect from the rest of the album really with its electronic feel which is great if you like this sort of track of course lol. Gang Bang: Again this is an elecronic track with lots of weid sounds on it and her singing bang bang alot and going on about her lover being shot in the head. I am not one bit keen on this as I can barely hear her voice over the weird noises! I'm Addicted: Least I can hear Madonna on this one., Again its a beaty track with lots of synthesiers going on and random noises so i'm not all that taken with it! Turn up The Radio: Now this one I like and I guess thats cos not only is it a decent dance track there is on this album for me but I can hear her and shes singing stuff that makes sense. Again plenty of beat and energy and synthesiers and stuff going on and I feel this is more Madonna's style than what I heard track wise before this one! Give Me All You Luvin': Apart from the cheeleading chant running through the chat speliling L U V then shouting the word Madonna this again is a good little track with a very 80's feel to it and this is one you can bop around to with a feel good feeling to it and its a happy song. Some Girls: We go back to heavy electonics on this one with her shouting words out a bit randomly and I can't follow what she is on about to be perfectly honest with you! Super Star: Ohhh Laaa Laa your my superstar, catchy enough tune I guess going on about the stars of the screen but the lyrics get me down on this one I'm afraid! I Don't Give: Anioher song that no matter how often I listen to it I can't really understand the majority of it! Theres some sort of quick rapping going on and then choruses, again a song that makes not alot of sense to me I'm afraid but it has a good beat to be fair to it. I'm A Sinner: A relief from some of the songs as I don't actually mind this one really. Its a dance track but calmer and she is understandable! Love Spent: Guitar heavy and with a hint of what I think is a violin and I like this one! Her vocals sound good on this one and I don't think of this one as a dance track as such and its one I can sing along to! Masterpiece: I love this one....finally something I can easily listen to and even stick on repeat. Her vocals are excellent and its a nice ballad with no tricks to it just some good lyrics and Madonna singing with no bangs or anything unexpected in the backgrouond and this reminds me of alot of her other work in the past. Falling Free: This has a very old fashioned feel to it however the lyrics are pleasant and her voice is great on this one but the music is a bit too loud for my liking once again and I struggle to hear her! My Opinion: As I am sure that you can appreciate its very hard to describe tracks to you if you haven't heard it but in essence this is meant to be a dance type of album. Where it falls flat for me is that its mostly electronic type of music which I am not a fan of. Half the time I can't hear Madges voice and this isn't the type of stuff I bop around to even after I've had a few. I feel that alot fo the lyrics are too immature for an over 50 year old woman to be singing about but I have to be fair here her voice (in my opinion!) has improved greatly over the past few years. This for me isn't a Madonna album up there with any of her finest but again to be fair she does try to stay fresh and try different things but I bet she wish she hadn't bothered with this one and thats coming from a Madonna fanatic! Not for me, maybe I'm past this stuff but it really failed on every count but one song for me! This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Following a pretty dire response to the lead single "Give Me All Your Luvin" recently, where she teamed up with pop newcomer Nikki Minaj, Madonna arrives with her 12th studio album, an apparent return to form according to the blurb that arrived with it. Its a blurb that usually comes with EVERY Madonna album, rather suggesting that she's neither as confident in her own material as she likes to imply or really as much a trendsetter as she likes to have her audience believe. On the basis of that first single I was reluctant to even bother giving the whole album a listen. This is my first listen, so I'll write as I hear it. 1. Girl Gone Wild Instantly provoking thoughts of Usher, this is actually a bit of a floorfiller on first listen. A very electrofied Madonna puts on her best pouting girlie voice as she delivers lyrics that are reminiscent of Cyndi Laupers "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". Of course, she probably just stuck that song on and derived her own set of lyrics based on the premise. Its a fun opener, but hardly unlike everything else thats out just now. I'd imagine the kids it is aimed at would rather see the likes of Minaj or Usher deliver this than somebody old enough to be their granny. 2. Gang Bang Lovely title. Putting that aside though, I really like this. It's quite clubby, with Madonna whispering the lyrics "Like a fish out of water, I'm scared...gang bang". As the beat gets more prominent, the vocals dont go anywhere. It's one of those songs that if you'd heard it a few times you'd dance to it in a club, but if you haven't heard it before, you'd be thinking "What the hell". The vocal tampering is very obvious once again though. 3. I'm Addicted Slightly more 80s electro feel to this one. There is a slightly stronger hook on this one, but it isn't that impressive so far. Very heavily laden with backing vocals, I think this song could have been sung in any pitch and you wouldn't have known whether it was in the right key or not. 4. Turn Up The Radio Another strong electro feel to this one, so far the album hasn't really changed course. The vocals and lyrics are slightly better than previous tracks. "There's a glow of a distant light, calling you to come outside" and more of a melody and hook make it a really good dance number. It's very of its time though, I cant imagine on hearing the album thusfar that people will still be listening to it in five years, unlike Ray Of Light or Like A Prayer. 5. Gimme Me All Your Luvin I cringe everytime I hear the opening of this track. "L U V Madonna" from the cheerleader chorus vocal kicks in before the teenage pop sound takes over. "Dont play the stupid game, because I'm a different type of girl..." Why, Madonna, Why? This would be just rubbish if it was recorded by a 17 year old. Recorded by somebody who should know better... almost offensive. 6. Some Girls Synth sounds, and another almost spoken vocal make this distinctly like every other song we've heard so far. Its dancey enough, and fun enough. This was has a belter of a chorus though that'll have you tapping your feet and no doubt singing along soon enough. By this point though, I've heard nothing new or that'll seperate one song from the other. If its cohesive she's aiming for, she's overdone it. 7. Superstar This reminds me of a song named "Superstar" from the late 90s that was very Euro-disco. This incorporates current beats, but is quite banal when Madonna sings "Ooh la la you're my superstar" over and over. Singing from the perspective of a fan idolising somebody just like herself, it would come off slightly arrogant if it had enough credibility. It doesn't - its just not very good. 8. I Don't Give A Taking a slightly different broken-beat approach to the sound that strings this album together, this is a more interesting song. Vocally, it sounds like everything else though. She largely speaks the verses, almost rap-style, "I Dont Care What People Say" she muses, and no doubt its true. Otherwise, what excuse would there be for this album. 9. I'm A Sinner This is more trippy than the rest of the album, and she sings it very well. This might be Madonna at her most experimental if she hadn't chucked in similar production values and banal lyrics across the rest of the album. "I'm A Sinner" she repeats over and over again, as if there are no other lyrics that might make more sense, or highlight what it is she is actually trying to say. 10. Love Spent I like the more Eastern feel of this song, and it brought to mind the lovely "Frozen" that marked her comeback 15 years ago. This is the albums best track so far. "How come you can say that all you need is right here with me" she begs, and actually sounds like she means it. The problem here is that the album has been produced to within an inch of its life, zapping most of Madonna's bolshy personality out of it. Even on this pleasant track, there is little of Madonna really on it. 11. Masterpiece I was hoping that this would live up to its title, and in fairness, it is better than most of the tracks before it. Slowing things down for a more RnB flavoured guitar track, you can actually tell this is Madonna, and it sounds more like her earlier ballads in some ways. I actually really like this. Nice melody, good hook in the chorus, and a decent vocal from Madonna as well, she should have slotted this in earlier. 12. Falling Free This track starts off with a very simple keyboard sounds, before some synthesizers join in. Madonna sings the song without much accompaniment, but it actually highlights her vocal frailties in places. It at least attempts to be different from the rest of the tracks on the album, but it might be a case of too little too late. Madonna is the self appointed Queen Of Pop due to a massive gay audience, and hugely successful record sales, as well as her sell out tours. It was surprising to me that this is only her 12th studio album, she has been around for 30 years. If she is going to space her albums out in such a way, then she has the time to deliver something far more complex than this collection of teen-flavoured chart pop. Obviously, her career requires that she must keep up with current sounds in order to stay relevant. This isn't relevant though. This is just a pretty sub-standard collection of songs that rip off everything else that is currently out, making her rather irrelevant in the process. If I were to be at all complimentary, I would say its a very average album at best. Disappointing that somebody of her longevity and experience couldn't come up with something more unique to herself. If you want to dance before you go out on a Saturday night, then the first half of the album will be servicable. I cant imagine Madonna fans citing this as her best work, or listening to it in 10 years time. The album see's her re-united with William Orbit, who orchestrated her return to form with Ray Of Light in 1998. I'm not sure if he's a one trick pony, or if he genuinely had nowhere to go with the submitted songs. He might well have distanced himself from this, although I cant imagine many people upset Madonna without feeling her wrath. I just hope she doesn't ever accidently come across this review.
I honestly feel that this is the best studio album that Madonna has released in a long time. Of course it feels like ages since she released Hard Candy. There's people who believe that it's time for Madonna to call it a day, but I think it's nice she's still around and trying to make an impact. I liked how she reinvented herself, but at the same time still managed to express herself. Her singles have seemed to have made a big impact on 2012, but I did feel a bit uneasy as I didn't know what to expect and had concerns that she was starting to lose her touch. Then William Orbit stated that the singles did not reflect the overall quality of the album. It made me curious about the album. Give Me All Your Lurvin' and Girl Gone Wild had made me not want to listen to the album because I found it bland and lacked substance, although I did enjoy Nicki's random raps in the song. On the other hand, I can see how other people can like it for it's care free attitude which does describe Madonna quite well. After listening to this album, I would agree with William Orbit with how the singles don't reflect the overall quality of the album. I think I know what he means from here, the singles are only a taster and the album tracks are vastly superior. There's no doubt that Madonna has influenced a plethora of artists and on this album, I can see that she's being influenced by the artists that received an influence from her. Gang Bang is one of my favourite songs of the album. Madonna sounds so sinister and it fits perfectly with the dup step and synth pop beat that seems to be taken from a page of Goldfrapp's book. I didn't expect this sort of song to be on this album, so I was pleasantly surprised. That's one of my favourite things about Madonna's albums, you don't don't know what to expect and you get hyped up. I know there's many fans who hope for a Ray Of Light II, because of it's gorgeous tracks. Turn Up The Radio is a skilfully played electro-pop song. It gradually built up to some energetic beats and lyrics. Madonna's vocals seem to have aged well. It seems to sound like a mixture of her 80's, 90's and 00's sound and tried to blend it all into this album. Some Girls is a good example of this as well as the bonus tracks. I love the bonus tracks on the deluxe edition. I feel that it's worth the extra bit for the bonus tracks because they're pleasantly catchy and perfectly produced. Beautiful Killer is one of my favourites from the batch of bonus tracks. The main riff of the album reminds me of the opening of No Doubt's Don't Speak. I have a feeling that Falling Free and Masterpiece will be the most remembered songs of the album. The gradual developent of ethereal sounds will remind many people of the good era of Ray Of Light, which happens to be one of my favourite Madonna albums as well. I think these songs will be remembered for their beauty and how they're just Madonna. I don't Give A reminds me of Beep by The Pussy Cat Dolls where they trick to listeners into believing that they're actually swearing, but they don't finish the sentence. Then a wild Nicki Minaj appears and uses super pop rap. Superstar reminds me of one of her previous songs called Love Profusion with the addition of bass guitars. I think the rock and dub step fusion was really unexpected and unusual. I think it's quite nice because it feels like thunder. Of course, if you don't like thunder or electric, then I think you'd find this song hideous. I enjoyed MDNA a lot more than I expected. I do think that the album is occasionally inconsistent and the direction can be confusing. I do think there have been weak choices of singles. I think I probably would recommend the album because I think it's one of the stand outs from 2012.