First I should say that I don’t do reviews of albums here, and if I did. I would review albums I like. After all this blog is supposed to be about the things that bring me joy. But sometimes we need to see the dark to remember what light is. Well, I doubt that, but it sounds wise, doesn’t it? In any case, Madonna had a big influence on me, and I have to agree with someone who said that she hasn’t done anything really spectacular since “Ray of Light.” But who am I to criticize, right? I’m a poet, not a musician, not even a song writer. But it is precisely because she is so amazing that I am mourning just a little over what she has recently produced. She seems to have been petty and negative about new comers like Lady Ga Ga, who really are not competition to her at all. In fact Ga Ga has been nothing but gracious and grateful in her statements about Madonna’s influence on her. It’s a shame that the legend from my youth could not have been the better woman, or at least as good and gracious about those whom she sees as a threat to her legacy, something that was never ever in danger of being damaged, except maybe now by Madonna herself.
So here goes. Hold the fruit throwing until after you have read what I have to say. Or not. Your call.
As a former fan of Madonna’s, I’ve just got to say that her new single is “F*****D Up.” No, literally it is. Listen to the lyrics of verse two. This song is a limp, wet biscuit in comparison to the meaty good meal that is “Little Lion Man.” You can’t just throw the F word in and expect the song to blow my mind. The song’s got no ammo to back it up. Granted, the tune is catchy, and her vocals are excellent as usual, but that’s just using a high tech laser to dig holes for porta-potties.
So let’s see, the other songs released so far were a “Masterpiece” that wasn’t, a fun, but narcissistic ditty reminding me that I should LUV her, and a rambling drab tune that takes its title from a mainstream soft porn video series. And speaking of porn, why do they all (except Lady Ga Ga) feel that they need the help of Nicki Manaj’s woo hoo to sell their music now? As someone dear to me said earlier today, if you put any of these recently released songs up against “Live to Tell,” and played them for someone who (if you can imagine) never heard Madonna before, that person would probably think that these recent songs were from her wild youth, and the old song was a more recent work of depth, maturity and growth, the new ones fun little ditties, but the old one a true work of art.
It’s not that I am apposed to light-hearted songs done for the sheer fun of it. But “Vogue,” and even “Material Girl” back in the day were fantastically clever, witty and lost no artistic points for their party power. But these new songs by comparison just feel lifeless, soulless, and without humor, despite her undeniable excellence as the singer and performer. The Super Bowl performance was flawless, but I guess I expected something gut punch good out of her as well. I’m just not feeling it.
It seems to me that this 53 year old legend has degenerated to pandering to the vapid tastes, and empty heads of the teenage girls of MTV, instead of producing amazing music worthy of her talent. Fans from my generation were hoping for something real from her at this stage. I’m so disappointed that she felt she had to compete with Katie, Christina and Ga Ga. Why couldn’t she remain True Blue and Express HERself, instead of her insecurity and fear of losing what was, up til now, an unlose-able crown. In my mind that Lucky Star has fizzled out. And I am so seriously sad about that.
I thank whatever muses that be that there are still artists out there who are producing quality music instead of formulaic commercialism that so many of our former heroes have sold their souls for. Goodbye, Madonna. I’m not staying for the rest of the show.