Madonna news - April 2010

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Glee chart success stimulates Madonna to make new music

Source: Madonna - 30 April 2010

Madonna reacted to the chart success of the Glee soundtrack, saying "I'm thrilled to be Number One. It's such an honor. It makes me want to go back into the studio and write more songs!" Good girl!

Sorry mum: Funky Lourdes ignores Madonna's conservative styling advice

Source: Hello Magazine - 29 April 2010

Just last month Madonna revealed her wish for daughter Lourdes to dress more conservatively.

But the strong-willed 13-year-old clearly has no intention of taking styling tip from her famous mum.

Madonna and Lourdes at the second annual Bent On Learning benefit

With her ripped tights, clumpy boots and biker jacket, Lourdes - who has recently enrolled in acting school - looked anything but conservative.

But her funky outfit could easily have been lifted from her mum's Eighties wardrobe.

Madonna - elegant in a black trench coat with puffball shoulders - and her daughter were both guests at the second annual Bent On Learning benefit.

Madonna and Lourdes at the second annual Bent On Learning benefit

The charity offers instruction in yoga and meditation to young people in New York City as a means of reducing stress and improving concentration, self-esteem and overall health.

It's obviously a cause that's close to Madonna's heart. She maintains her impressive physique with the help of yoga, and has been a self-confessed addict of the Ashtanta discipline ever since Sting invited her to sit in on a session with him.

Madonna and Lourdes at the second annual Bent On Learning benefit

The singer also credits yoga with giving her a healthy mind and soul. "I remember that I couldn't sit still for a second. I was always on the move. I was often pretty aggressive, wild and unpredictable, but all that's changed," she said.

Other yoga-loving stars at the event included Madonna's pal Gywneth Paltrow - fresh from the Iron Man 2 premiere - and Heather Graham.

Glee puts Madonna back on Billboard

Source: Billboard - 28 April 2010

The "Glee"/Madonna celebration is in full swing on the Billboard 200 albums chart, where "The Power of Madonna" soundtrack to last week's Queen of Pop-themed show debuts at No. 1 with 98,000 copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The soundtrack of 'Glee: The Power of Madonna'

Additionally, the "Glee" cast's version of Madonna's 1989 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit Like A Prayer was the biggest selling individual track from the show last week, debuting at No. 10 on the Digital Songs chart with 87,000 downloads sold. Like A Prayer will debut at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart tomorrow when it's unveiled on

But the party also extends to the diva's own catalog of her original recordings as well. For example, her appropriately titled Celebration greatest hits album re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 85 with 6,000 (up 219%). That's the package's best sales week since Christmas. (In the show last week, "Glee" character Sue Sylvester gave the title some ridiculous product placement when she held the CD in her hand during an appeal to have Madonna's music blasted through the school's intercom.)

All told, Madonna's catalog of albums saw a 44% jump in sales, selling 17,000 this past week (up from 12,000).

Her digital song download tally this week also got a big bump. Her total track sales totaled 108,000 for the week ‹ up 169% compared to the week previous (40,000). Her two biggest-selling songs of the week were 4 Minutes and Like A Prayer (each selling 12,000 with gains of 183% and 267%, respectively).

Glee: Madonna sequel in the works?

Source: - 23 April 2010

Glee is heading back into the groove with Madonna. The afterglow from last night's smashing (and highly rated) Madge-themed episode has barely dimmed and already series creator Ryan Murphy is talking to the Material Girl about a sequel!

Glee Madonna

Murphy confirms that he's in discussions with M's camp and that "Madonna and her people are into it and want it to happen." The follow-up would air early next season and feature six more songs from the pop icon's immense catalog of hits. (There's talk that fans might be able to vote on which tracks should be used via a poll on

The Glee-Madonna marriage has already reaped huge dividends for both the show and the star. Tuesday's episode attracted a potent 13.5 million viewers, down just 5 percent from last week's record-setting spring premiere. Additionally, the soundtrack from the ep is currently No. 1 on iTunes, and two of the singles are in the top 20.
The power of Madonna indeed.

Is Glee smart to stay in business with Madge?
And which hit should Sue tackle next? Human Nature perhaps?
Discuss on Facebook

Glee dedicates full episode to Madonna

Source: Puggal - 21 April 2010

Glee is a musical comedy drama and is a very popular show. After a long break it returned on the TV in the early summer. The latest episode has become one of the most watched episodes ever. The latest episode is a tribute to the singer Madonna. She is the diva who has captured the hearts of millions of people from decades. The latest episode was named as 'Glee: The Music, The Power Of Madonna.'

Some of the most famous songs from the Madonna's catalog were featured in the show. The songs that were featured on the show were Like A Prayer, Like A Virgin, What It Feels Like For A Girl, Open Your Heart [as a medley with Borderline], Express Yourself and the last one that was most liked and enjoyed by the audience was Vogue, the version by Sue Sylvester being simply awesome. The cast gave a strong performance on the song Like A Virgin on Glee's 'Power of Madonna'.

That was totally Madonna based episode. Huge ratings were given to the show by the audience and camera got the moments of all the cast members equally. That was considered as the best episode ever aired in the show. The audience praised the episode and performance of the cast especially their costumes. The choreography was mind blowing. Before their performance it was thought that the cast would find it difficult for them to perform on it but soon they showed that they were able to give such a high rating performance.

Some of the audiences were disappointed when they came to know that the episode was a tribute to the Madonna and her famous tracks of Confessions On A Dance Floor were not included in the episode but their disappointment soon washed away upon seeing the episode and performances. The only flaw that was seemed in the episode was too much of background music otherwise the episode was flawless.

~ The various Madonna songs performed by the Glee cast are already riding high the US iTunes charts. You can buy the 7-track EP with the songs at

Madonna gears up for Dolce and Gabbana campaign

Source: 3News - 21 April 2010

Madonna is reportedly set to star in another campaign for Dolce and Gabbana.

The 51-year-old singer appeared in a stunning series of adverts for the Italian designers last year and it is thought she will be the face of their autumn/winter 2010 womenswear range.

Madonna modelling Dolce & Gabbana eyewear

The duo - who are good friends with Madonna - are currently in New York filming their new menswear campaign at Mulberry Street Bar and the 'Material Girl' hitmaker was spotted very near the venue.

It has also been reported Madonna's favourite photographer, Steven Klein, will be shooting in very same Manhattan area over the next few days for the designers.

If the rumours are true it will be the latest collaboration between the star and the fashion house.

As well as appearing in last year's campaign, it was recently revealed she is to design a collection of sunglasses which bear the letter 'M' on the arm.

Gabbana said: "We're so excited. This further strengthens our relationship with Madonna, and it was a very constructive experience for us. She is very exacting and a professional who seeks perfection in everything she does, and this was no exception."

Madonna will also star in the advertising images for the eyewear line, which were shot by Klein and will be released next month to coincide with the launch.

Blogcritics review of Sticky & Sweet CD/DVD

Source: - 18 April 2010

Madonna has reached a career apex where she's not so much a longstanding artist, but a living legend. This doesn't guarantee an all-out commercial takeover for each project she releases, but it does speak to the sheer quality of her body of work: the product sells itself without flashy marketing.

Performing Borderline in Atlantic City

The Sticky & Sweet Tour comprises three hours (two on DVD, one on CD) from a 2008 Buenos Aires concert. The CD component is a given pleaser for longtime fans. It's the DVD, however, that's the universal draw. Spanning the breadth of her musical output from 1983's Borderline through 2008's 4 Minutes, the show accomplishes a remarkable feat not only in its ability to survey an exciting array of music genres — but also in the infinite spectacle of stage antics, choreography, and fashions that have made M such a long-lasting force. At the same time, the foundation is planted firmly in distinctively contemporary, highly enduring technique.

Indeed, very few artists these days have the luxury to produce a live show of such massive proportions. Over the course of two full, uninterrupted hours comes an abundance of grandiose sets and effects; a voluminous line-up of dancers; precisely engineered sound and sequence; and sharply produced, celebrity-studded video clips.

Performing Devil Wouldn't Recognize You in Paris

When M opens the show with Candy Shop seated on a throne that's perched atop a silver stairway, one might be inclined to think the Queen of Pop has bitten off more than she can chew. Certainly, the first few notes out of her robust 5'4" frame sound shaky and timid. Yet, as the determined audience's cheers mesh with the spectacle of candy-colored lights, she wastes no time picking up momentum. Once she reaches Destination: Center Stage, the "Sweet Machine" can run full-throttle, with agile dance moves and spirited interplay churning out plentiful helpings of sticky rhythm and grooves.

Vogue 2008 sets the 1990 classic to the Timbaland production of 4 Minutes, transforming it from a house-driven workout to a minimalist, hip-pop jam. Followed contrastingly by a retrofied update of Into The Groove, the scene changes from mechanical futurism to a vibrant, Keith Haring-designed backdrop — over which the 50-years-young performer seamlessly twists and writhes around moving fixtures before double-dutch jumproping in time to the song's breakdown.

During the second half of the concert, La M delves into her ballad side — as well as her flair for international influences — more smoothly than usual. Where past tours saw her make a strained effort to be serious with slower songs, Sticky & Sweet finds her in a much more becoming, relaxed mode as she delivers the plaintive Devil Wouldn't Recognize You and Don't Cry for Me Argentina, on which she's joined by several acoustic guitarists, an accordion player, and violinist. Meanwhile, the entire dance troupe is flanked by traditional folk musicians on a festive, multiculti update of the originally understated La Isla Bonita.

Performing Heartbeat in Paris

Only a couple disappointing moments surface in the show, as far as musical arrangements are concerned. The faux Grunge-rock interpretation of Borderline strips the tune of its uncomplicated beauty and replaces it with a monotonous drivel of guitars, to which M adds one of several jarring, random screams of “Motherfucker!” Elsewhere, her '90s proclamation of self-assurance, Human Nature, is given a talkbox-driven funk treatment. This itself isn't such a bad idea; but its placement in the show is noticeably anti-climactic, and the vocal delivery is feeble.

The confident lyrics and engaging musical structure of Heartbeat and She's Not Me, both from the Hard Candy album, best encapsulate the energetic flavor of the experience. As M aggressively interacts with a handful of clones adorning the stage, the latter number's message that "She doesn't have my name, she'll never have what I have," truly comes to life.

30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the tour is also included. This is more in-depth than similar video found on The Confessions Tour DVD. Still, its lack of in-depth scenes from any single aspect of the experience leaves a feeling of detachment. Unquestionably, it's Madonna and company's actual show — the entire spectacle of song, dance, style, and attitude — that make the Sticky & Sweet Tour an invigorating and highly memorable happening.

'Glee' devotes an entire hour to "The Power Of Madonna"

Source: - 15 April 2010

GLEE, the No. 1 new scripted series of the season, pays homage to Madonna and the power of her music with a full episode devoted to one of the most revered and iconic musicians of this generation. The sure-to-be-fan-favorite installment of television's most-loved new series will air in its regular time period Tuesday, April 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Sue Sylvester imitates the famous Vogue video

In "The Power of Madonna" episode, MR. SCHUESTER (Matthew Morrison) is concerned that the girls in the glee club are being disrespected and bullied by the male members. Looking to Madonna and her musical message of equality as inspiration, he challenges the entire team to choose Madonna songs as their next assignment in the hopes that the girls embrace Madonna's strength, independence and confidence so that the guys will see the errors of their misogynistic ways.

The glee club takes the assignment to heart and performs some of Madonna's greatest hits, including "Express Yourself" and "Like a Prayer." Meanwhile, KURT (Chris Colfer) and MERCEDES (Amber Riley) give SUE (Jane Lynch) a vote of confidence with a Madonna makeover that is definitely in "Vogue."

Madonna commenting on the episode said, "I think Mr. Schuester is very cute, and I'm glad he's doing such a good job empowering all the girls."

"This episode is our love letter to Madonna, an artist who has inspired me all my life. The hardest part was having to choose which songs to include from her incredible catalogue, as there were so many we wanted to do," said GLEE executive producer and co-creator Ryan Murphy. "We send her our thanks for her generosity with her music."

If you missed last night's Chevy-sponsored world premiere of Sue Sylvester's version of Vogue, which will appear as part of the Madonna-themed episode, watch it now at and GLEE's "Vogue" features Sue, Kurt and Mercedes in an homage to Madonna with a brilliant re-creation of the groundbreaking music video.

The soundtrack from "The Power of Madonna" episode will be available in stores the same day it airs, Tuesday, April 20. The album features GLEE's distinctive and unique take on such classics as Like A Virgin, Express Yourself, Vogue, 4 Minutes and more.

Last night's spring premiere of GLEE posted a 5.6 rating among Adults 18-49 and achieved its highest-rated telecast to date among all key demos. GLEE is the No. 1 new series of the season among Adults 18-34 and last night's telecast was the highest rated of any new scripted show this season among Adults 18-49.

Guy Oseary: "No Boom, no new music recorded yet"

14 April 2010

Madonna's manager Guy Oseary has denied recent rumours about the existence of a David Guetta produced song, titled 'BOOM'. Earlier today, he posted on his Twitter account: "no new song.. we haven't recorded any new music with anyone... yet..".

In that case, it will be very unlikely to see any new Madonna music this summer, or even this year... What are your thoughts? Discuss in our Facebook group.

Sticky & Sweet Tour is Madonna's 19th US Top 10 album

Source: - 14 April 2010

The second and final debut in the top 10 belongs to Madonna at No. 10 with Sticky & Sweet Tour (28,000). It's the Queen of Pop's 19th top 10 set and her third live release.

Sticky & Sweet Tour CD/DVD

With 19 top 10 albums, the star ties with Bob Dylan for sixth place among acts with the most top 10s in the chart's 54-year history. Ahead of them are the Rolling Stones (with 36), Frank Sinatra (33), the Beatles and Barbra Streisand (30) and Elvis Presley (27).

~ It's Madonna's first live release to enter the US top 10. The CD/DVD set failed to crack the top 10 in the UK earlier this month, only reaching #17 there.

20 Years of Blond Ambition

13 April 2010

Come on girls, do you believe in love? Twenty years ago on this day, April 13th, 1990, Madonna kicked off her most famous live trek. Arguably one of her greatest achievements, Blond Ambition Tour serves not only the template for Madonna's live career, but also live performance in general for any mainstream artist. Madonna was the first female pop act to do the controversial mixture of sacred and profane, the catholic religion and sex.

Of course most infamous is the Middle-Eastern tingled Like A Virgin rendition where Madonna, in one of her trademark corsets masturbated on a red velvet bed, immediately followed by the fervor-driven Like A Prayer in the church setting.

20 Years Blond Ambition Tour

The show is also famous for introducing the 4-segment structure, a method Madonna has been following ever since. The groundbreaking costumes were designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier who would later on reprise the tour costume designer role several times.

While the tour itself was far from perfect, marred with several cancellations in the US due to Madonna's throat problems and some bad ticket sales in Europe, not to mention the opening of the tour in Japan where rain was pouring, it still remains Madonna's most celebrated era by both fans and critics, and its themes are still referenced by other acts up to today.

To celebrate the anniversary, we've launched a revamped Blond Ambition Tour page, check it out!

David Guetta was scared to work with Madonna

Source: ContactMusic - 12 April 2010

French DJ David Guetta was terrified of working with pop legend Madonna - because he had heard so many stories of her alleged difficult behaviour.

The Queen of Pop convinced the beatmaker to work on her upcoming record, after his work with Kelly Rowland and Akon made him famous outside Europe.

David Guetta

Guetta admits he was apprehensive about hitting the recording studio with the singer - but was stunned by her friendly nature. He tells Britain's News of the World, "Madonna really is the sweetest person.

"I was totally paranoid before I met her because of all the stuff that everyone says but she is really very normal. We spoke about life, love and our children. I was completely seduced."

Madonna lays first brick of her Malawi school

Source: AFP - 7 April 2010

US pop star Madonna on Tuesday laid the first brick at the $15 million (11 million euro) girls' academy that she is building in Malawi, promising to bring quality education to young girls.

The singer and actress laid a stone with an inscription "Raising Malawi Academy for Girls" and the motto, Dare to Dream.

Madonna poses with her Malawian team

"It has always been my dream to train women leaders who can help develop the country," Madonna said during the event.

The colourful ceremony in Chinkhota village, some 15km (nine miles) from the capital Lilongwe, was attended by education officials and curious villagers.

Madonna poses with her Malawian team

"I grew up as a poor girl with my mother, I had no chance for good education," Madonna said. "It is my aim to see Malawian girls get the right education," she added.

The pop star was accompanied by her biological daughter Lourdes and her two other children, whom she adopted in Malawi. Madonna, who funds several initiatives in the southern African country, broke ground and planted a tree in October last year for the school, which will admit 500 girls from poor backgrounds. The school is modelled on a similar academy in South Africa, which was built by US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Madonna lays first brick of her Malawi school

The iconic singer, who is known for her dramatic music performances and occasional films, arrived in the impoverished southern African country on Monday, telling reporters: "It's good to be back in my adopted country".

Education Minister George Chaponda lauded Madonna's education project. "There is continued cooperation between the government and Madonna's charity, which is involved in several initiatives to help end poverty," said Chaponda. Construction of the academy was delayed over a dispute between her charity and some 200 villagers who claimed they were not adequately compensated for the land used to build the school.

Madonna and Lola in Malawi

The government forcibly removed the villagers, who were paid $500,000 in compensation by Madonna's charity Raising Malawi. She has already built a multi-purpose community centre at Mphandula village, 50km (30 miles) from Lilongwe, which looks after more than 8,000 orphans from scores of villages in the area.

In 2006, the chart-topping musician adopted a baby boy, David Banda, who is now four years old. In April 2009, she came back into the country to file for the adoption of Mercy James, who was placed at an orphanage following the death of her mother. The controversial adoption of Mercy was initially denied but later allowed following an appeal.

Madonna and Mercy in Malawi

A man claiming to be the girl's father threatened to block the adoption, claiming that he was not consulted by the singer. The case also raised the ire of child activists who accused Madonna of flouting the country's adoption laws. Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations, with more than half of the population of 13 million living on less than $1 a day.

Madonna and school kids in Malawi

National Post review of Sticky & Sweet CD/DVD

Source: National Post - 6 April 2010

Madonna doesn't speak with a British accent on her new live CD and DVD. Instead, the 52-year-old pop music icon from Michigan wields a guitar on nearly half of the 26 records and turns songs like Borderline and Ray Of Light into singles which could've been cut by Joan Jett.

The effect, like nearly everything else gathered on this scrapbook from the highest-grossing concert tour ever performed by a solo artist, is electric and winning, a rockstar's return to grace.

Performing Hung Up in Cardiff

There's no Lady Gaga without Madonna and, for that matter, considering her prominence during the MTV-era, no worldwide devotion to Michael Jackson, George Michael or U2. But hitting the road in support of Hard Candy, Madonna's eleventh solo album, the performer's not resting on her laurels, she's celebrating them – and the result is a blast.

Of course, anything Madonna does is as much a visual production as anything audio and there's as many costume changes as musicians onstage. Designers from Karl Lagerfeld to Kangol are referenced, but the music never takes a backseat. Hot stepping with plenty of attitude and rarely covering up very much thigh, Madonna's yogacized, political and auto-tuned on this record, whether striking a pose in a white top hat or flashing her name on the inside of a vest.

Many songs, like Die Another Day, 4 Minutes and La Isla Bonita, are re-imagined as parts of larger medleys, with Madonna giving shout-outs to her influences. The set's highlight is Into the Groove 2008, which features the singer playing double-dutch jump rope before a series of Keith Haring paintings and referencing classic hip-hop records like Jam On It, Apache and It's Like That by Run-DMC.

The record was recorded in December 2008 in Buenos Aires and thus the Andrew Lloyd-Webber songs from Evita receive cut-away shots of people crying in the stands. (Madonna hadn't performed in Argentina in 13 years and, as the making-of DVD helpfully explains, people slept outside the venue to buy seats).

Performing Into The Groove in Paris

Guests pop up on the record, including Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, and one quibble with the DVD is that they only appear on the video screens. Since the stars all took the stage at various points of the tour (which was seen live by more than 3-million people and reached over US$400-million in sales), why not include those performances here?

Certainly, Madonna wasn't afraid of being upstaged. Whether she's performing the techno version of Like A Prayer or referencing Abba at the show's climax in Hung Up, the singer looks and sounds as good as she did when Live A Virgin first made her a star.

OK: there are some bits which are a little embarrassing. It's like watching your mom make a porno when she's overly sexual during the film's opening and it's a little cringe-inducing hearing her drop f-bombs. But Sticky & Sweet is a document of a woman in her 50s who only started peaking after most people thought she was through.

Madonna doesn't speak with a British accent on her new record. But even if she did, it wouldn't really have mattered: most of the time, the stage banter is drowned out by the crowd's roar.

Madonna visits Malawi for a charity tour

Source: AP - 5 April 2010

Madonna has arrived in Malawi ahead of her weeklong charity tour.

According to an official program released by the pop star's charity, Raising Malawi, Madonna is scheduled Monday to visit the Millennium Village, a United Nations initiative in the central border district west of Lilongwe.

Madonna and her daughters in Malawi

Madonna will be joined by economist Jeffrey Sachs, a development affairs expert and mentor of the initiative. On Tuesday, she will lay the first brick of her Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, signaling the official commencement of construction of the $15 million academy, set to open in 2011.

Madonna has pumped millions into this impoverished southern African country and become very active in charitable efforts; she has also adopted two children from Malawi.

Madonna and her daughters in Malawi Madonna and her daughters in Malawi Madonna and her daughters in Malawi Madonna and her daughters in Malawi Madonna and her daughters in Malawi

Madonna 'most played' artist of decade

Source: BBC - 5 April 2010

Madonna was the most played artist of the last decade in the UK, according to music licensing body PPL. The singer, 51, who had her first UK hit with Holiday in 1984, beat The Beatles into second place and Robbie Williams into third. Queen were fourth and Take That were fifth in the chart compiled for BBC Radio 2.
It was based on plays - between 2000 and 2009 - on TV, radio and in public places including pubs, clubs and shops. PPL collects royalties for sound recordings. Madonna was the only female solo singer to make the top 10.

Girl band Sugababes, meanwhile, who entered the UK charts for the first time in 2000 with Overload, were the only act in the top 10 who emerged within the decade being scrutinised. The chart was revealed on Radio 2 show People's Artist Chart, presented by comedian Patrick Kielty.

In December, PPL announced that Snow Patrol song Chasing Cars was the most widely-played song of the decade. Last year, another chart compiled for Radio 2 - also by PPL - found that Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale was the most played song in public places in the previous 75 years. The song, which features a distinctive organ riff, stayed at number one for six weeks in the UK in the summer of 1967.

1. Madonna
2. The Beatles
3. Robbie Williams
4. Queen
5. Take That
6. Sugababes
7. Elton John
8. Elvis Presley
9. Abba
10. Coldplay

Madonna to release summer single BOOM? *rumour*

3 April 201

Rumours are swirling that Madonna and David Guetta have finished a dance song titled BOOM, which would be released in the summer of 2010. According to iLeaks, there are three things you need to know about Madonna's "Boom":
1. The title speaks it all! It’s explosive.
2. If you think "When Love Takes Over", "I Gotta Feeling" or "Sexy Bitch" were Guetta's peak, think twice after hearing this track.
3. The summer anthem is here.
That's all we know for now and nothing's confirmed yet but stay tuned!

Madonna's former manager Caresse Henry dies

Source: ContactMusic - 2 April 2010

Madonna's former manager of seven years, Caresse Henry, has died in an apparent suicide, according to U.S. reports.

Singer Jimmy Demers, who was also managed by Henry, announced the news on Friday (2 Apr 10) in an article on the Huffington Post website.

Madonna and Caresse on the set of the Die Another Day video

Demers revealed he planned to spend Easter Sunday with Henry, but discovered through an email on 1 April (10) that she had taken her own life.

Further details regarding the death had not been released as WENN went to press.

Henry managed Madonna's career from 1997-2004 and played a role in the production of a number of her albums including Ray Of Light and Music.

She also once served as Madonna's personal assistant.

Digital Spy review of Sticky & Sweet CD/DVD

Source :Digital Spy - 2 April 2010

Another Madonna tour, another live CD/DVD package on the shelves. Following the groove set by I'm Going To Tell You A Secret (from the American Life-pimping Re-Invention tour) and The Confessions Tour (unsurprisingly showcasing tracks from her Confessions On A Dance Floor record), it's abundantly clear that Madonna is yet again set on spotlighting the here-and-now.

Sticky & Sweet Tour CD/DVD

Well, the Argentina and two-years-ago anyway - with the setlist from these December '08 gigs naturally heavy on tracks from that year's Hard Candy LP. To be fair, the DVD offers a fair sprinkling of career-spanning delights, from the ridiculous (a Ciccone-guitar-wielding Borderline and skipping rope/pole-dancing take on Into The Groove) to the, well, even more ridiculous (the kabuki dancing Rain / 'Here Comes The Rain Again' mash-up).

Like Take That's Greatest Day disc, though, over half of the CD edit comprises songs from her then-album du jour. Still, Madoonna storms through the set with plenty of gusto, and the running order hangs together remarkably well considering it's effectively a cut-and-paste job from a much larger whole.

The whole thing is a riot, with both the band and crowd nice and loud in the mix and Madonna's ad-libs raising smiles and eyebrows frequently. "F**k the rain!" she implores before a wonderfully sweary Human Nature. However, she tops that with the intro to the Single White Female-powered She's Not Me. "Ladies. Have you ever had a best friend that wanted to do everything you wanted to do? Including f**k your boyfriend?" Blimey!

Performing She's Not Me in NYC

Some of the arrangements are pretty fun, especially Music 2008, whose Fedde Le Grand/Indeep samples bestow the sense of modernity the original swung for and missed. Others are a bit of a mess. La Isla Bonita goes for copla/pop crossover but ends up coming off too throwaway. The singing is fine all over the record - she's never been Whitney Houston, but she's in tune and always distinctive - and that's especially true on surprisingly affecting renditions of Devil Wouldn't Recognize You and You Must Love Me.

However, all too often Madonna herself is lost in the swamp of fiddly over-arrangements, samples (of herself and others) and entirely inappropriate vocal FX. Overall, and despite its considerable enjoyment factor, it doesn't have the same exquisite loveliness of something as well-constructed as Kylie's Live In New York document from last year.

Madonna's desire to push forward and resist resting on her considerable laurels is to be applauded - there comes a time when an artist has to leave behind the fans who can't keep up. Hell, as long ago as 1992 one Mr Blue was moved to say of the superstar: "I like her early stuff. You know, Lucky Star, Borderline... but once she got into her Papa Don't Preach phase, I don't know, I tuned out." The only problem is that while they definitely have their moments, her last few outings have sent an increasing number the same way as our Reservoir Dogs gangster.

Despite its absurd charm, this CD won't provoke the rediscovery of Hard Candy that it seems to nudge towards. That said, it's still an entertaining blast from start to finish. And with the DVD record of her outstandingly outlandish tour bundled in, this is definitely worth the entry price for anyone who still has even half an interest in the Queen Mum of Pop. (3 out of 5 stars)

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