Well I won't apologize for being the bearer of bad news over the new Madonna album. As a fan I regret being so accurate about the dying sales after the first weeks release. The news groups are reporting several factors but overall lets just chalk it up to a lackluster album. After my review several of my friends were upset at how harsh I was about the album but I wanted to be honest, Madonna wouldn't hold back when it came to her opinion so I felt I would return the favor.
The album debuted at #1 in many countries around the world, but I predicted it was all on the hype of the album release AND it being a Madonna album the fans were dying to get their hands on it. I had told many friends it would be lucky to stay top ten after its first week on the charts, sales dropped 90% in the second week and are showing even more signs of trouble. One of the biggest signs of her loss of pop relevance is the latest single "Girl Gone Wild" has charted well in the Billboard dance charts it has yet to break top 10 in the pop charts while other artists with more current musical influence dominate the Billboard hot 100. In her defense it has been top 10 in the bubbling category but without a break into the official hot 100 its likely to be what many would see as a commercial failure as a single. Fans are holding fast to its number 1 dance chart debut but in the big scheme of things that won't help the album in the sales department.
To be even more specific the first week in digital downloads and pre-sales the album garnered 369,000 copies then dropping to 40,000 the second week. This sets the records as biggest sales drop of all time, a record I am sure she doesn't want to take credit for. Even the "little monsters" are happy about this as the record was held by Lady Gaga for "Born This Way", I guess Madonna did beat Gaga, but not the way she wanted to I am sure.
I don't want to beat up on Madonna, I LOVE the high points of her career and her "take charge, fuck you" attitude, but I think in this case its more of a hindrance than a help for her mainstream career in today's pop market. Madonna was setting trends in the 80s and 90s now she is chasing them, it's not a good look for her. The entire album as a whole may resonate with her fans and the older crowd but its clearly NOT a pop masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. When you have artists like Katy Perry, Rihanna & Nicki Minaj showing how they can still connection with the younger generation and keep a hold on the industry someone like Madonna SHOULD take notes.
All and all I think this album was less about US (the fans) and more about her and to sort of get a buzz for her upcoming world tour. I think for her, touring and playing to HER crowd is probably something she should focus on in the future. Trying to stay pop relevant in todays market is a feat for a much more connection market of artists. I don't think her age has anything to do with it, I think its more of a disconnect with the world around her. Similar to artists like Prince & Janet Jackson who have a history of being world icons but can't connect to a mainstream market, they don't really understand it. I would love to see these artists do a live concert, for nostalgic value but I think they are truly talented and unique. However, I think they should hang up their studio time trying to stay current, its just not gonna happen without a lot of help.
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