If you didn’t hear, Madonna’s MDNA album leaked to the internet just hours before the release of her latest music video for “Girl Gone Wild.” Hypable writer John Thrasher had a chance to listen to the new music, and, while it shows flashes of excitement, it does leave something to be desired.
MDNA has leaked all over Tumblr, YouTube and every other mainstream file sharing site on the internet that you can think of. Twenty-four hours later, we’ve had a chance to listen to and absorb the new album, which Billboard tagged as the most highly-anticipated album of 2012.
We should also mention that you should definitely go out and buy the album when it comes out on Tuesday. Support the music industry and the law! I know I definitely will.
This album, while it left me cringing in a few moments, is a pop record that every Madonna fan will instantly enjoy. The lead single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” which was released in January, sounds nothing like the rest of the album. But that’s a good thing!
Her second single, “Girl Gone Wild,” reminds me of her single, “Celebration” that was released along with her last greatest hits record with Warner Brothers; it’s a fun song that you’ll find yourself singing along to on the dance floor. If you haven’t seen the just-released music video for it, make sure you aren’t at work and do so. You won’t regret it.
Speaking of dance floors, the dark and ominous “Gang Bang” is the type of song that we haven’t heard from Madonna in quite a long time…if ever. It’s the type of song that many Madonna fans will be eager to dance to at a club. It’s filled with gun shots, bodies dropping, cars screeching, a dubstep breakdown and Madonna saying things like, “Drive b***h! And while you’re at it, die b***h!” It has Girl, Interrupted all over it! Needless to say, people have been abuzz about this song for awhile, and for good reason. It should be interesting to see how she performs this particular song on her next tour.
Another song that stands out is the whimsical-yet-danceable “Turn Up The Radio.” Completely diferent from “Gang Bang,” this song makes you want to put the top down, enjoy life and go driving down a highway in the middle of a summer’s day.
When the world starts to get you down \ and nothing seems to go your way \ and the noise of a maddening crowd makes you feel like you’re going to go insane \ there’s a glow of a distant light \ calling you to come outside \ to feel the wind on your face and your skin.
This was one of the only songs that I liked from the very first listen. Tons of synth and definitely radio friendly. I would be surprised if this isn’t her third single.
Other songs that I enjoyed were “Masterpiece,” which won Madonna a Golden Globe and “Falling Free,” a synth orchestra-driven ballad that really showcases the best of Madonna’s vocal styling.
While there are flashes of fun pop/dance records on MDNA, there are just as many parts of this album that had me cringing.
The song, “I Don’t Give A,” which reminds me of her “American Life” days, might be one of the most cringe-worthy songs I’ve heard since Ke$ha was a thing. Madonna attempts to pseudo-rap while vocal effects try to make the vapid lyrics seem interesting, but, trust me, they aren’t. In what might be the absolute most ridiculous lyrics I’ve ever heard in a song (remember, I just mentioned Ke$ha), Madonna pseudo-raps:
I know how to multi-task
Connecting to the Wi-Fi
Went from nerd to superb
Have you seen the new guy
I forgot the password
Gotta call the babysitter
Tweetin’ on the elevator
I could take a helicopter
I don’t even feel the pressure
Did she really just sing about connecting to a Wi-Fi network and forgetting the password? This sounds like a song one of the Real Housewives would be singing. Madonna! You’ve had six years to experience life, grow and mature, and this is what you come back with? If you think “Tweetin’ on the elevator” is bad enough, let me remind you that Madonna doesn’t even have a Twitter account! What? The only good thing that keeps this song afloat is a surprise verse from Nicki Minaj – and I’m not a huge Minaj fan.
Another song that had me reaching to pull the plug was “I F****d Up.” The slow, boring, diary-entry-turned-song would be better off as a poem. I could only see this song being used as background music in a slideshow someone made to apologize to his or her boyfriend or girlfriend.
If I had to give one more example of the hollow lyrics of this album, it would have to be in the song “Love Spent,” where Madonna sings about – are you ready for this – a bank account:
If we opened up a joint account \ will it put an end to all your doubts? Frankly if my name were Benjamin \ We wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.
While I usually despise comparing artists to other artists – particularly solo, female, pop acts – I can’t help but draw comparisons of this album to Britney Spears’ latest effort, Femme Fatale. It’s a familiar recipe: synth heavy, some dubstep, some bizarre lyrics here and there, a fluffy pop song as a potential single (“I Wanna Go”), and a couple of personal “from the soul” songs.
There’s no doubt that this album will be a must-have for anyone looking to add to their Madonna collection. It is definitely a light and airy pop record, but it’s a far cry from the classical, artistic brilliance of her 2005 release “Confessions On A Dance Floor.”
MDNA will be out on Monday, March 26th!