EARLY ONE MORNING THE SUN WAS SHINING AND SHE WAS LYING IN BED, WONDERING WHY HE HAD HER CASH AND IF HER HAIR WAS STILL RED. AN IDEA FOR A SONG BUBBLED, AND SHE WASN’T SURE IF THIS ONE SHOULD BE ABOUT HEARTBREAK, REVENGE OR THE OLD GET-INTO-THE-GROOVE THING. AND THEN – LIGHT BULB! – WHY NOT MULTITASK IT? THAT WAS HER THERAPY, AFTER ALL. FAILURE? NOT AN OPTION. RESISTANCE TO HER WILL? FUTILE. THE HUSBAND WHO WAS NO LONGER THERE? WELL, IT WAS NICE SOMETIMES TO IMAGINE HIS HEAD POPPING LIKE A MELON. TILL DEATH AND ALL THAT. NOW – WHERE DID SHE PUT HER PHONE? -JOE LEVY, ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE –
Many have asked the question if she still has it. If in an era that is lead by R&B stars such as Rihanna and Beyonce or a cycle that is colored by extremity in the person of Lady Gaga, Madonna could still swing her sceptre and claim her throne. After all it has already been 4 years since she released her Hard Candy album and since then has not done that much. Let me correct that. She has done a lot. She made a movie, adopted children and got a divorce. But there was very little music.
Madonna has made albums that were revolutionary and extremely successful, such as Like a Prayer, Ray of Light and Confessions on a Dancefloor, and than she made a couple that were good tries. American Life and Music come to mind. Her music and her performances – yes, her personality and amazing ability to adapt herself and stay on top for more then 20 years already – have raised the bar of expectations when Madonna announced her 12th studio album. And now, one week after releasing MDNA, we can safely say the lady has delivered once again.
Madonna has never shied away from confrontations and revealing herself has always been a part of her art, and MDNA is hardly Madonna’s first album that is dark, messy and conflicted. So what makes MDNA so different from her earlier work. The answer is pretty clear. Just listen to the lyrics. Yes, MDNA is Madonna’s divorce album. Madonna has always been outspoken and personal, but for the first time she is explicit with her feelings. The result is a collection of 18 songs that have a certain raw edge to it and make MDNA Madonna’s most explicit album to date. Never before was she so detailed. Never before did she crow-wire exposure with pain.
It is not all heartache and bitterness. There are 7 songs that are clearly addressing her break up from Guy Richie and a few that have a nice hint to the divorce ("Wake up, ex-wife/This is your life." "I tried to be your wife/Diminished myself, I swallowed my light."), but there are also sweet lyrics referring to new love and of course no Madonna album can go without at least some sexual implications (“I want a diamond/Don't give me a fake/I'll let you lick the frosting off my cake”). And all that on hypnotizing beats signed off by William orbit (yes, the man responsible for Ray of Light) and newcomer Martin Solveig. Now let’s not make a mistake here. Madonna is still the Material Girl and this album is as commercial as it can be. But there is something remarkable about the fact she decided to open her heart and share her pain as she once shared her pleasures. It is an album about loss and sadness and that makes Madonna really one of us, doesn’t it. With MDNA Madonna doesn’t only straighten her crown and swings her sceptre, she also yields her sword and cuts her tieds with a painful period in her life. It wouldn’t be right to say she is back on top. She never really left, did she now? –BM-
MADONNA MDNA | BEAUTIFULMAG