When la “Material Girl” releases a new album there is so much hype around her, including the featured artists and tons of questions if it is still ok for a 50 year old music pop icon to act like she was forever 20!

We are going to leave all these questions to yellow press journalists and concentrate ourselves on her music. So here is my review of Madonna’s new album MDNA !

I will not review it chronologically but rather will put each track into three categories. Madonna asked French touch specialist Martin Solveig and well known producers William Orbit and Klas Åhlund and Benassi Brothers to help her a little bit in order to get some original new electro tunes. To make it directly clear, the bet is won but I don’t understand the choice to let Nicki Minaj drop some sassy rap flows in her tracks. Perhaps a pure marketing coup….

Another thing: keep your money and only buy the normal version. I’ve bought the deluxe version and only the LMFAO remix and Beautiful killer were worse…The four other songs were really filler songs without any potential.

If you are allergic to the Guetta electro pop soup blasted by your radio every day, this album won’t really please you. The first time when you listen to MDNA some parts really sounds like a copied Lady Gaga style (e.g. “Love Spent” has a curious “Telephone” starting sample). Perhaps it’s catched to far away, but sometimes you don’t know if you are listening to a Rihanna, Lady Gaga or Madonna.

“Must have on your iPod” – category

Gang bang: this track is really curious and weird. The lyrics and the topic (a killing) are not very joyful, but the track is divided in three parts with several tempos modifications and lot of background shooting and driving sounds.

I’m addicted: take some pure bass and combine it with some filter effects. The Benassi’s-touch is present in this whole track with some kind a . In the refrain part the track reminds me of the “Are you ready for this? – “Jock Jams” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ6CcEOmlYU)

Love Spent:  my favorite one with samples from “Hung Up” and a real deep electro part. You will certainly like this track especially if you enjoyed her “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album.

I’m a Sinner: it’s a really nice continuation of “Beautiful Stranger” (1999) ( for a short preview: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b0/Madonna_-_beautiful_stranger.ogg). Well composed track with the typical William Orbit style and a powerful 70’s touch. You can’t miss this reference. Seriously a one of the best tracks, in the pure Madonna style.

Some Girls: the first time I thought that the track is really too weird. But once the refrain turns in, I really appreciated it. A pure electro pop song with a lot of effects and a catchy rhythm. I think the sample used in the refrain is well-known but couldn’t recall from which artist (perhaps Bloodhound Gang?). Also loved the little interlude à la “Ray of light” (1997).

 

“Well not bad, eligible for my next party” – category

 

Give Me All Your Luvin’. Ok, ok it’s only in this category because you’ve heard it so many times.  It’s more a cheerleader song. The MIA and Nicki Minaj part are ridiculous and really doesn’t enhance the song. Sorry girls…. If you have bought the Deluxe version of MDNA you will find a more danceable LMFAO Party Mix of this track.

Beautiful killer : a good pop song with powerful strings.

Masterpiece: if you abstract from the lyrics you will recognize some “Love Profusion/American Life” influences in this track. The song itself is kinda mysterious and very sad punctuated by guitar riffs.

Falling free: a very slow song with the so distinguishable William Orbit ( “Strange Cargo”) style.

 

“Totally ridiculous, forget it” category:

 

Superstar: come on! this is a bad copy of Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette “Hello” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnET4RKXx5k) song: Madonna just placed new lyrics. If you like the cheerleader style (à la Avril Lavigne, you know what I mean 😉 ): this track is for you.

Turn up the Radio: a pure girly Solveig-esque song. Heard so many times will be forgotten once you will have switched to the next song.

I’ve fucked up: Madonna tries to “extract” us some tears with her sad love story: no thanks! The track is not very personal and completely “marketed”. If you are looking for a real personal story prefer “Mother and Father” on the “American Life” album. I’ve fucked up is really not sincere enough (how many times has Madonna written about this topic?… some kind of annoying!).

Girls Gone Bad: Oh come on, this is a “classical” electro pop song produced by the Benassi Brothers without any deepness and musical research. I cannot understand why this track was chosen for her second single; perhaps the title itself is enough to attract some listeners, I personally think this is one of the worst tracks of the album.

B-Day Song: Oh?! What’s this? This is the worst track of the MDNA Deluxe album. Madonna sings with MIA about her birthday in the cheerleader manner: the result is a badly mastered and poor lyrics loaded track… Feels like the two are just training an improvised song in front of Singstar!

Conclusion

MDNA is not a bad album, but if you are an electro-music fan I would rather advise you to listen to “American Life”. I also have a strange feeling that this album could be her last one because there are a lot of samples and references to past albums like “Ray of Light” and “Confessions on a Dance Floor”. MDNA is not jaw-dropping but rather tries to follow the commercial Lady Gaga trend than to establish a brand new musical direction and without any surprise.

Final note: