Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Madonna - MDNA Review
So as many of you probably know and are sick of hearing about already, Madonna dropped her MDNA album this week and after several rotations my overall opinion is that it doesn't live up to my expectations, unfortunately. There are a few tracks I enjoy, but nothing that jumps out for me and screams innovation. I feel like Madonna has become less of a trendsetter and more of a follower and that's not something I expect from a legend. Let me make this very clear, I am a huge fan of Madonna, many of her records fall into my favorites of all time list. She was such a trendsetter and pushed so many limits but I don't know if its an age thing or just loss of touch with what the public expects? Many of my friends who are huge Madonna fans don't understand how I can so easily be critical of artists I really love, the thing is I am a fan of artists not a fanboy, I can sit back and listen to something and be very unbiased about my opinion of it. After a few rotations of the album I feel its very lackluster and now really what I expect from a legend like Madonna. Where are the "Like A Virgin", "Justify My Love", "Erotica"s at? I don't want to believe she could only be controversial when it came to sexual music but this isn't showing me much more. She was so creative with albums like "Ray Of Light", "Confessions" & "Bedtime Stories" trying new things and setting the trend for the next big thing. "Ray Of Light" in my opinion was one of the record that started a huge trend of crossover music in the 90's that allowed the DJ's to bring more mainstream music into the clubs, where has that gone? "MDNA" to me is a very suitable crossover dance/pop record but doesn't try anything new, I would say if you're already a Madonna fan, its alright you will probably enjoy it. If you're not a Madonna fan this record won't do much to change your mind, and neither will her showing up at UltraFest and crashing Avicii's set to speak to a younger generation that she doesn't speak to musically anymore. Sorry, just speaking my mind. (for a more detailed review of her album keep reading for individual track opinions and information)
Full Track Review + Info
1 - "Girl Gone Wild" produced by Benny Benassi. This is by far one of my favorite songs from the album. Like I said on a previous post about this song I feel like its the right blend of producer/artist that you don't get very often. Fun record, probably in my opinion the stand out single for this album.
2 - "Gang Bang" produced by William Orbit. Sounds dated to me, very much late 90s. The lyrics are boring & the track could have been a B side to a single from "Ray Of Light". The techno sound of this track has evolved and if you're going to bring something back as a homage you need to make it current or the audience will totally miss the point.
3 - "I'm Addicted" produced by Benny Benassi. Another pretty solid track to me, this to me again makes Madonna stand out even with the producer having so much control over the track. The drops in the track, the placement of the vocals and samples are all very specific and give you the exact point the producer was trying to make with the track. This to me was one of the more risky tracks on the album however it does loose its luster after repetative play.
4 - "Turn Up The Radio" produced by Martin Solveig. Ok here is something you will hear from me again about Martin, his production is well done but damn its predictable and his vocal arrangements are always the same. Its like he is stuck in a room and aliens from the planet of one thought ideas are beating him with a stick and telling him "CREATE HELLO EVERYTIME YOU PRODUCE!" The layers of this song are so similar to everything he has done its hard to listen to it and not want to sing "Hello" over it, guess what, mash the acapella of that song to this one and it works. Martin is too predictable, the only promising thing about this song is its fun, but that can be said about anything Martin produces. Its pure pop crossover but so predictable you can hear the cheerleading elements in every song he does. YAWN.
5 - "Give Me All Your Luvin" produced by Martin Solveig. See above, pretty much hits all the same marks, these tracks are so similar no point in discussing that aspect. I will add that Nicki and MIA are pretty much pointless on this song, they were added in to appeal to their respective markets, take them out makes no difference the song is what it is. This is why it didn't chart well in most places, when I say that I mean for someone with Madonna's history. The song peaked at 10 on Billboards Hot 100 and I think its highest ranked position was in Spain and the Netherlands where it peaked at 2. Most other countries it didn't see anything near top 10.
6 - "Some Girls" produced by William Orbit. Annoying, really annoying. Where is the lyrically content on this album? This song is a big pile of shit, no redeeming factors at all. William Orbit did his best work on her "Ray Of Light" album but outside of that he hasn't done much of anything. I bet he is happy she was willing to pay him to work with her because otherwise he would still be slaving away somewhere in his own little world. He is so out of touch with modern music and anything current in the pop world, check on Wikipedia if you don't believe me William Orbit.
7 - "Superstar" produced by Hardy Indiigo. Ok this sounds just like a Martin Solveig track, boring, predictable, next.
8 - "I Don't Give A" produced by Martin Solveig. Oh great, we get a Martin track that sounds like bad urban pop. I think I would probably pay to hear one of his predictable crap productions anyday over this, wow did I say that? This track is probably the worst on the album. Is she rapping? Really? REALLY? You don't care what the people say? Its obvious, I would say this is the worst track on the album but it's a close tie between so many others. This beat sounds like a recycled track from something in the 90s and Nicki was probably hating life having to record a verse over this garbage.
9 - "I'm A Sinner" produced by William Orbit. Oh fuck, not him again. I don't have a problem with someone in their 50's producing current music, I'm not a spring chicken myself but at least I stay in touch with whats going on in the charts and in the clubs. This song is yet another out of touch track that has absolutely nothing relevant to offer music. This song isn't even worthy of a B Side to a bad movie theme song.
10- "Love Spent" produced by William Orbit. Hillbilly electro, that's what I think when I hear the first 2 bars of this song. Sidenote, why is Madonna singing in the same pattern on every song on the album? It's not just the style of the singing it actually sounds like all the songs were written with the same melody in mind. I don't know, oh by the way hate this track, next.
11- "Masterpiece" produced by William Orbit. Interesting mid-temp ballad, I really don't have much to say about this. This is an interesting track but still certainly nothing that today's youth will connect with. This is probably one of the better songs on the album and one that I wouldn't mind listening to again.
12- "Falling Free" produced by William Orbit. William must have had a huge boner when he found out she wanted him to work on the album because she gave him far too many tracks. BORING, BORING, BORING.
13- "Beautiful Killer" produced by Martin Solveig. Get you pom-pom's out! On the plus side this song isn't too bad BUT its again the typical shit Martin produces. I think if Madonna wanted to work with someone in today's EDM world she should have picked someone with a lot more versatility. I have a feeling she will regret working with Martin and William but probably won't admit it.
14 - "I F__ked Up" produced by Martin Solveig. Probably the best song on the entire album, partly because I feel the title of this song speaks to some of the choices made on the album. I have to give Martin a little credit for taking a risk, but the vocal placement and phrasing sound like a slowed down version of "Hello" LOL sorry just the way it is.
15 - "B Day Song" produced by Martin Solveig. I wonder if in the studio Madonna said, hmmmm all of your stuff sounds the same? I would have. Next.
16 - "Best Friend" produced by Benny Benassi. The most current and innovative production on the album. Again, not a fan of the lyrics, a bit too personal for my taste but the production and combination of Benny and Madonna again worked in her best favor. I think the best tracks on this album were produced by Benny, sounds current and all very different.
Overall, not enough risk in the album. I know Madonna tends to like to work with the same producers on albums to give the album a certain sound but this time it worked against her. Benny proved that out of the 3 major contributing producers he is far more in touch with current music as well as giving more ideas in his production to her work. I think the only real hit single on this album is gonna be "Girl Gone Wild" the rest, in my opinion is throw away for anyone other than her die hard fans. Just doesn't cut it for me.