My Review of “MDNA”


Now, I’m not gonna give it any stars cuz I feel that’s too limiting and it just makes things confusing. You can’t appreciate art like that. You can criticize it but to give it a rating when there’s really not much wrong with it, it’s just unnecessary. So I’ll go track by track.

1. Girl Gone Wild - Last.fm plays so far – 338

This is my favorite radio song from the album. I like it better than GMAYL. The video is even better. Did you hear a demo of it from some other nobody girl? Her name is Rosette, look it up on YouTube. The song sounds at home with Madonna. It’s truly a shame this song didn’t even make it into the Hot 100. It’s unimaginable since GMAYL went to #10. Whatever, it’s not gonna hurt Madonna’s career one bit really. I think this song is another great dance track from her where you can really hear her voice as sort of bigendered. She has a real depth to it but still sounds womanly. Not many pop girls can do that without sounding like a man.

2. Gang Bang Last.fm plays so far – 76

Holy mother of god, this song is Madonna doing what she’s known best for. Going too far. This track is intense as hell and is stunningly relatable, somehow. Despite it’s murderous intentions it makes me feel like I wanna kill someone too. Only a true artist could make you feel something you hadn’t felt before. I was hoping for more experimentation with the guitar but I’m happy with the dub-step bridge. The last chorus is my ringtone. Gang Bang also continues to define Madonna as a step ahead of everyone. Further separating her from the artistically void Pop Princesses. The only ones that would come close to this type of honest approach to something so haunting would be Rihanna or GaGa and even then, it would have to be from 2009 since that was both of their darkest times. (The Fame Monster and Rated R)

3. I’m Addicted Last.fm plays so far – 66

Along with Gang Bang, IA is one of the most memorable tracks from the album. GB and IA are like two sides of the same coin called “Life”. GB being the unapologetic killer and IA as the lover one that clings to the euphoria of romance. This song is Confessions on a Dance Floor on crack. The chorus is absolute insanity. I love the lyric “when did you name change from language to magic?”. It’s Madonna the romantic. And of course the silly “M-D-N-A M-D-M-A” at the end is cute and just adds to the song’s epicness. This is THE song for the clubs. And it seems MDNA has a song for every genre Madonna’s touched. I’ll get to that with the later tracks. If you haven’t really gotten into this song yet, blast it in your living room or just go for a run with it. It’ll blow your mind.

4. Turn Up The Radio Last.fm plays so far – 62

Now of course this is the next single and it should be. Summertime is the days that radio is most popular and this is the perfect song for it. It’s sunnily optimistic and like other songs on MDNA it contains references to her older work. It’s a modern day Holiday and Everybody. I wonder what she’ll do for a video. Considering since she’s already done the blank screen with Madonna and her dancers routine (a la Everybody and Lucky Star videos) I’m interested to see what she’ll be willing to do for this song.

5. Give Me All Your Luvin’ (feat. Nicki Minaj, M.I.A.) - Last.fm plays so far – 219 (excluding demo)

Gay MAYL is still alive and kicking for me. I get the most pop chills from this song. I still think this was a great first single despite it not completely “slaying your faves” on the charts. It’s the best joy song from the album and I still never skip it.

6. Some Girls - Last.fm plays so far – 61

This attitude track has Madonna confidently showing up any girl who has ever crossed her territory. It has to have the filthiest beat in the history of ever. It’s surprisingly melodic for having a monotone verse. There was actually a snippet leak of M rehearsing this for the tour. It sounds fucking divine. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9MHwqK-XBck) I also didn’t even notice the reference line “put your lovin to the test you’ll see” until just now haha. There are still many things about this album I’m sure are waiting to unveils themselves to me. That’s how a Madonna album is, of course. It can evolve without even really changing at all.

7. Superstar - Last.fm plays so far – 37

If they don’t choose TUTR for the next single I’m sure this will be it. I think we should introduce a new Madonna that has been slowly evolving since 1986 (True Blue, Ray of Light, Beautiful Stranger, Amazing) and has finally had her time to fully show herself to us. That would be none other than Sundonna. And considering she’s a Leo you would’v thought she would’ve been out a long time ago. And for those stupid fucks who think that this beautifully sunny Madonna we’re getting from most of MDNA is retarded, look in the mirror. You’re criticizing the Queen of POP mind you.

8. I Don’t Give A (feat. Nicki Minaj) - Last.fm plays so far – 47

WHy this song hasn’t been sent to urban radios yet is giving me a headache. Madonna’s really trying to make it as a rapper this time around and she succeeds. It’s an empowering song that it’s a huge fuck you to everyone who criticize her about, well anything. Gotta love the lyrics “you were so mad at me, who’s got custody? lawyers suck it up, didn’t have a pre-nup”. Damn girl you really know how to hit home. And we can’t ignore the glaring GaGa diss. In Nicki’s verse she says “hey Madonna, you the original Don Dada” which SOUNDS like GaGa, but it isn’t. But still. And THEN it just gets better. As a send off to the fake Princesses of Pop, Nicki, in her best cutesty Roman voice, squeals “there’s only Queen, and that’s Madonna, BITCH!!!”. And an array of voices come in and invoke an image of Madonna sitting on her throne just staring you blankly in the eye saying “yeah bitch”. A true highlight from the album, gave me chills.

9. I’m A Sinner - Last.fm plays so far – 55

Sonically and lyrically, this song is so yummy. It’s a distorted version of Beautiful Stranger. It sounds like sunlight, ironically.

10. Love Spent - Last.fm plays so far – 148

Omg. I love this song so much. A dance ballad? How the fuck do you do that? Well M did it. The banjo in the beginning reminds me of X-Static Process. Which automatically invokes tears. I love the latin edge this song has, makes it apparent a La Isla Bonita mash-up may appear on the tour. “Frankly if my name was Benjamin, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in”. Crying. I NEVER thought to compare money as love. “Spend your love on me”. Wow. “I want you to take me like you took your money, take me in your arms until your last breath.” Obviously a softer and more painful version of that one line from IDGA. If you didn’t already know, Madonna divorced Guy Ritchie and he took millions of dollars in exchange for sole custody of his kids. So yeah, this is a painful song to hear her sing but gives me so many chills. The two sides to this song is also VERY interesting. The dancey side A fits in perfectly with the first part of the album and it seems that LS is meant to progress the listener into the softer, more introspective part of the album. Side B being the slower and more tragic part. I don’t think this will be a single but if it is, it might change things as far as the radio goes. This song has such a different feel to it yet it’s too epic to just leave on the album. We’ll see.

11. Masterpiece - Last.fm plays so far – 115

When this first leaked, I loved it, and I still do. It’s still an incredible ballad and the chords actually has a really nice arrangement. And to think she never even wanted to write a song for her movie, that it just happened. Awesomeness. One of the tracks that provides those assholes who think Madonna should be ‘mature’ with a little something. I can just imagine her in an art gallery, clinging to a painting of some sort. This could do well on the radio too, especially adult radio. As unfortunate as that sounds haha.

12. Falling Free - Last.fm plays so far – 80

When I first heard the snippet to this, I had to hold back tears. I was just about to go into work and had to pull myself together. It’s just so raw and honest. You can hear every inflection in her voice as it tugs on your heart. It sounds like she’s in some magical forest in the dead of night under a black waterfall confessing her love to someone. This article I read the other day also has a very interesting point of view on the song. (http://bit.ly/HZC4lt) “The girl who once invited us all to open our hearts is now a woman for whom even the slightest self-exposure might prove disastrous. But she gives in. “I’m falling free,” Madonna murmurs. It’s a beautiful moment, full of comfort. But is this the sleep of death? Tie yourself to a tree, girl heroine. Be careful to not let yourself drift.” I love the last line. “I let loose the need to know then we’re both free, free to go.”

13. Beautiful Killer - Last.fm plays so far – 49

The catchy BK has remnants of Die Another Day with a bird-like guitar hook that literally hooks you in. The chorus is sort of cool, it’s sort of got a laid-back disco melody. It’s very sexy and ridiculously catchy.

14. I Fucked Up - Last.fm plays so far – 183

The ending in a batch of acoustic love ballads. I Fucked Up brings to rest the unsettling and aching songs from Music and American Life. (Nobody’s Perfect, I Deserve It, Intervention and X-Static Process) And it could even fit in with either album. More so Music though. The bridge is possibly the best part of the bonus tracks. It captures Madonna in a moment that she repeatedly never puts herself in. A could’ve, should’ve would’ve situation. It’s a rapid vision of melancholy that makes anyone want to relive their old lovers. And then to make it even worse, she ends it with “we could’ve lived like crazy till the day we died, instead I made you cry”. Oh man. THEN she sings “I’m sorry, je suis desole” as a references to Sorry from Confessions. That should put you into a crying fit considering how bitter and tough that song is and to hear her sing that she’s the one who’s sorry, wow. It’s a shame this song was removed from the clean version.

15. B-Day Song (feat. M.I.A.) - Last.fm plays so far – 35

And here returns Sundonna, except she’s got a slip of retardation. I love this song because it’s just SO silly and dumb. Only Madonna could get the Third World Awareness rapper M.I.A. to say “it’s my birthday everyday!!!”. And what a better troll song for the ageist than a song that sounds completely retarded about celebrating your birthday. I’m sure it’s a bit of a dig at Rihanna  as well. It’s got a cool 60s vibe as well which is refreshing. So just lose control a bit and get lost in this mess of a song, okay?

16. Best Friend Last.fm plays so far – 101

A bittersweet ending to MDNA, Best Friend brings us back a little bit to Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You and Nobody Knows Me. It’s introspective like I Fucked Up but a bit more bitter. “Still I have no regrets cuz I survived the biggest test, I cannot lie and I won’t pretend but I feel like I lost my very best friend.” The bridge is the most emotional part and I think putting this as the last song humanizes Madonna to the public some more. That she can gain and lose and still make it through.

A Year in Pop Music: 2011


My Top 10 Songs of 2011:

10. I Care - Beyoncé - 4

A standout and sadly NOT a single from “4″, “I Care” just adds to the desperation of “Start Over” but seems to be in more of a rut. It’s a raging ballad that could bring tears to your eyes. It’s a story about doing all you can for someone and getting nothing in return. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? And the bridge is one of the most brilliant vocal riffs Beyoncé has ever produced. She even does it better live. I remember replaying that very part right before to “oohs” so many times. It’s so juicy and emotional. Best part of the song.

9. Till The World Ends - Britney Spears - Femme Fatale

What the fuck kind of drugs did Ke$ha have to take to produce this type of pop brilliance? The ‘Ohs’ in this song sound oddly depressing. The video is underground sex and produced mucho money for the Britney camp. It topped off “Femme Fatale” as a success for Britney and will hopefully give Britney and her team the confidence to take more riskier advances next time around. The trio Fatale Remix of this featuring none other than Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj is slamming. It doesn’t bad mouth the solo version, just adds more star power but it’s still great except for the occasional grating pronunciations from Ke$hit. But thankfully this prompted Britney to add Princess Nicki to her tour, which I gladly got to attend and they both were very entertaining in the 9th row.

8. Start Over Beyoncé - 4

Bey’s most personal and emotionally inspiring songs on “4″, “Start Over” encapsulates the uncommon sad summer angst and puts it in a song that you put you on first every morning to get the day started, somehow. It questions the state of a relationship with an optimistic message but a desperate expression. My most played Beyoncé song reigns over the whole album in my opinion. It’s the epitome of the surprisingly sad “4″.

7. Hold It Against Me - Britney Spears - Femme Fatale

Godney is back and harder than ever in her musical efforts. This simple electro-pop song deserves more praise than it gets. I believe it’s better than “Till The World Ends” simply because of it’s subversive nature. Now yes, Britney isn’t trying to really say anything with this song but another artist could easily take this song to the next level. It would be perfect for a new gay male pop star who wants to utilize the Madonna-age-pop-music-era to his advantage. Who cares if it has a dubsteppy breakdown? It’s hot nonetheless. The song is epic and will be on Britney’s tour list for years to come.

6. Heavy Metal Lover - Lady GaGa - Born This Way

Erotica 2011 folks. Need I say any more? The lyrics are to die for and the sound entrancing and endlessly catchy, as a GaGa song should be. The auto-tune on her voice is beautifully placed NOT bad considering we know GaGa can sing her ass off.

5. Marry The Night - Lady GaGa - Born This Way

This HUGE and daring mix between electronic music and rock riffs has got to be among the best songs that GaGa has ever made. That ending is beyond epic and takes you on an emotional journey throughout GaGa’s ambition. There may be a bit too much of the pushy “I wear leather boots and fuck in cars so that makes me cool” lines in the song, but that’s Post-The Fame Monster era GaGa so get used it. My favorite part starts at “come on and run, turn the car on and run”. That was my FUCKING SONGGG last summer when I would run. It was such an amazing and chilling experience to push myself to the song. Although I did almost get hit by a car backing out of it’s driveway because of ‘the zone’ I was in, but I’m still alive so whatever. The video’s message is beyond retarded and unnecessary but the cinematography may be her best which is surprising seeing as she was the sole director for the video.

4. Drunk On Love - Rihanna - Talk That Talk

Oh my fucking god is this song emotional or what? And can you even believe that the instrumental is actually an intro to a The xx’s album? As cringeworthy as some people say the chorus is, it’s Rihanna getting closer to her “Te Amo” and “Cold Case Love” days. This song shows off just how depressingly self-aware Rihanna can be. She’s taking the theme from “We Found Love” and making it real and NOT into some club stomper. This song deserves a video that’s sexier than Bey’s “Dance For You” and just as dark as “Te Amo”. We need to see Rihanna crying black makeup tears, writhing around on some expensive couch with a gallon of Jay-Z Vodka. This song reminds me so much of her Rated R days in the way that when you first listen to it, your ears have to adjust after a few listens before you fall in love with it. But to me that’s what makes a great Rihanna song.

3. Only If For A Night - Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials

This song sounds like Florence is in a rainy tower somewhere in England, reminiscing about the past in a beautifully melancholy way. It’s my most played Florence song, simply because it’s so memorable. It’s even Florence’s favorite track. Another little thing I noticed (or thought up in my own mind) is that the chorus that is singing goes perfectly with the album artwork. If she does a video for this she should certainly consider using that look and concept.

2. Where Have You Been - Rihanna - Talk That Talk

The only phrase that seems to truly fit this song is “Personal, Desperate and Speed”. It’s a fast playing dance beat that sounds like Rihanna is somewhere in Downtown New York conquering the subways on a cool Summer night. It’s a stand out track from “Talk That Talk” and is meant to be a single. I feel like it’s Rihanna’s “Marry The Night”. That HUGE record that’s waiting to become a single. Except WHYB is sexier, just as sonically innovative but strikes a different nerve that makes it soar higher than MTN.

1.  No Light, No Light Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials

That was REALLY hard to choose between the Rihanna and Florence tracks, but nothing beats this beam of desperation, nostalgia and complete fierceness. It’s a song that SHOULD be reigning over everything on the radio, but instead it’s just on all our iPods getting scrobbled on Last.fm.

Bonus:

Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Love” and “Masterpiece”.

Anything this old hag does is gold. I don’t care if you think GAYMALE is stupid pop and lacks any significance cause guess what, you’re wrong. When you turn 53 we’ll see if you’ll be able to pull off sounding like a 15 year old and do the inevitable high kick cheerleader moves in the music video. The song is nothing short of catchy and does exactly what Madonna wants it to do. It WILL infest the playlists of college and teen parties, jocks and theatre dorks alike. Some of the criticism the song has endured is about it’s “current” sound and how it’s nothing new. If I can recall, Confessions was, nothing new. So shut up cause you know you were shitting yourself when it came out. And the fact that it has elements that songs on the radio have now is perfect for her artistic intention. In the context of this song those elements are genius and if you can’t see that, you’re just a tad arrogant. And the fact that this is JUST a demo and William Orbit, M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj haven’t even had they’re hands on it makes it even more anticipated for. “Masterpiece” on the other hand is a throwback to the days where Madonna was gunning to be “Evita”. It’s a beautiful ballad that vaguely paints a beautiful image of Madonna in an art gallery, teary-eyed over a work of art. Whether it be her new boy toy’s dick or a Warhol painting, it doesn’t really matter. The song is amazing, although my only critique is that it sounds like an unreleased gem rather than a single or a track off an album. But we’ll see how it all adds up in 2012.

Notable Songs Still Relevant:

Cosmic Love - Florence + The Machine - Lungs

I’ve recently become a Florence freak and this song is her best, no doubt. As epic as “No Light” and “For A Night” are, this song takes you to a much deeper place. It’s brilliant. I admit, when I first heard this I was watching the video and I cringed at a lot of things she was doing. But I love it all now. I take it all back Florence. You aren’t some annoying weird hipster Zoey Deschanel wannabe. You are Florence Welch and you are a visual and audial Goddess. Keep on making music forevers. My favorite part is “And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat. I tried to find the sound but then it stopped, and I was in the darkness. So darkness I became.” I admit, tears have fallen from that very part in my eyes. This song is just a huge, bare all mix of a loving revenge. I could listen to it forever.

X-Static Process - Madonna - American Life

What can I say? I’m just speechless at how personal and naked this song is. It’s still a Madonna song in theory. The “Jesus Christ, will you look at me?” is nothing short of a “Like A Prayer” flashback mixed with current feelings. The song is most enjoyable in the “I’m Going To Tell You A Secret” film, video here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1xRSqI5crY) I also covered this song to the best of my ability if you’d like to take a listen. (http://soundcloud.com/mykayspage/x-static-process)

Frozen - Madonna - Ray of Light

I’ve listened to this song about 1,000 times since 2 years ago when I first heard it. And with good reason. If you don’t understand why I’ve listened to it like a crazy lunatic Madonna stan, then you haven’t heard it. It’s M’s most addicting, relatable, imaginative and graceful songs ever. The same goes for the video. Although neither had any real influence on culture, it’s years ahead of itself. It’s a classic pop song in the sense that it’s simply about love and doesn’t have complex meaning, but the music is nothing short brilliant. The Evita vocal training did nothing but help this song and thankfully didn’t trap Madonna into the technically perfect category either. There’s nothing more I can say about this song to convince you of it’s greatness if you haven’t already. If you don’t like it, I deem that you have no heart.

Songs to Cast Off into Oblivion:

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

Fuck my life. Why did Katy Perry sell out? Why did she have to tie Michael Jackson with this as a #1 using the rent-a-rapper technique? WHY? We DO NOT need this type of Katy in 2012, so go along Katy and either have a baby with Brand or divorce him and show us who you really are.

Mr. Know It All - Kelly Clarkson - Stronger

I love Kelly to death but her new album is nothing but generic shit on top of generic shit. Nothing interests me and most makes me cringe at it’s dated attitude. I’ll take “All I Ever Wanted” or even “Thankful” over this.

Anything Bruno Mars

He’s the epitome of that guy who always seems to have a guitar and starts singing in the middle of the cafeteria in college JUST to bang a girl and break her heart. That kind of guy is an annoying little cretin anyways so for him to be on the radio is an even worse thought and sad sign of the times. He has no place in pop culture.  Get out.

Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO - Sorry for Party Rocking

If you’ve lasted this long throughout my review of the year, I think you already know why they need to go. They were cute on GaGa’s “LoveGame” remix, but they’re surprisingly old family members who are nothing but a gimmick that DJ’s play way too much on the radio and at clubs. Next.

Overall Yearly Score: 7/10