Album Review: Madonna - MDNA
Through Madonna's 30 plus year career, she has taken to reinventing herself from time to time. She's played with styles of music but always made music you could dance to. Those, of course are her roots.
On her most recent release MDNA, Madonna mixes dance beats with lyrics that show a more mature, "lived through the pain," songwritting style than we have seen in a long time.
The album is mixed with songs about longing for love, thinking she had true love, telling off her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie and his choice in a replacement and looking to findtrue love again.
MDNA is Madonna's musical therapy, divorce album. With songs like "Girl Gone Wild" and "I'm Addicted," Madonna sings about easing the pain of her break up and her attempt to find fun again. Which is interesting, because one would think that Madonna could find fun anywhere or at anytime (or with anyone).
The way this album is mixed, you really get to hear the lyrics and the emotion in Madonna's voice. It's not a dirge by any stretch of the imagination. This is a solid dance album, as well as a great record to put on when driving or in need a cathartic cry and shake off the pain.
Madonna may have known that some critics and some of her younger (under 30) fans would not really understand the statement she was making with this record. Take the song, "Give Me All Your Luvin'," first of all, she spells "Loving" in contemporary slang, references some of her old songs and evolves them. This is not a reinvention for Madonna, rather an evolution. She asks us not to expect so much. She is telling us she needs to work this out and invites us along for the process, "...every record sounds the same/step into my world..."
Each song, no matter how simple the lyrics may be, gives us insight into what Madonna is really feeling. Not the character that she has played for years, but the real Ms. Ciccone. Look at the title of the album alone, MDNA, she is telling us upfront that we will be seeing inside her heart and soul. We hear that Madonna is a woman who is just like everyother woman on the planet with basic wants and needs.
In the song "Masterpiece," Madonna sings that, "...nothing's indestructable..." she will carry on, she will find what she is looking for. By encapsulating her process and inviting us in to experience with her, Madonna is trusting her fans and giving them hope. I am willing to bet that the next woman who gets dumped for a younger woman will be blaring "Love Spent", "I Don't Give A" or "Turn Up The Radio" as she prepares for that first post break up girls night. She may even play "I'm A Sinner" before her next first date. You never know.
At first, those younger fans I mentioned before may not respond well. One of our writers wished she had come out with an album that compared more with Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, but Madonna didn't need to produce another bubble gum or envelope-pushing performance art piece right now. My advice to Madonna fans of all ages- pick this up. Listen to it all the way through, the sequencing is powerful.
If you danced in the clubs when Madonna was new, or came aboard in high school in the 80's, this is the Madonna that still speaks to what we are going through. If you were born after 1984 and discovered her music during the late 90's, you should still pick up MDNA, listen to it and save it for when you have a break up, or your best friend goes through one. Believe me, it will help you.
Madonna's MDNA comes in an 11 track standard version and a 16 track larger version with even more songs about getting through the pain, looking for new love and messing up. MDNA is available everywhere now on Interscope Records.
Robert D. Mathers (@RTNowRadio) for Cumulus Media © 2012