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Madonna's MDNA Album Review

Apr 20th, 2012

Madonna recently released her 12th studio album titled “MDNA”. I’ve been following the album’s launch since it was announced last year.

A lot of people were offended by the title of the album since the initials also imply a reference to the drug MDMA, or ecstasy. I personally thought the album title was creative and original and the minute I first heard it I thought it was a great abbreviation of her name.

The first single released was “Give Me All Your Luvin” . Yes I will admit the track is addictive, it will get stuck in your head the more you have heard it. The trouble is that offers so little as a first single. If it were not for the two names attached to the song and for the Super Bowl, I doubt this track would have ever been considered as a single. It should have been nothing more than an album track.

A demo form of the single was leaked in late 2011 and at first listen I thought the single wasn’t as exciting and memorable as say songs like “Vogue” and “Music” . I thought Madonna was capable of much better. As I’ve said before many times, your first single release from a new album is the most important and when you pick a lousy first single it can damage the albums promotion.

After hearing the official release of “Give Me All Your Luvin”, it sounded much better than the demo (naturally), and did get major exposure at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The music video was pretty fun, almost clever and Nikki Minaj and M.I.A. added a nice touch to the track.

At first I was skeptical about Niki Minaj and M.I.A.’s involvement. I mean, this is Madonna we’re talking about… artists need Madonna not the other way around; after her relying on Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Britney Spears on previous releases; I was hoping that she wouldn’t include other artists on this album but in all honesty the choices she made were appropriate and I really did end up enjoying their involvement on the album.  The video for the song was good too.

I will say, after listening to the entire album, my initial reaction was confirmed: there are better single choices and the single selected to launch the album was not the strongest song for Madonna.

The second single released from MDNA is “Girl Gone Wild” . The single was first released on YouTube with a lyric video. I think Girl Gone Wild single is a fantastic, get up and dance song but the album version she has spoken words at the beginning of the track and that really irritates me for two reasons.

First it has zero to do with the song and misleads you at the beginning that it’s a fast-paced dance song... second, I can’t tell if Madonna is being sympathetic to religion or if she's mocking it.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, Madonna offends people who are religious and who do believe AND she also offends people who DON’T believe and DON’T want to hear it... so in my opinion I think she turns people off by doing that and should have left the album version of the song the way it was on the lyric video.

“Gang Bang” has become a fan favorite but in my opinion it’s too dark, and too violent- and borderline as to whether or not I actually consider that a song. The track brings a mixture between Erotica and Confessions On A Dance Floor. The final moments of the song have Madonna screaming "Drive Bitch… And While You're At It… Die Bitch!" It’s a little violent and more of a repetitive story – that I think would have been better as a b-side instead of an album track... but a friend here in town says it’s one of his favorite songs from the album. I think Madonna was purposely trying to be hardcore on the song – probably for attention and album sales… who knows. It’s not really a dance-track so I skip it.

“I’m Addicted” is a pretty good song– I really like the music and how the producers played with her voice on the chorus of the song. I-I’m-I-I’m I’m Addicted - the lyric reference to MDNA put a smile on my face when I heard it- made me think, “OK … to the critics who panned the album name- now you know where it came from”... critics were complaining that the album title was the abbreviation of the drug ecstasy... which also has the abbreviation MDNA. Some people will make a big deal out of anything. This track could have been the first single and I think it would have been a far better track and gave people more hope for the album than “Give Me All Your Luvin'” did.

“Turn Up The Radio” should be a single, and actually as I write this it was announced that it WILL be single #3. This song is one of my 3 favorites, if we include Girl Gone Wild (lyric video version). This song should have been the first single. It features great lyrics, easy to remember, positive, great beat, memorable chorus, and you could actually hear it on radio, and the remixes would be great... since I heard the chorus for this song on the album sampler- I knew it would be hot. It’s excellent. It seems to be gaining momentum on iTunes too. This track will easily be a summer hit that will have people (forgive me for this!) reaching to turn up their radios!

“Some Girls” – it’s kind of annoying to me. I don’t like the annoying sound at the beginning but once the song warms up it gets better and better – especially once you get to the chorus... actually the chorus is pretty amazing- not a standout song but not the worst either. It’s a good dance song – 3 of 5 stars.

“Superstar” –definitely 4/5 stars – a great song... I love the music, I like the lyrics and Madonna’s delivery is spot on. I really enjoy listening to this song. I added this to my playlist. She did a great job on this one.

“I Don’t Give A” – this is the last of my 3 favorites- and I wish this one would have been a single – especially if she wanted to work with Nicki Minaj. I would have picked this over “Give Me All Your Luvin” anyday. The lyrics – now this is Madonna rapping the right way – and the beat- it’s hard but it’s “get up and dance” hard- and I hear how personal the topic is to Madonna in the lyrics. I’d say this song is 5/5 stars and is perfect. And as for Nicki Minaj – she did a damn good job too – I crack up every time she says “Bitch” at the end of the song – the way she delivers that word – she should be given an award for that... and she’s right, “There’s only one queen and that’s Madonna”. The remixes for this would be amazing!!!!! If you have a problem – I don’t give a...”
“I’m A Sinner” – To me, this song is okay... it reminds me of Lene Nystrom’s “We Wanna Party” with that 60’s / 70’s old-school party style... not bad but it can be skipped.

“Love Spent” and “Masterpiece” are quite amazing songs. Very well put together ballads / slow songs… and that means a lot coming from me because I’m not big on ballads.

“Falling Free” – not a bad song, but too slow for me.

“Beautiful Killer” – I really like this song. I like Madonna’s whispering in the song. The lyrics are pretty good and the music is great too – sounds similar to Ray of Light album – so you know William Orbit has to be behind it. I think is a 4/5 stars.

“I Fucked Up” – way too slow for me.

“B’Day Song” –I don’t get this one... why did she even record it? It seems out of place on the album to me. M.I.A. doesn’t really add much to this song either. I think it was a nice try but not the best song on the album, not the worst.

“Best Friend” isn’t bad but I think my problem with this album say, compared with Kylie Minogue’s “Aphrodite” album is the positioning of the songs. Many of the songs on MDNA seem out of place although the quality is there. With “Aphrodite” I think the quality and order of the songs is appropriate.

Anyway, that’s my opinion on the new album... what’s yours?

Download MDNA on Amazon or iTunes


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