MDNA Sequencing

It seems like Madonna has always inspired stronger reactions from people than other artists. People either adore her or despise her. By some quirk of fate, I'm not in either camp. When I hear a song of hers, I'm equally capable of liking it, hating it, or not feeling much of anything at all. She'll be touring for her new album MDNA soon (or has possibly already started - I'm not interested enough to research it), and apparently, one of the perks of buying a ticket is a free copy of the CD.

One of my friends bought a couple of tickets, and since that meant he had an extra album on his hands, he gave it to me. I thought it'd be fun to go in and give it a complete listen with zero expectations. I hadn't heard any of the songs (with one exception), read any reviews, or encountered any sort of online fan or hater movement, so I could be sure that my reactions were genuine, and weren't being warped by hype.

Unfortunately, my reaction is that this may be my least favorite Madonna album to date. I've only listened to it once, so it's entirely possible that a couple of the songs will grow on me. It seems unlikely, though, since they struck me as so lukewarm on the first pass. Musically, the album is nothing special, but not terrible. "Girl Gone Wild" has a decent backbeat, and there's something to like in a bunch of the others, like "Superstar", "I'm a Sinner", and "Masterpiece". Where this album really goes wrong is in the lyrics. If a song's music is interesting or catchy enough, problems with the lyrics can be forgiven, but in this album, they stick out like a sore thumb.

"I'm a Sinner"
Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross
Died for our sins, it's such a loss
Saint Christopher, find my way
I'll be coming home one day
Saint Sebastian, don't you cry
Let those poison arrows fly

"Love Spent"
If we opened up a joint account
Would it put an end to all your doubt
Frankly if my name was Benjamin
We wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in

If you were the Mona Lisa
You'd be hanging in the Louvre
Everyone would come to see you
You'd be impossible to move

You'd be impossible to move??? The hell? Anyhow, I mentioned above that there was one song I remembered hearing before listening to the album in its entirety, and that was "Give Me All Your Luvin'", which Madonna performed with Nikki Manaj, M.I.A., and a cast-of-thousands at the Super Bowl. I'm sure that wasn't an accident, because it's by far the best song on the album, and the only one I can envision myself actively seeking out to listen to. Madonna has had countless ups and downs in her deservedly long career. She changes her image like a chameleon, and there is a ton to admire about her. In terms of pure, listening joy, though, MDNA misses the mark, and you'd be better served by firing up your old copy of Ray of Light.



Post a Comment

Copyright © Slice of Lime