MDNA, And Why I'll Always Love Madonna in Spite of Everything

Maybe what I love the most about Madonna is for that what she is most criticized; she’s a total poseur.
Publish date:
April 12, 2012
music, like a prayer, like a virgin, MDNA, madonna, ray of light

Right before seeing Madge at Dodger Stadium.

The accent. The hydrangea incident. "Ray of Light."

There are many reasons to have jumped ship from the USS Madonna Fan by now. And yet here I am -- still buying her every album, and yes, loving it. You guys: listen to "MDNA" if you haven't. It may bring you back to the fold.

I have no shame admitting I love Madonna. Always have. I’ve been with her since the beginning. My mom’s co-worker bought me “Like a Virgin” on cassette for my 4th birthday, and I haven’t missed an album since.

There’s so much about her I just love; her iconic music videos, her egotism, her age-defying yoga/dance moves, her glamour and her wicked, gap-toothed smile. As a performer, I’ve never felt robbed of the hundreds of dollars I’ve paid to see her live. She’s worth it. I cried watching her at Halftime during the Super Bowl. There is some pressure point she can hit on my body when she sings “Like a Prayer” and I’m become a blubbery, nonsensical fan.

I don’t care that she has scary arms and made that kind of offensive movie. I will Netflix "W.E." even if it’s bad/sloppy. It doesn’t bother me that she lip synched most of her Super Bowl performance; she was dancing her ass off and she sang live when it counted (See above: LIKE A PRAYER).

Maybe what I love the most about Madonna is for that what she is most criticized; she’s a total poseur. She’s from Michigan! Michigannnnn. And yet, she finds out what the latest dance craze/fashion craze/ethnicity to emulate is and gloms on ("La Isla Bonita" was her Spanish phase, "Ray of Light" was whatever that was, etc.). It's a talent in itself!

This does nothing but make admire her all the more. She is an oppportunist, but I also think it's a way of constantly adapting for her audience. And really, how can you stay the biggest living pop star if not by doggedly clinging to youth with your talons and molding to the changing culture? All you can do is marvel at her longevity and ambition.

Yep, that's a Hard Candy hoodie.

And at almost 54, she’s embarking on her ninth (and biggest and most expensive) concert tour to promote her new album, “MDNA.” And you know what, guys? It’s a return to form.

Her best album for me has always been three way tie between “True Blue,” “Like a Prayer,” and “Ray of Light.” There have been some albums I’d rather forget, of course: “American Life”, “Hard Candy” and “Bedtime Stories,” you’re not that good. That latte rap in “American Life” makes me shudder.

That said, “MDNA” is a good dance album that bears repeat listens. See below for my recommendations for tracks to ignore and tracks to acquire.

Happy “MDNA” listening!

1. Girl Gone Wild (Bump it)Hip, Euro club vibe. Catchy hook. Very Rihanna-esque; you’ll be hearing this at every Vegas poolside, this Spring/Summer.

2. Gang Bang (Ignore)This one is kind of a throw back to her “Erotica” days and I might like it if she didn’t start screaming “NOW DRIVE BITCH” over and over at the end. Just a wee bit too much for me.

3. I’m Addicted (Bump it)Such a good beat and so damn catchy…and chanting MDNA over and over. God, I love her. Very “Ray of Light”-era Madonna meets Trance.

4. Turn Up the Radio (Bump it)Fun, bubble gum pop song. Good for the treadmill. Again, channeling her “Ray of Light” vibe and I dig it.

5. Give Me All Your Luvin (Bump it)Unabashedly catchy and already sounds like a song they use in a car commercial. Best part of the song for me is M.I.A. three second rap, but I defy you not to sing along.

6. Some Girls (Bump it)Favorite song on the album. I can’t wait to see what she does with this one live.

7. Superstar (Ignore)I asumme this one is written for her new boyfriend. The lyrics are sooooooo dumb, even by Madonna standards. She compares him to Abe Lincoln, Al Capone and Caesar. I feel like she phoned this one in a little.

8. I Don’t Give A (Ignore)Madonna raps. I can’t. I just can’t. I’m only human. Nikki Minaj can’t save it. To be fair, the rapping is a laundry list of no-no Guy Ritchie things and her new life…so I guess listen to it once.

9. I’m a Sinner (Ignore)Love her as I do, I want her to stop with the constant likening of herself to saints. I swear she just does it for headlines when she plays in Rome. This song’s lyrics puts her in league with Jesus, St. Anthony, St. Christopher, St. Sebastian and Thomas Aquinas…oy.

10. Love Spent (Bump It)Madonna realllllly wishes she and Guy Ritchie had gotten a pre-nup.11. Masterpiece (Bump It)She won a Golden Globe for this one; off the movie soundtrack for “W.E.” It’s very “Evita” meets “La Isla Bonita” and I dig it. And I can’t tell you why it hurts so much to be in love with a masterpiece, guys.12. Falling Free (Ignore)This song just misses the boat of being a very pretty ballad. It’s hard to listen to more than once because it sounds like she’s crying at the end. And much like I burst into tears when she cried in concert singing “You Must Love Me,” it’s a little too naked.