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?
Yup, MDNA is our lady's divorce album. Seven out of 16 songs address her split directly, and that's low-balling if you think the chick with "fake tits and a nasty mood" in Some Girls could be the lingerie model who became Guy Ritchie's new baby mama. Revealing herself has always been part of her art, and this is hardly her first album that's dark, messy and conflicted. But MDNA stands as Madonna's most explicit work. Only who would have expected her to be this explicit with her... feelings?
How explicit? "Wake up, ex-wife/This is your life." "I tried to be your wife/Diminished myself, I swallowed my light." "Lawyers/Suck it up/Didn't have a prenup." "Every man that walks through that door will be compared to you for evermore." She's been personal, but never this detailed before. In part, it's an old punk-rock impulse: Show the world no one can hurt you more than you hurt yourself. Except she has cross-wired exposure and pain, which gives this set of confessions their discomforting immediacy.
As the beats swirl, Madonna pursues release, vows to rise above and wishes things had turned out differently. She also sings about new love (fits like a glove), and asks for someone to lick the frosting off her cake on B-day Song. The music chases the latest articulations of club-land ecstasy, but often returns to the blend of synth-driven electro and Sixties-pop classicism she's staked out since Like A Prayer. Back after a 12-year layoff is William Orbit, who handles the most pained tracks (including Gang Bang, which bitch-slaps Ritchie's shoot-'em-up aesthetic with a nod to Kill Bill). New in town is Martin Solveig, the French producer behind the cheerleader fantasy of Give Me All Your Luvin' who is forced to curb his love of Prince, in service of sounding like William Orbit. Handling the big dance-floor tracks are Italian duo Benny and Alle Benassi, who put the empty boom of the club into songs like Girl Gone Wild.
Hooks emerge quickly; there's lots of naughtiness for the DJ to bring back, and the music has depth that rewards repeated listening. The first impression is a desperation most people will mistake for Madonna's old impulse for commercial connection. That's never far away, but this is something far more personal. There's something remarkable about Madonna's decision to share her suffering the way she once shared her pleasure. Her music has always been about liberation from oppression, but for the first time the oppression is internal: loss and sadness. Stars – they really are just like us. [3.5 out of 5 stars]
"If I see that bitch in hell/I want to see him die/Over and over/Over and over" Madonna deadpans on Gang Bang, the second track on this, her 12th album. The music is cold and minimal, recalling the grubby house beats of Erotica, and Madge bleats on like some antagonistic disco Fury driven to the edge by her thirst for vengeance. And gosh, it's thrilling stuff.
Our guess is that this slice of boldly crafted noir-house is the once-Mrs Ritchie addressing her divorce from Guy in blackly comic terms. (Is it a coincidence that the song's title sounds like a parody of one of the flicks in the mockney auteur's cinematic oeuvre? We think not.)
If Hard Candy was weary and unconvincing in its attempts to distract from the fact that her marriage was falling apart by using limp sweet metaphors and Justin Timberlake, MDNA is a riot of uncontrolled emotions.
It takes a Stanley knife to revenge, religion and disco. Musically, it's a sprawl through late-period Madonna, taking its touchstones from the last 15 years of her career. Re-teaming with William Orbit, producer of 1998's Ray Of Light, makes for cuts like I'm A Sinner, laying Middle Eastern vocal styles over some digitised psychedelia and adding a role call of Catholicism's biggest stars (St Christopher, Mary, St Sebastian). Love Spent broods like something you'd hear at '80s New York nightclub Danceteria – 'Dare'-era Human League, Soft Cell, etc – as Madonna whittles at the corpse of her marriage with a cold, Thatcherite sentiment ("Spend your love on me").
Best of the Orbit bunch, though, is closer Falling Free, an odd, elliptical synth ballad that swoons like the first half of her beloved ABBA's 'The Visitors (Crackin' Up)'. Swathes of keyboards conjoin, resulting in the most satisfyingly odd thing she's done since Mer Girl. These moments are so accomplished that they make dreck like Girl Gone Wild and Superstar sound better than they have any right to. Bang in the middle sit songs like Turn Up The Radio and Give Me All Your Luvin', continuing her career-spanning themes of getting into the groove, of uniting the bourgeoisie and rebelling.
Meanwhile, her relationship with Ritchie is addressed with a little more contrition on I Don't Give A. She sings "I tried to be your wife/ I diminished myself" over a trippy beat from Parisian electro producer Martin Solveig that sees Carly Simon's 'Why' distilled down to its hip-hop elements before gorging on a ridiculously opulent, cinematic close.
In the end, MDNA is a ridiculously enjoyable romp, but oddly not for the bits that are supposed to be fun. Instead, it's the psychotic, soul-bearing stuff that provides listeners with some of the most visceral stuff she's ever done. [7/10]
Madonna's cleavage is just too much for Disney-owned ABC.
The network says Madonna's ads for her Truth or Dare perfume are too racy to run and have insisted that shots of her breasts and behind be covered up. ABC execs ordered producers of the perfume ad to digitally alter offending shots of her body in the 30-second black-and-white ad, which leaked on the Internet yesterday and shows her cavorting in a low-cut corset and fishnet stockings, wearing a cross and singing over a dance beat, "I'm a bad girl."
A source told us: "ABC viewed the ad [and] came back with a list of changes. They say they want her bra digitally made bigger, and to extend higher to cover more of her chest, and her corset longer to cover more of her bottom. ABC also wants to cut another suggestive scene where Madonna writhes around."
Ironically, Madonna's team wanted the ads to run during the shows "GCB" and "Scandal." But even once the requested changes are made, ABC brass think Madonna's sexy black-and-white ad can only run after 9 p.m. — oddly with the exception of daytime show "The View" (perhaps because its viewers are unshockable).
Page Six earlier reported that Madonna's video for her new song, Girl Gone Wild, had to be re-edited after YouTube banned it from open view and slapped it with an "18 years and over" rating because of racy content. A second source confirmed to us, "ABC has requested some changes be made to the content of the Truth or Dare perfume commercial."
Madonna is selling her Beverly Hills home for $28 million.
The 'Girls Gone Wild' singer has put her French Country style mansion, purchased in 2003, on the market as a pocket listing according to blog realestalker, meaning it does not appear advertised in sales lists.
When Madonna bought the home in the upmarket Los Angeles area in 2003 it was registered as having three bedrooms and five bathrooms, but it is likely she has added to this.
Madonna is also said to have completely redecorated the 5,800 square foot property, which has 1.14 acres of land.
Other features include a tennis court and large swimming pool, and it is set at the end of a long, secluded drive.
Madonna bought the house when she was still married to her last husband, Guy Ritchie, and they paid around $12 million for it.
Madonna had relocated from London to New York - where she has $32.5million town house on the Upper East Side - after her divorce from Guy in 2008, but has recently spent a lot of time in England, making her directorial debut film, 'W.E.' where she admitted she felt lonely.
She said: 'When you move to a new country there's an anonymity; you can start all over again. That was refreshing when I moved to England, but then there's the feeling of being an outsider, of being lonely, of not having roots, of not quite being understood.'
It is believed Madonna is either moving out of Los Angeles or downsizing so she can spend more time on the US east coast.
When Madonna took the stage at February's Super Bowl, between all the colors, pom-poms and flashing lights, the 53-year old looked undeniably hot, something I feel 100% comfortable saying as a straight woman half her age. In the bar where I was watching the game, there was a hush as we watched her perform, gyrating onstage with MIA and Nikki Minaj. When it was over, there was a collective—and audible—whoa. Were we just turned on by a woman who could be our moms?
If then, definitely now. In Madge's latest video, Girl Gone Wild, from her new album MDNA, the first of a four-album deal with Interscope Records, she loses the cheerleader vibe and amps up the sex. We open on Madonna, reciting an Act of Contrition, before a cut to a man fellating a hand-gun. Her still-lithe figure is seen writhing on the walls as she sings, "I've got that burning hot desire." We're reminded of the Material Girl of more than 20 years ago, from the religious imagery of Like a Prayer to the bondage-kink of 1992's Erotica.
And just like that, Madonna reclaimed her title as the best "half naked exhibitionist diva in town," making Gaga's reign seem a mere blip. (Let's revisit Gaga after she's married, mothered her soccer team-sized family and is facing or passing menopause). But how, how, I ask, is a woman in midlife still making headlines for being the hottest thing in town? Is she the living, breathing embodiment of the Margaret Meade quote: "There is no greater power in the world than the zest of a post-menopausal woman."
Don't think of her as a 53-year old, Octagon First Call's David Schwab scolds me. "Madonna is Madonna." Like Marilyn Monroe, Schwab, who heads celebrity brand management for the entertainment and sports marketing firm, says Madonna is simply iconic. When we think of Monroe, she's in a white dress standing over a subway grate–no matter what period of her 30-year career we're discussing. Similarly, he says, "When we watch, buy, consume Madonna, we're consuming Madonna from the early ‘80s," a nubile and irreverent 20-something. A good girl gone bad.
By reminding us of her past in her newest offering—controversial music videos packed with religious imagery and explicit sexual content—Madge has us eating out of her well-played hand. "She's getting you and I to talk about her," Schwab reminds me when I question her ability to remain relevant."It's hard to get people to talk about artists, these days. Music right now is a really tough marketplace and here she is on the front page of newspapers at 53."
Still I can't help but view Madonna's success as against-all-odds. The multi-hyphenate singer-dancer, actress, producer and now film writer and director (W.E. premiered in January) has stayed buzz-worthy for over three decades, through life stages in which a woman is often expected to take a step back, or, at the very least, tone it down. Madonna's done no such thing. Marriage didn't slow her appetite for controversy, nor did motherhood. Now she's passed the ultimate benchmark for women's sexuality—menopause, when women are often and overwhelmingly considered past their prime—and is on television in a music video so overt it nearly wasn't approved for airing.
But don't tell Vivian Diller, Ph.D., it's because she hasn't changed. The author of Face It: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change, says it's actually the opposite that's kept Madonna on top for 30 years. "Madonna is the ultimate reinventor," Diller says. In three decades, she's been the wild child, the religious heretic, the serious actress, the doting (fauxBritish) mother, the philanthropist and more. Diller sees this as the power that's kept her relevant not just to her own age group (at 58, Diller calls Madonna the Lady Gaga of her generation), but to her daughters as well.
"This latest return of Madonna to the spotlight is no different than what she's done in the past," Diller says. "She's bringing back some of what she used to represent—and her breaking sexual boundaries has always been a part of that—but at the same time becoming something more, an icon to a generation of women who want to remain vital, creative and, yes, sexual, even as they age."
But how long can she keep it up? At a rate of an album-every-three-years, Madonna will be 60 when she releases her final record under the latest Interscope deal. Will Madonna's sexuality at 60 be as acceptable as at 53? Even Diller is skeptical. "What I hope," she says, "and my sense is that Madonna is savvy enough to know this, is that she not try to be 25-year-old Madonna at 53, but to redefine what sexuality at 53 looks like."
"The risk and the challenge of becoming an attractive, appealing woman in your 50s and 60s is to let go of what once was," Diller says, and to focus and perfect who you have become. Because while Madonna is surely an anomaly among women (I mean, seriously, just look at her), she is, in fact, human. "There is a point, no matter who you are, what financial means you have or personal trainer you employ that things inevitably change with age," she says. "And that's a challenge for any woman, particularly one in the spotlight. But if she can allow it to happen, and let it become a part of her public image, then she'll continue to be a role model for multiple generations of women."
Yesterday we already announced some of the opening acts. Madonna.com has now posted a larger list. Martin Solveig is opening for most European shows, sometimes combined with another DJ set.
29-May - Tel Aviv - Martin Solveig / Offer Nissim
12-Jun - Rome - Martin Solveig
14-Jun - Milan - Martin Solveig
16-Jun - Florence - Martin Solveig
20-Jun - Barcelona - Martin Solveig
21-Jun - Barcelona - Martin Solveig
24-Jun - Coimbra - Martin Solveig
28-Jun - Berlin - Martin Solveig
30-Jun - Berlin - Martin Solveig
2-Jul - Copenhagen - Martin Solveig
4-Jul - Gothenburg - Martin Solveig
7-Jul - Amsterdam - Martin Solveig
8-Jul - Amsterdam - Martin Solveig
10-Jul - Koln - Martin Solveig
12-Jul - Brussels - Martin Solveig
14-Jul - Paris - Martin Solveig
17-Jul - London - Hyde Park - LMFAO / Martin Solveig
29-Jul - Vienna - Martin Solveig
12-Aug - Helsinki - Martin Solveig
18-Aug - Zurich - Martin Solveig
21-Aug- Nice - LMFAO
She's no longer "Like a Virgin," or even the Material Girl, for that matter, but Madonna is still a pop diva superstar.
Madge's Interscope debut, MDNA, her 12th studio album and first under a recently inked deal with Live Nation, is her first new collection in four years, since 2008's Hard Candy. It's a lock for #1 on next week's HITS Album sales chart, with between 325-350k, beating that album's 280k opening.
Those figures are based on one-day sales figures which our crack retail staff arrived at by throwing darts at a board. Take that, Soundscan!
Tel Aviv opening show: Martin Solveig & Offer Nisim
London: Martin Solveig & LMFAO
Rome, Milan & Florence: Martin Solveig
The second Tel Aviv show might have some other surprises.
A first commercial for Madonna's new Truth Or Dare fragrance has surfaced. The video, set to a Girl Gone Wild remix, features a Madonna that in fact reminds us of her Truth Or Dare days. A blond look that reminds us of Bad Girl, and at one scene even wearing an eye mask. Is Dita back?
About the World Tour:
Q: Will YOU do slacklining on the tour as well?! That's pretty dangerous, don't hurt yourself! ;p
A: I'm learning right now as we speak. I practice everyday.
Q: Everybody turns 30 this year. Any chance of hearing it on the next tour?
A: Not telling
A: Someone please tell Quentin Tarantino I want him to direct a video for Gang Bang
Q: how was it working with Kazaky?
A: Great. They didn't speak English so we relied on body language.
About other artists:
Q: What's your favorite Britney Spears song?
A: Baby One More Time
Q: how is @NICKIMINAJ as a kisser?
A: soft lips sink ships
Q: How do you feel about bullying and what do you think about Gaga's work with the Born This Way Foundation
A: I applaud @ladygaga support of the gay community and her commitment to stop bullying.
Q: What do you think about Justin Bieber?
A: he's awesome. I'm a huge fan. I love it when he raps
(Bieber replied to the tweet with: "seeing that is a huge honor. Yours is a career artists dream of. Congrats on the new album!" to which Madonna tweeted: "Come and join me on stage when I'm on tour when we are in the same city and congrats on your new single.")
Q: If you could control time with one feature, would you choose to pause or rewind?
A: pause to take a couple breaths, then go forward. never go back.
Q: if you could have any superpower what would u choose?
A: Control time. more time to rehearse, to sleep, time to see my kids. time to tweet with my fans
Q: WHAT IS IT THAT YOU CAN NOT CONTROL???
A: my attention to detail and my obbessively compulsive need to know everything that is going on around me.
Q: DO YOU BELIEVE IN LUCK/HOROSCOPE AND THOSE THINGS???
A: I believe in luck. but I don't believe in coincidence. and I believe in astrology.
Q: What is your favorite type of flowers?
A: hydrangeas, silly.
Back in 2003, Madonna's liplock at the MTV Music Awards with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera made international headlines and became perhaps the most iconic VMA moment of all time. So this past December, when word got out that Madonna had gotten smoochy with her latest same-sex duet partner, Nicki Minaj, another media firestorm unsurprisingly ensued.
It all started with a (heavily RT'd) tweet from Nicki herself, right after the shoot for Madonna and Nicki's video with M.I.A., Give Me All Your Luvin'. Nikki tweeted: "OH MY f'ingggg Gahhhh!!!!! MADONNA jus kissed me!!!!! On the lips!!!!!!! It felt sooooo good. Soooo soft!!!! *passes out* aaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!" Madonna later dished about the incident to Anderson Cooper, explaining, "It was her birthday and it was actually the end of one of those long days of shooting, and we were all giving a birthday toast to her. After a few sips of champagne, I kissed her!"
Footage of the Madonna/Minaj kiss didn't make the cut of the official Give Me All Your Luvin' video, much to fans' chagrin... but now, just in time to celebrate the release of Madonna's 12th studio album, MDNA , the never-before-seen clip of Nicki's birthday celebration with Madge has been made available exclusively to Yahoo! Music.
In the fly-on-the-wall footage, a cupcake-bearing Madonna serenades and smooches a delighted Nicki, while M.I.A. and a cast of video cheerleaders and boy-toy footballers cheer them on. Nicki is heard gushing, "I have to thank the queen, Madonna, for giving me this opportunity. I love her so much, and she's fierce, and she didn't have to do this for me and M.I.A....Did you get the kiss with Madonna on camera?"
The EDM leader took issue with what he perceived was Madonna's casual mention of a slang term for the drug ecstasy from the stage at Ultra Music Festival, first calling the pop icon a "f--king idiot" and later imploring her to "be more aware" of what she represents to young dance music fans.
Like emails, texts and the sitcom Three's Company , a from-the-stage rallying call can easily be misinterpreted -- in the case of Madonna and EDM (electronic dance music) superstar Deadmau5 , when slang, song and drugs collide, the result is one hell of a Twitter rant.
It can't be called a Twitter war because the divine Ms. M is not an active tweeter, but for the rare occasion of, say, releasing a new album ( MDNA , out Monday and already No. 1 in 35 countries), she will indulge her fans -- and detractors -- in a quick Q&A.
That's what went down late Monday night when Madonna, using the handle @MadonnaMDNAday and the hashtag #askmadonna, sat down at a computer and went to town answering questions like, "What is your favorite place to hide?" (her answer: "In my bathroom") and "Have you ever worn a Snuggie? ("No, but Lola has.")
Among the tweeters was Deadmau5, who was still reeling from a comment Madonna made during a surprise appearance at Miami's Ultra Music Festival. Taking the stage to introduce Swedish DJ Avicii , Madonna yelled to the crowd, "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?"
For those in the know (or not), Molly is slang for MDMA, the drug better known as ecstacy. While a staple of all-night dance parties, the kind Deadmau5 might headline, the artist whose real name is Joel Zimmerman took issue with the comment, blasting Madonna in an 800-word rant posted to his Tumblr page and on Facebook, where he called the 53-year-old pop icon a "f---king IDIOT" and questioned, "That's your big message to ultra attendies? hipsterspeak for looking for drugs? F--k off."
Among the strong opinions Zimmerman voiced in greater length was the crux of his argument: be aware of the impressionable youngsters in the crowd. "I have my vices and some of them are probably more harmful than a recreational drug or two," he wrote. "I smoke cigarettes … I drink a little bit too, which I'm sure has killed more people than double the combined amount of overdoses on any recreational drug you can name…. so, I try to make an effort as not to blatantly condone it in situations where the youngins are around. And trust me, the mau5 horde has plenty of little ones… So, I don't see the dire need to be a constant dickfuck and stamp my vices all over my media outlets."
He continued: "We've taken EDM so far in the past decade. It really hurts me to see rampant ADVOCATION of extreme bullshit lifestyles to a genre that spans pretty much any age gap these days. ... Im not pro, or anti drug… but… ill easily let you know that im pro-responsibility."
And Zimmerman did not let up a day later, tweeting to @MadonnaMDNAday, "You're a role model to 100's of millions. You have a powerful voice,EDM could use your positive influence, not ‘molly' talk."
But rather than engage Zimmerman and the Mau5 horde, Madonna responded by posting a photo of herself with mouse ears (see above) and an explanation, which read: "From one mouse to another. I don't support drug use and I never have. I was referring to the song called 'Have You Seen Molly' written by my friend Cedric Gervais who I almost worked with on my last album ..."
Zimmerman accepted the response with another tweet, writing: "Fair enough, I was just voicing my concerns as I usually do. +1 respect for clearing it up personally." He later added, "Regardless, just be a little more aware of what you *should* represent at EDM events, and ill watch my mouth."
After several more exchanges, the two came together over a "broken pinkie swear" (illustrated by Madge with another tweeted photo) and in the end, it was she who had the last word. "Communication is always best," wrote Madonna. "You should have called me first, we could have cleared it up ‘privately.'"
Another two tour dates have been added to the 2012 World Tour schedule: Madonna will perform in the NIA Arena in Birmingham, UK on July 19th. This is the third UK date, in between London and Edinburgh. Pre-sales for ICON Legacy members start today at 9am local time, while Live Pass holders can buy their tickets an hour later. Public sales start Friday, March 30th at 9am.
Also finally confirmed is the tour date in Kiev, Ukrain on August 4th. She will perform in the Olympic stadium. Pre-sales are set for today at 10am local time, with public ticket sales starting Friday at 10am.
Madonna enlisted her legendary Ray of Light collaborator, William Orbit, for MDNA, which hits stores this week. And their kinship is clear on tracks like the hard-hitting Gang Bang to the lighter Falling Free. "Her instincts are so solid," Orbit told MTV News about his longtime pal, who he says perfectly combines spontaneity with a keen sense of micro-managing. Those dual personalities were onhand during MDNA recording sessions. Madonna has previously said that working with him always leads to "magic" and the twosome once again whipped up tracks that should make Ray fans happy.
When Orbit spoke to us, he broke down several of their collaborations on the album.
He explained that the "light and experimental" recording session for Some Girls led to "a fierce kind of electro track. ... 'Here I am. I am awesome,' That's what it communicates to anyone, I am sure. She is just like queen bitch. ... We love her for that and she knows how to rule."
The song, he believes, really speaks to her biggest fans. "She certainly knows how to get [to] her subjects [and get] the most devotion out of them. I love to see that relationship between fans and Madonna. It's a rare thing, so proactive and that song really sums it up. It's got great lyrics. We had fun with the lyrics."
The less aggressive Falling Free is a ballad about connecting with someone and letting yourself go completely. "That was a real delight to do. I know Madonna really enjoyed singing it. She had a terrible cold the day she sang it actually, but she threw herself into it," he said. "Madonna sang that one beautifully and I was excited. A friend of mine, Laurie Mayer, wrote that beautiful melody. I think it was really special and different. The more ballads [Madonna] does, the better. Because no one can do ballads [the way she does]. She feels from the heart."
On the polar end of the spectrum is the incredibly dark Gang Bang, which follows a woman getting her cronies together to seek bloody vengeance against someone who may very well be her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie. "[It's] aggressive," he said. "It's like she sang that off the bat. I mean that. She created it in the moment. And the lyrics were all there, but I think she fell into a character. It was actually a good day. It wasn't a dark day. There wasn't like aggression in the air. The demo created out of the blue pretty much. She loved the spirit of it. We were all dancing around the control room. ... It was a total atmosphere of spontaneity. Pretty good fun, but it's dark."
Madonna will be celebrating her new album MDNA with her fans on the day of release, this Monday night at 10pm EST (unfortunately in Europe, that's 4am CET on Tuesday morning...).
The Material Girl will answer your questions for one-day only via a Twitter account @MadonnaMDNAday. Send your question and include the #askmadonna hashtag at the end. Want to see the chat unfold in real-time? Go to www.madonna.com/askmadonna
UPDATE: Meanwhile, MDNA has already reached #1 in the iTunes chart in 40 countries! Congrats MaDoNnA!
Madonna made a surprise appearance at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida over the weekend. The Queen of Pop appeared on the Main Stage during Avicii's set and helped the DJ debut his remix of her latest single Girl Gone Wild.
"I've been here [Ultra] in spirit for many years, but it's good to finally be standing on the stage, looking at all you people who have come here from all around the world," she told the crowd. "In my world the words 'music' and 'dance' are not separated."
"Electronic music has been a part of my life since the beginning of my career. I can honestly say that a DJ saved my life," she continued. "Are you ready to dance? Are you ready to sweat? Are you ready to make some noise. Are you ready for the next DJ motherf***ers?!"
The featival also featured Justice, Afrojack, Fatboy Slim, Swedish House Mafia, DJ Tiesto, Kaskade, Steve Aoki and Miike Snow . Spotted coming to the grounds at Bayfront Park were Selena Gomez and her "Spring Breakers" co-star Ashley Benson.
Madonna herself is dropping her new album MDNA in the United States on March 26. She celebrated the album release by answering fans' questions including details of her upcoming tour during a Facebook chat hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
She said she wouldn't do similar act like she did at Super Bowl. The first act on the roadshow will be titled "Transgression," she revealed. "I like to have a theme for my show and create a dramatic arc. Then I try to make the songs fit within that arc."
Next, she will have a Q&A session on Twitter.
"I thought it would be best to talk to my fans," Madonna told Jimmy Fallon on Saturday, explaining why her Facebook chat with the Late Night host is the only live press she's doing for her new album, MDNA. Taped in front of an audience and live steamed through Madonna's Facebook page, the interview incorporated questions sent in from fans around the world as well as a few dance lessons for Fallon.
Over the course of the interview, Madonna professed an interest in quantum physics, said she'd like to cover the Serge Gainsbourg song "Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus" and described how Quentin Tarantino's films inspired her new song Gang Bang.
"I have a whole thing worked out in a motel room," she said, imploring Tarantino to direct the video. "All he has to do is show up with a camera. And I can't afford a director's fee."
At one point, Jimmy Fallon asked why she chose to collaborate with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. on the new album.
"Because they're bad-ass bitches, long story short," she said. "I think they're both smart, clever, they have strength. They don't just play on their sexuality or being cute. They're not ingénues. They're tough girls and they're smart. I wouldn't mess with them."
Another fan asked what the pop queen would do if she were president of the United States.
"Well, when I am the president," Madonna corrected, "I will first of all take all the money spent on defense and put it into education, so that schoolteachers get paid more money. It's scandalous how low their pay is. Gay marriage would be legal everywhere and accepted. There would be no restrictions whatsoever on any of my videos, ever."
That last policy was perhaps inspired by the recent news that YouTube is limiting views of the Girl Gone Wild video to those over 18. As Fallon put it, "Now you have to hide the grinding and the groins."
"I'm supposed to be a girl gone wild in the video!" Madonna said. "How could you go wild and not grind? This is the question that people should be asking."
Responding to Fallon's suggestion that one shot in the video showed a man masturbating, she objected: "No, he was just brushing off his latex g-string. They get smudged – you know light picks up all the fingerprints."
Dressed in a t-shirt emblazoned with the title of the new album, Madonna let slip a few details of her upcoming tour, including the fact that she's recently acquired a few bruises learning how to slackline. When asked how she chooses songs to perform on tour, she said she tries to fit songs into themes and dramatic arcs in her shows.
"The first section I titled 'Transgression,' so use your imagination," she said of the new show. "But then I have to go back in my catalog and pick songs that fall into that category. It's not Cherish."
[Madonna once again confirmed that Gang Bang (her favourite song on the album) would be on tour, but she's not doing every MDNA song. When discussing tracks to do from her debut, she strongly hinted at Physical Attraction and just for fun she did an acapella snippet of Borderline for Fallon to dance. As usual, the show will be just under two hours long.]
Madonna's steamy new video for Girl Gone Wild has been banned from open view on YouTube for being too raunchy, with scenes including nudity and a close-up of a man's PVC-clad crotch.
YouTube chiefs have restricted the video for those 18 years or above, and sources tell us they've told the superstar's management that if they want it to be available for viewing by all, they must edit out shots of bare bottoms, a man rubbing his crotch and an implied masturbation scene where a man gyrates before a mirror.
Madonna's team was working yesterday on an edited version of the video for YouTube because, for the first time, it's based its marketing strategy for her new album, MDNA, on social media, including a live Facebook interview with Jimmy Fallon today.
A source told us, 'YouTube has decided the video is too raunchy and should only be viewed by those 18 or over, and actually, the video is hard to find on the site. YouTube has sent Madonna's team a list of shots that should be cut to make it appropriate for everyone.'
Fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott directed Girl Gone Wild, using much of the singer's trademark erotic imagery, including topless men dancing in black tights (mantyhose) and platform heels.
YouTube also took exception to an S&M-inspired scene of a silhouette in chains.
The video was deemed 'inappropriate for some users' by YouTube, and viewers must verify they're 18 or older and log in to watch it.
A rep for YouTube told us, 'While we don't comment on individual videos, we review all videos flagged by our users against our community guidelines. In some cases we agerestrict flagged material that, while not in violation of those guidelines, contains images that may be unsuitable for younger users.'
Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg, told us, 'Some things never change. This is a throwback to  when MTV refused to show Justify My Love.
In 1993, when asked by a Mexican journalist what she feared most, Madonna admitted plainly, "Dying." Looking at her body of work, it's embarrassingly obvious now, and it's funny to think she's best known as the queen of sex and not, in fact, the queen of death. Beating the clock, moving fast, accomplishing things because time is scare and life is short are themes that have permeated almost every aspect of Madonna's life and career. Her mother, also named Madonna, died at the age of 30, and her namesake spent the next 25 years believing she would meet the same fate. When Madonna became famous at the height of the AIDS crisis, her friends began succumbing to the disease one after the other, which turned the singer into an activist, but also ostensibly became an impetus behind her near-pathological drive to leave her mark on the world.
In the past three years, two of the three biggest pop superstars of the '80s have died tragically. But unlike Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, Madonna wasn't thrust into the spotlight by way of an enterprising family or the kind of prodigious talent that, with or without its owner's consent, begs to be hoisted up and exalted by the masses. That Madonna was forced to compensate for her perceived lack of natural "talent" with, in addition to unbridled creativity, supreme self-control and focus is probably what's helped keep her from succumbing to the demons that have plagued many of her contemporaries. It's also, perhaps, the thing that makes her a somewhat unsympathetic character, an attractive target for ridicule among even those who claim to love her.
Everyone is afraid of death. But how that fear manifests itself when you're one of the most famous women on the planet and how it's compounded when you reach middle age in an industry that increasingly values youth and beauty were revealed, respectively, in Madonna's largely graceful quest for answers to life's most universal questions on Ray Of Light and her often awkward, misguided attempts to reconcile those lessons with a habitual desire to preserve her status in the years that have followed. Social, cultural, and political impact aside, Madonna's career has been a demonstration of endurance.
To that end, while Madonna was accused of running out of ideas long before she actually did, her recent propensity to rehash her own canon seems deliberate—not to mention cynical. Last month, she told The Advocate that while she "never left" her gay audience, she's "back." (Back from where is unclear, though her estranged brother's claim that ex-hubby Guy Ritchie is a homophobe offers a clue.) The video for Girl Gone Wild, the second single from her first album in four years, MDNA, is like Human Nature redux, seemingly tailor-made to snatch the title of Most Played Video Artist at Gay Bars from Lady Gaga.
But while Human Nature was an intentional sendup of Madonna's Erotica period, the seemingly straight-faced Catholic Girl Gone Bad shtick of Girl Gone Wild is just—you guessed it—reductive. Even though Madonna's dressed up like her, the feisty pop singer who went on Nightline in 1990 and clumsily but zealously called out the media for its hypocrisy and sexism is missing here. Madonna pilfers the title of one of her earliest rivals' songs during the hook of Girl Gone Wild, only to defang it of its feminist bent: Just like Madonna's own Material Girl was meant to be ironic, the point of Cyndi Lauper's signature anthem is that girls want to have fun, but that's not all they want to do.
The song's intro, during which Madonna recites an act of contrition over canned disco strings, is just a ruse; the rest of MDNA is reminiscent of neither Like A Prayer nor Confessions On A Dance Floor. It's unclear what Madonna's motivations were for reuniting with William Orbit after more than a decade; a smarter move would have been to call on longtime collaborator Patrick Leonard to help her excavate and examine the remains of her second marriage. But while the album is no Ray Of Light either, MDNA is surprisingly cohesive despite its seven-plus producers (most notably, Martin Solveig, the man behind the regrettable lead single Give Me All Your Luvin'), and it's obvious Madge and Billy Bubbles can still create magic together. I'm A Sinner harks back to the pair's most ecstatically joyous work—not just sonically, but vocally. Something about recording with Orbit again has inspired Madonna to abandon her recent insistence on singing like she's wearing a clothespin on her nose.
Likewise, her performance on Love Spent is confident enough to transcend Orbit's superfluous vocal effects. It's not just the most melodically sophisticated song on the album, it's also the most revealing, rather poignantly alluding to the tens of millions Ritchie received in the couple's divorce settlement: "I want you to take me like you took your money," she longs. What makes the lyrical faux pas of songs like Girl Gone Wild and Superstar so frustrating is the pop mastery of tracks like this and the Italo-disco I'm Addicted, a meditation on the power of language that's both profound ("All of the letters push to the front of my mouth/And saying your name is somewhere between a prayer and a shout") and tongue-in-cheek ("I'm a dick-, I'm a dick-, I'm addicted to your love"). When she's not rapping about child custody and prenups on I Don't Give A, she admits: "I tried to be a good girl/I tried to be your wife/Diminished myself/And I swallowed my light."
But in case the title of that song didn't tip you off, the Madonna of MDNA is more defiant than heartbroken. Ritchie's impact on the singer's personal life is obvious, but his influence on her work is just as apparent: He bought her a guitar when they met, changing her approach to songwriting, and he was responsible for the introduction of violence, often seemingly gratuitous, into her videos and stage performances, starting with his clip for her 2001 single What It Feels Like For A Girl. So, in that sense, it's disappointing to see guns and violence continue to play such a prominent role here. But the twisted Gang Bang, a standout cut in which Madonna quite convincingly portrays a jilted bride turned femme fatale in the vein of Beatrix Kiddo, plays more like a piss take of Ritchie's gangster fetish than a glorification of it.
Madonna's Super Bowl performance last month—spectacular but lacking spontaneity—was indicative of her overall approach to her career these days: meticulously orchestrated down to every dance move, every mimed syllable. The non-controversy of M.I.A. flipping the bird was notable only because it served as a reminder of just how "safe" the rest of the performance was. But songs like Gang Bang serve as reminders that what separates Madonna from most other mainstream pop stars is her willingness to try new things. Fear—of failure, of looking uncool, of death—can either paralyze or propel you. MDNA finds Madonna continuing to defy the laws of nature by doing both. [3.5 out of 5 stars]
"Girls, they just wanna have some fun!"" From the moment Madonna utters those words on MDNA, it's clear that she's trying really freaking hard to have a good time. With dance-music vets William Orbit, Martin Solveig, and Benny Benassi helming her return to the Euro-club stylings of 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor, Madge spends nearly half the album insisting that this is the Best Party Ever, from the pom-pom-shaking Give Me All Your Luvin' to the Mardi-Gras-beads-tossing Girl Gone Wild and stereo-blasting Turn Up the Radio. The album title even suggests that Ecstasy is part of Madge's DNA.
But while there are a few genuine moments of double-rainbow bliss here (check the "whoo-ooh!" chorus of I'm A Sinner), there's also real darkness lurking under the air-popped beats. If Madonna's sending us a message, it's this: I spent all year perfecting my cartwheel for the Super Bowl, and now I'm gonna have fun, even if it kills me.
Maybe it's just that MDNA's so hell-bent on showing how much energy the 53-year-old puts into her job. Many songs recap her gold-star résumé referencing her past hits lyrically or musically. Girl Gone Wild shares its sassy legwarmer-disco vibe with 2005's Hung Up, while I'm A Sinner reunites her with Orbit for a very cool guitar-boosted rave-up that echoes 1998's Ray Of Light.
But all those reminders of her work ethic can feel exhausting. On the ridiculous electro-rap I Don't Give A, she runs through her insane schedule as a celebrity supermom. Before finishing her power workout, hiring a babysitter, "tweeting on the elevator," and riding a helicopter to her divorce lawyers' office, she has an epiphany: "Wake up, ex-wife/This is your life."
Are you listening, Guy Ritchie? Because Madonna's not done yelling at you. After revealing that she "didn't have a prenup," she gets a decent gold-digger joke into the ABBA-remix-esque strains of Love Spent: "Frankly, if my name was Benjamin," she deadpans, "we wouldn't be in this mess we're in." Less charming is the industrial thumper Gang Bang, where Madonna holds a gun to her lover's head, demanding, "Drive, bitch!" True, she also recorded a mea culpa — on I Fucked Up she says "I'm sorry" in French — but it's telling that she cut it from the [regular edition of the] album. Her apology's just as unconvincing as her Gallic accent.
So it's surprising that Madonna is at her best on the love songs. The W.E. ballad Masterpiece (which won her a Golden Globe in January) begins with Spanish guitar and a finger-snap rhythm — a refreshing break from the relentless bass throbbing. When she's singing about a guy who's as pretty as the Mona Lisa, her voice is lovely. And the synth stomper I'm Addicted, a warm ode to a crush, offers a good excuse to join in when she says, "I need to dance." Elsewhere, Nicki Minaj even shows some L-U-V for Lady M, proclaiming, "There's only one queen, and that's Madonna, bitch!" Judging by MDNA, she may be overestimating her idol. But there's just enough dance-floor bonhomie here to get that catchphrase bedazzled on a few dozen leotards. B-
We are happy to announce that a show at New York's Madison Square Garden has just been added to Madonna's 2012 World Tour schedule and will take place on November 12!
Tickets to this newly added show will go on sale at 10am local time on March 30, while a devoted fan club pre-sale will start March 26 at Noon local time for Legacy members/1pm for Live Pass members.
Calling Madonna and interrupting her son's French lesson sounds like a recipe for an uncomfortable half an hour on the phone.
A mum of four's time is precious, especially when she has an album to finish and a gruelling tour to play for.
But the Queen of Pop couldn't have been more enthusiastic and open about her 12th studio album MDNA — which might have something to do with the great reviews it has already received.
In October of this year Madonna will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of her first single Everybody.
Since then she has toured the world nine times, won countless awards and scored ten No1 solo albums.
But the singer, 53, still finds the presentation of new material a nerve-racking experience.
Speaking exclusively to SFTW, she said: "I don't think presenting any of my work is less nerve-racking than it ever was because I put my heart and soul into something.
"Whether it's on a film or my record, it's something to work on in privacy and create in a kind of bubble and then put it out in the world.
"You never know how people are going to receive it, whether it's going to move them or inspire them. The world is so full of entertainment now, isn't it? So there are a lot of nerves.
"It's amazing to be back in music. I like the intimacy of a recording studio and song-writing. I'm using a different part of my brain when I work on music versus when I'm directing a film.
"There are a billion more people on a film and I don't have that visceral outlet of being able to sing, scream... jump around.
"It's very different. I love doing both but it was nice to have the simplicity of song-writing after three years of writing a script and directing and editing and talking about my film, to sit down and play my guitar and sing a song. I almost cried."
Her last studio album, Hard Candy in May 2008, experimented with a hip-hop influence. She collaborated with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Timbaland.
The album reached No1 around the world but received a lukewarm reception from some fans and critics.
MDNA, a "triple entendre" as she describes it, is a return to what she does best: classic pop songs with a sprinkling of trademark controversy.
And it is down to the return of her winning formula: working with top European producers.
Stuart Price produced some of her best original material on Confessions On A Dance Floor back in 2005. She also made some great material with French electronic guru Mirwais.
But her return to the studio with producer William Orbit, who made Ray Of Light back in 1998, is a master stroke.
She has also employed the skills of Martin Solveig, Italian DJ Benny Benassi and his cousin Allessandro.
And Madonna believes her return to Europe for her producing partners is no coincidence.
She explained: "I think maybe I just have more of a European sensibility. People say that about my songs as well. I like working with people who are well-read and know what's going on in the world.
"Conversation is essential. With William, we always get into discussions about philosophy or quantum physics.
"With Martin Solveig we always end up getting in to discussions about foreign films. When I'm working with people I can't just write music, I have to be able to talk about life and the world, and art. Benny was a tricky one because he doesn't speak English very well.
"I ended up kind of using his cousin Allessandro as an interpreter.
"It was a little bit frustrating at first but eventually we found a way to communicate. You figure out a way. With music it's so much about the vibe and the energy and you know when things are working and when they're not.
"When you're working with someone for the first time, there's a kind of shyness that everybody has, so with Benny it was more challenging because of that but we figured it out and by the end I felt like I knew him very well.
"Martin is such good fun, I adore him. You have to feel like you can say 'No, I don't like that,' and you're not going to hurt their feelings. And vice versa.
"But he's got just the right balance of seriousness and humour.
"He's very organised and methodical in his thinking so I like his work process."
The production on the album is slick, with some great touches.
On Gang Bang the noise of a spent cartridge from a gun hitting a concrete floor illustrates her "Kill Bill" fantasy for the track.
But the contrast of a huge pop track like Superstar, featuring her daughter Lourdes on backing vocals, is followed up with a song called Falling Free — one of her most stripped-back songs for years. She explained: "I have to be completely involved in the production. I like the contrast.
"I like to have something that is just slammed with noise and sound and bass and drum, sensory overload and then create something like Falling Free, which is stripped back and all you can really hear is my voice and the lyrics.
"Sometimes I sit down on a guitar and start strumming chords and things come out.
"Sometimes people bring a song to me that has a title, for instance, or an idea of a lyric and I take it and kind of re-shape it, re-word it and make it my own. It comes in so many different ways, it's always been that way."
The album features some big collaborations with strong female solo stars — M.I.A and rapper Nicki Minaj. Give Me All Your Luvin' was the Superbowl song that ended up causing controversy when M.I.A decided to stick up her middle fin ger.
But that punk spirit is exactly why she got them on board.
She said: "I was looking to collaborate with women who I think have a strong sense of themselves.
"They were a lot of fun to be around in the studio, for sure.
"I think we were all shy of each other in the beginning, that's just human nature.
"I think we got over that pretty quickly.
"They're both very self-possessed people, especially M.I.A. I don't think she's impressed much by stars and celebrities, so we just got down to business. I loved her."
And the key to keeping the music original? Don't listen to chart music while you are writing.
She said: "I wasn't listening to anything to tell you the truth, when I wrote this.
"I was working on the soundtrack to my movie W.E. So just classical music. I actually don't like listening to pop music while I'm working on pop music — it doesn't really work.
"You don't want to hear other people's stuff, you need a clean slate to work off."
"I'm a freedom fighter.
Is all about freedom of expression
Freedom to choose to speak to act
Always with humanity and compassion
I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community, to support the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels opressed.
I don't run away from adversity.
I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity."
Madonna does not take tequila shots or drunkenly lift her shirt in her new video for Girl Gone Wild. However, the 53-year-old does gyrate against the floor and lie amid a gaggle of barely-dressed men.
The Material Girl has released the second video off her upcoming album MDNA. A visually tantalizing treat, the black-and-white clip harkens back to many of Madonna's most iconic music-video moments.
Madge opens the video speaking rather than singing, as she did in her video for Express Yourself. She also dances erotically against a wall, similarly to the way she did in Me Against the Music with pal Britney Spears. At one point in the video, backup dancers have a Vogue moment, putting on leggings and high heels to strike a pose.
The choice to go black-and-white also harkens back to Vogue, as well as to Cherish. Throughout the video, Madonna sports bondage-inspired gear and pulls on chains, a la Human Nature. She even wears a lace glove, a fashion statement widely copied after Like a Virgin. The video is also heavily tinged with Catholic imagery and phrasing, similar to Like a Prayer.
Mad-Eyes: while the article already proves many similarities to some of Madonna's videos, it forgets the most important references: the groundbreaking Justify My Love video, which already pushed sexual boundaries with the imagery of androgynous figures, the black & white video for Erotica and the video for GGW's sister-song Bad Girl.
Madonna and Live Nation Entertainment announced today that they will be adding a second show at Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv on May 31st as part of Madonna's 2012 World Tour schedule. The added show has been declared by Madonna as a "Concert for Peace". Madonna is inviting several peace organizations to the May 31st show to honor and acknowledge people seeking peace in the Middle East. Details about the participating organizations will be announced shortly.
"Music is so universal and if there's any chance that through my performance I can bring further attention and enlightenment to honor the peace efforts in the Middle East and help people come together, it would be an honor for me. It is my way of thanking those who are making so much effort toward bringing peace to the Middle East," commented Madonna.
Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 23rd at 10am local time, while a devoted fan club pre-sale will start today at 6pm local time for Legacy members / 7pm local time for Live Pass members.
E! Online gives us a sneak peek behind the scenes of the new Girl Gone Wild video.
Designer Arianne Phillips shows the outfits that were created for Madonna's 3 personas in the video: the 'super vixen', the 'rock star' and the 'Platinum/Iconic Madonna', the latter being inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Madonna long-time hair stylist Andy LeCompte also gives his vision on Madonna's style in the video.
Madonna's moves were choreographed by Tabitha D'Umo, who also did the choreography for the Super Bowl performance. The group dance features Kazaky, a popular Ukranian dance group, who for the occasion danced in high heals, further adding to the androgynous of the male characters in the video. In the beginning of the video, we can also admire the great physics of famous models Sean O'Pry, Jon Kortajarena and Simon Nessman.
The video was directed by fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, who also did the photoshoot for the MDNA album. It was their first video shoot and they were mpressed with the way Madonna pushed their creative buttons.
The new video for Girl Gone Wild has premiered. Directed by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, it has become a piece of art in black & white, paying homage at her videos from the Erotica era. Have a look yourself.
UPDATE: apparently, E! Online premiered the clean version of the video. Watch the uncensored version below (the biggest difference is the male ass at 2:08...)
Mad-Eyes is pleased to present you the full lyrics of 9 MDNA tracks:
Lyrics of the other tracks will follow soon.
This exclusive live Q&A will be held on Saturday, March 24 between 6.30pm and 9.30pm EST (this is 0.30am - 3.30am CET) and will be moderated by Jimmy Fallon. Wanna give her all your L-U-V by asking her the questions you've always wanted her to answer? Join the Facebook event and pose your question as a comment.
The international release is only a week away! Some territories will get the album this coming Friday. At several places, there are release parties planned on Thursday and Friday.
It's been almost exactly four years since Madonna came out with her last album, Hard Candy(released in April of 2008). In that time, she has opened a chain of gyms of the same name, created a clothing line with her daughter, Lourdes Leon, written and directed a film, and negotiated a new recording contract with Interscope Records (incidentally, the same label Lady Gaga is on). Not to mention continue to piss people off over her mere existence. But, if you haven't guessed by now, Madonna really doesn't give a fuck. There's even a song on MDNA called I Don't Give A. So what can you expect from the indestructible tour de force's twelfth studio album? Dance music at its purest and finest. Hence the title, MDNA.
The second single from the album, entitled Girl Gone Wild, is also the song that kicks off the record. The track opens with a confessional apology extracted from the Catholic prayer, 'Act of Contrition' (the title of a song that also appeared as the closer to Madonna's seminal 1989 album, Like A Prayer): "Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pain of hell. But most of all because I love thee and I want so badly to be good." It is, in essence, a sentiment that sums up all of Madonna's actions throughout her career. But you can't keep a bad girl down as the Queen of Pop dives into an electronically suffused beat that champions the cause of every "good girl gone wild."
In an ideal world, Gang Bang will reverberate throughout every gay club in New York City. Or perhaps someday be featured as a lip synch for your life song on RuPaul's Drag Race. Madonna oozes vengeance as she sings, "Bang bang, shot you dead/Bitch out of water, bat out of hell/Fish out of water, I'm scared, can't you tell?" It makes so much sense that Mika is a producer on the song. Continuing with the MDMA motif, the next track is called I'm Addicted. Barring the similarity in lyrical rhymes to Like A Prayer, this is another standout song on the album in which Madonna reveals, "Something happens to me when I hear your voice/Something happens to me and I have no choice/I need to hear your name/Everything feels so strange/I'm ready to take this chance." The beat then segues into something that only Benny Benassi could create as Madonna laments, "Fame's like a drug and I can't get enough."
Martin Solveig, who also produced the first single from MDNA, Give Me All Your Luvin', infects Turn Up The Radio with his usual brand of European house sensibilities. It is by far one of the most simplistic songs on the album, designed as more of a summer anthem as Madonna chants, "Turn up the radio" repeatedly, the only divergent lyrics being, "Don't ask me where I wanna go/We gotta turn up the radio."
Give Me All Your Luvin' succeeds Turn Up The Radio in a seamless transition of Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. chanting, "L.U.V., Madonna!/Y.O.U., you wanna!?" The video for the song, directed by MegaForce, coincided with Madonna's performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, thus the football player/cheerleader motif throughout (with a Marilyn Monroe homage thrown in for good measure). The beat and rhythm of the following song, Some Girls, sets a new tone for the second half of the album, exuding a very reminiscent vibe to Goldfrapp's 2003 hit, "Strict Machine." It is also one of the triumphant auditory reunions between Madonna and Ray of Light collaborator, William Orbit.
And, speaking of collaborations, Madonna also enlists the backing vocals of her daughter on Superstar. Evocative of Superpop, a bonus track from 2005's Confessions on a Dance Floor, Madonna uses famous names from history to create analogies on Superstar: "You're like Caesar stepping onto the throne/You're Abe Lincoln, 'cause you fight for what's right." Not one to pass up another opportunity to work with Minaj, Madonna appropriately features the Trinidadian goddess on I Don't Give A. Although it is perhaps the most awkward song in terms of what fits in with Madonna's musical style, it is definitely noteworthy for how personal the lyrics– undeniably directed at Guy Ritchie–are:
"I tried to be a good girl, I tried to be your wife/Diminish myself and I swallowed my light/I tried to become all that you expect of me/And if it was a failure, I don't give a…"
I'm A Sinner, yet another one of Madonna's theme songs in terms of telling her detractors to fuck off, is the most overt sounding Orbit track on MDNA. Moreover, what would a Madonna song about sinning be without name dropping a few of her favorite religious figures, including Jesus and the Virgin Mary? Love Spent, the third of four tracks with Orbit's signature on it, once again mirrors an unofficially released Madonna song: Liquid Love from, you guessed it, the Ray of Light era.
As the album draws to a close, Madonna chooses to slow down the tempo with her Golden Globe-winning song, Masterpiece, featured on the soundtrack for W.E. Falling Free consummates the standard edition of MDNA. The influence of Joe Henry, country guru and Madonna's brother-in-law, is evident on the laidback, twangy vocals.
For those with the sense to buy the deluxe edition, your ears will also be bestowed with Beautiful Killer (a song about French movie star Alain Delon), I Fucked Up (a relaxed mea culpa with a message that is the antithesis of I Don't Give A), B-Day Song (another fast-paced collaboration with M.I.A.–because this was before M was upset with her over the middle finger debacle), Best Friend (in which M probes the demise of a relationship that reiteratively seems to be about Guy Ritchie: "You said you wanted more than just a pretty girl/Maybe I challenge you a little bit too much"), and, finally, the LMFAO "Party Rock" remix of Give Me All Your Luvin'. So, if you aren't inclined toward dancing, having a good time, or escaping into the aural assuagement that only Madonna can provide, then MDNA may not be for you. And MDMA probably isn't either.
Tickets will go on sale on March 23rd at 10am CET. Fan club pre-sales start tomorrow, March 20th at 10am for Lifetime Legacy members and 11am for Live Pass holders.
Tickets will be priced between € 51,75 and € 172,50.
Today's MDNA preview, which is probably the last one we get before the album release, is from the track Best Friend. It's a song done in collaboration with the Benassi cousins and Demolition Crew. Just like yesterday's I Fucked Up, the text seems to be inspired by her failed marriage. Have a listen below and check the lyrics here.
Today's MDNA is not just a preview, it's an entire song! I Fucked Up is a Solveig-track that is only available on the Deluxe Edition. The lyrics show Madonna regretting the mistakes she's ade in a relationship, admitting she fucked up. Have a listen below and check the lyrics here.
Madonna is teaming up with E! for the exclusive world premiere of the controversial music video for her new single Girl Gone Wild from her upcoming MDNA album, scheduled to be released March 26 on Interscope Records.
The video, shot in black and white, was filmed in Los Angeles and directed by Mert & Marcus. It includes a stunning tour de force performance by the Material Girl and her team of dancers and breathtaking visual effects.
E! provides a pitch-perfect platform for this much buzzed-about video when it premieres exclusively on E! News on March 20 at 7:00 and 11:30 PM and is available on E! Online directly following.
Madonna's Give Me All Your Luvin' is the number one song on this week's Billboard Dance/Club Play chart.
This is her 41st one, breaking once again her own record in the chart's history.
Madonna fans! For those of you who purchased Madonna 2012 World Tour concert tickets from Ticketmaster North America, your order comes along with a copy of MDNA. Ticketmaster distributed an email message to Madonna ticket purchasers, with instructions on how to redeem their album (either in digital or physical format).
If you are a purchaser of tickets from Ticketmaster.com, and did not receive this message, please contact Ticketmaster Customer Service for assistance.
Guy Oseary announced that we'll receive 3 more MDNA previews: today, tomorrow and Sunday. Today we hear a 1-minute snippet from the first bonus track on the Deluxe Edition. Beautiful Killer is a fun upbeat track, produced by Martin Solveig. Madonna has said in an interview that the song is a tribute to French film star Alain Delon. "I've seen every movie Alain Delon's ever made," Madonna said. "He's so charismatic."
On the verge of her new album MDNA, Madonna says she's far more collaborative than people assume.
Flick asked her about moving back to recording and returning to being "in charge of [her] destiny".
She replied, "You know, I hate to use the word 'control' so much, because people use and bandy that word about with me, when it comes to my creative life. Everyone says 'Oh you're a control freak and you like to be in control.' The thing is, everything I do – even my song writing – I'm collaborating at all times. I value input from people, and I want it.
"I can't work on my own. I am not Prince or like a lot of artists, who can go in and play every instrument, and record a track, and not hear from people. I need to hear what people think all the time. I like to have my road dog, my side kick. I like the simplicity of songwriting, because in the end, it is simple. You have a melody. You have some words. And you sing.
"That, hopefully, is coming from your heart or a million different emotions. Let's just say it's more direct."
She revealed also revealed that she had to communicate with the Italian-speaking house producer Benny Benassi via his English-speaking cousin. She admitted that regular collaborator William Orbit "brings out the tortured soul in me" and that the "organised" and "methodical" French eurohouse producer Martin Solveig brought out "the ironic side of me; the love of language and the love of the rhythm of language."
Madonna has given us another sneak peak from her tour rehearsals. The shots reveal her practising 'slacklining', the art of dancing on top of a rope, a practice that reminds us of the Super Bowl performance.
What song would be performed on this choreography? Discuss here.
The album is the legitimisation of a type of dance music that until recently lived in the dance clubs sphere, which Madonna today reinterprets in a pop production, although the pop element in some tracks is completely distorted.
Even though I'm no music journalist, thanks to the invitation of a music producer friend who thought to include me in this exciting pre release, I was given the privilege to listen to the most anticipated album of the year MDNA by Madonna. Here I am sharing some of my impressions, avoiding those nuggets which you can find anywhere on collaborations, gossip and rumours.
Firstly, I would like to say that MDNA is a real album, once again Lady Ciccone built a compact and unique art work and does not give into the temptation to use iTunes and the internet as distributors of single radio hits. This work is like a novel , made up of many chapters, written in conjunction with William Orbit, Benny Benassi e Martin Solveig which tell a story of which Madonna is the director, clearly with the intention of leading us in a new era of her musical career. She does it with a real musical manifesto, with her usual self assuredness, believing to the end in herself and in her pride of being the queen of the frontier, aware and sometimes even arrogant: Madge, you afford to be.
MDNA is a universe of dance music, but never banal. Are the dance floors in crisis? Ciccone creates a dance album (mainly techno-house) because dance music has become listening music. The Queen of Pop today has sealed this evolution of dance music. I want to set into your minds that a portion of tracks from MDNA will become food for DJs the world over to devour, but especially its going to be music for billions of people to listen to and for kids who to dance to it into a web cam in their bedrooms. It's the legitimisation of a type of dance music that until today lived in the dance club sphere, which Madonna today reinterprets in a pop production, although the pop element in some tracks is completely distorted. MDNA starts with a bang and is totally experimental, then it reassuringly melts into pop whirls, many of the tracks in the first portion of the album are destructured , in a true demolition of the pop rules and rather contain within the same track inflated changes of direction of sound, arrangement and melody. I was caught off guard many times during the first time I listened to the album when songs completely changed face in the middle or three quarters of the way through. its pure folly, which no artist who wants to sell albums would dream to do, but you are Madge, and you can do whatever you wish.
In what I believe are her best and most avant-garde tracks, the ear's attention is kidnapped by the facets of dark sounds mixed with heavy house rhythms , sometimes bloated and lengthened synthetically with a sound aesthetic from the nineties, with rough scratches which lash the heart, which open to brief, intense breaths of pop melodies, doled out as though they were deep breaths of pure oxygen of a nostalgia for a past that will no longer return, and therefore they're immediately chocked by avalanches of dance floor hammers.
Although I have listened to the album only twice, I feel that I may declare my preference for two tracks: Girl Gone Wild and Gang Bang. On another note, I heard in the whole album an almost obsessive care for the sound design, almost as though it was the new sound track for a mega video game.
Finally, I want to tell you all, provided you trust me, that this is without a doubt one of the most important albums of Madonna's career .
YOU have to wonder why Madonna didn't insist on a strip search.
Critics privileged to preview her new album MDNA had to hand in their phones and their bags before sitting down in a record company boardroom yesterday.
You just can't trust anyone these days.
MDNA is the many shades of Madonna finally brought together on one album.
Opening track Girl Gone Wild reaffirms her mission to be a dancefloor diva who is one step ahead of the pack.
While her pop princess peers have been riding the 90s Euro house bandwagon for the past three years, Her Madgesty takes a defiant detour into darker, edgier and harder territory. Less wave your hands in the air and more get down and get dirty.
You can hear it most strongly on the underground hardcore of Gang Bang which finds Madonna shooting her lover dead and heading straight to hell. It sounds like The Kills if they went electronic and you'll be hearing the lyrical hook "Drive bitch!'' everywhere for the rest of the year.
Those who grew up with poptastic Madonna need not fear - she has not forsaken you.
Like any song with "radio'' in its title, you can expect to hear Turn Up The Radio all over the airwaves. Co-written with French electronic DJ and producer Martin Solveig, it is one of the bigger pop songs on the album and follows a similar template to his smash hit Hello .
Superstar features her daughter Lourdes on backing vocals, I'm A Sinner sounds like Donna Summer doing a less bombastic version of Bollywood while Falling Free is a heart-striing ballad with stripped-back strings and simple synths and the album's bravest vocal performance.
One of the standout tracks is Beautiful Killer, which is earmakred for the deluxe version only.
Inspired by French film star Alain Delon, the songs sounds like it was plucked from a Cafe Del Mar compilation circa mid 1990s.
Why they didn't make the "standard'' version is a mystery unless you are one of those cynical types who suspect her record label may be trying to get a few more bucks out of her fans.
MDNA is out on March 23.
Today's preview is from I Don't Give A, a Solveig-track featuring Nicki Minaj. This is the track that contains the apparnt references to Madonna's divorce from Guy Ritchie.
The pop superstar is preparing to embark on a global trek to promote her latest album MDNA, and she wants to give fans the chance to get as close to the stage as possible.
Her manager Guy Oseary announced on Twitter.com on Wednesday (14Mar12) the Material Girl will hand out 50 tickets for the pit in front of the stage at every one of her U.S. concerts.
He tweeted, "Enter to win pit tickets!! 50 tickets per show! Good luck to everyone that enters to win pit tickets... we have 50 tickets per show in the U.S... enter!!!!!"
Oseary also assured followers that Madonna will hold similar competitions for devotees in other countries too.
He added, "We will come up with ways for fans to win pit tickets outside the U.S. as well... stay tuned."
Madonna's tour will kick off in Tel Aviv, Israel on 29 May (12) and then head to Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.
Madonna will make history when she performs in Quebec, Canada in September (12) - she'll become one of the only acts to play a paid-for concert at the historic Plains of Abraham battle site.
Officials in Quebec City have relaxed their rule about for-profit concerts on the park grounds - and furthermore they're letting the pop superstar play at the site of a famous 1759 battle between the British and French for free, according to Billboard.com.
Concerts have been staged at the battlefield since 2008 - the centenary of its dedication as Canada's first historic site - but promoters behind shows featuring Sir Paul MCCartney, Metallica, Celine Dion and Madonna's nemesis Sir Elton John have not been permitted to charge a direct admission fee for the Plains of Abraham. Hence the shows were free.
Local promoter Sylvain Parent-Bedard tells the Canadian Press that charging admission means the capacity will be capped and people won't be crammed in like "sardines".
National Battlefields Commission spokesperson Joanne Laurin adds, "Generally, we don't accept any commercial activity, but in this case it's really exceptional... We accepted it because we presume there will be major economic benefits for Quebec City."
Madonna has posted another black & white picture of her tour rehearsals.
Her comment reads "My loves a Revolver" (sic), probably hinting at the song they're rehearsing.
Even staying off Twitter, Madge is causing fan frenzy ahead of album's release.
Madonna may not be on Twitter, but she's got her social-media game face on in the lead-up to the release of her 12th studio album, MDNA — and we think she's doing a savvier job of promoting her album than most stars better known for their social-media presence.
While Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Rihanna have adopted Twitter as their forum of choice when communicating with fans, Her Madgesty has been ramping up her Facebook presence as MDNA's March 26 release nears. She's been socializing minute-long snippets of several MDNA album tracks — including I'm Addicted and Gang Bang — posting behind-the-scenes pictures of tour rehearsals and polling her fans about which back-catalog songs they'd like to hear when she hits the road.
Through Facebook, the Queen of Pop is teasing her album and tour by making fans feel like part of the process. And her mix of behind-the-scenes bravado and first-listen sneaks is creating a frenzy. Notably, she's done all this without having to say a word. She's psyching fans up without overwhelming them — a criticism Lady Gaga faced after her full-force media assault to promote Born This Way left many casual fans fatigued. The abundance of social networks, particularly Twitter, has made overdoing it all too easy.
The promotion process lends itself well to hyperbole, which sets up an impossible situation. When acts release albums, they are of course proud and often make grand declarations about quality, often in relation to their own previous efforts. "It's my best album/ song/ video" is a statement made by just about every singer for just about every release, and that opens the artist to immediate criticism. And it's easier than ever to make these overreaching statements now in our 140-characters-or-less culture. Twitter can also get celebrities in trouble.
Many celebrities have found themselves in hot water after shooting their mouths off on Twitter, often in response to criticism. Chris Brown is probably one of the most notable, having been criticized for, among other things, his use of homophobic slurs, his recent feuds with country star Miranda Lambert and WWE wrestler CM Punk and famously responding to criticism of his February appearance at the Grammys with a tweet reading, "HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That's the ultimate F--- OFF!"
The point is that the unfiltered nature of the medium lends itself to major PR missteps. Rihanna, John Mayer and "90210" star AnnaLynne McCord (among many others) have found themselves in varying degrees of trouble following an ill-considered tweet. While we doubt Madonna would encounter the problems Brown has had if she took up tweeting — she's a total pro and typically pretty measured in any and all public statements she makes — since she doesn't tweet, she doesn't have to worry about this issue at all.
Instead, the pictures and song clips she's posted to Facebook and YouTube have received a decent amount of press pick-up and have kept the conversation about her album and tour going despite the middling reception to MDNA's lead single, Give Me All Your Luvin'.
Additionally, by making clips of multiple songs available ahead of her album's release, Madonna has made many of the overwhelmingly positive reviews for MDNA more dynamic reads for fans. If you go to Billboard, you are treated not only to a flat-out rave, but to two full-length songs and four minute-long clips, making it not just a review but a preview. The preview experience is recreated on her Facebook page, with those same clips taking up space beside tour images on her timeline, creating what is, in our opinion, the ideal fan experience to kick off a new album.
In short, she knows MDNA is really good, knows it's not wise to say that out loud in our sound-bite culture and is using social networking to do the talking for her; still, she is keen to play it coy rather than overexpose herself.
The Material Girl returns with her 12th studio album. Is it any cop? Let's find out....
Though most will have heard this track already (it's the second single off the album) it's worth a recap. Produced by Benny Benassi, Madonna intros with a spoken word segment about how she wants "so badly to be good". As the album plays through, the strangeness of the single's choice will become more apparent. Girl Gone Wild does little to set the listener up for what's about to come next.
With an intro consisting of a revving engine and a solid four-to-the-floor beat, Gang Bang is Madge Gone Industrial. We're certainly not mentioning another blonde female artist who also took inspiration from German Industrial on her last album, but we're in the same ball park. It's exciting. Madonna's ditched the faux English accent and the mood is tense. It feels like something's about to snap as she declares "You were building my coffin/ you were driving my hearse". Ubiquitous Dubstep wobble aside, the track tails off into a wonderful 'Faster Kill Pussycat' segment, with Madge singing "Drive bitch and while you're at it die bitch!"
Electronic ripples open the track into something that sounds like ‘Momma's Place'-era Roisin Murphy. There are some nudging references to Killer Rave Drugs as Madonna sings "It's like MDMA and that's OK". There's another dubsteppy breakdown that ends with her chanting "MDNA" over an electro explosion. We can't wait to see this live.Turn Up the Radio
This is the first of the six Martin Solveig-produced tracks on the album(including the bonus tracks). There's a Dragonette style vocal and lyrics about music helping you to forget your woes. It's quite sweet, and leads nicely into the next track...Give Me All Your Luvin'
...which is still amazing.
The first William Orbit cut (of five). Direct and bitchy, Madonna's vocals are treated and hidden beneath a heavy bass. It's a mid-tempo track with a chorus of "Some girls are not like me / I never want to be like some girls".Superstar
This track feels a bit lightweight amongst the others. There's a Katy Perry vibe. The "Oh la la you're my superstar" chorus seems like a incongruous filler with the cheeky cringey teen lyrics: "You're like Abe Lincoln because you fight for what's right". Maybe Lourdes helped her with this one?I Don't Give A
Lyrically, this is a list of all the things that Madonna has to do: "Message manager no time for a manicure". It avoids turning into ‘American Life' thanks to Madonna letting a little bit of her guard down: "I tried to be a good girl I tried to be your wife". Nicki Minaj's guest spot is relaxed and ends with the immortal line: "There's only one queen and that's Madonna, bitch".I'm A Sinner
A psychy track that feels like a mix of Peaches and Martha And The Vandellas. It sounds fresh, and tongue firmly in cheek Madonna lists some saints over a "Wo-oh-ah" backing vocal.
Though ‘Love Spent' could come across as a kind of 'Exquisite Corpse' of a track (banjo intro, then violins, then spoken word) it's really brilliant. Madonna channels ABBA-level spousal hurt as she sings "Hold me like your money, tell me that you want me, spend your love on me".Masterpiece
The track from W.E. It sounds a bit zzzz here to be honest.Falling Free
Elegant and classy, the warped piano sounds of the final track on the album proper is a fitting end. This icy ballad fits far better than ‘Masterpiece' as Madonna addresses a problem she wishes she could forget: "When I move a certain way I feel an ache I've kept at bay".Beautiful Killer
Yep, you guessed it: beautiful filler, more like.< p> I Fucked Up
It's strange that this didn't make it onto the main CD. This is the track that most critics have pegged to be about Guy Ritchie. Aside from the token French interlude, this is understated and excellent, and could easily have replaced ‘Masterpiece'.B-Day Song
M.I.A. makes an appearance on this 60s-influenced Solveig track. Though there's a line about how Madonna likes to spend her birthdays ("Give me a spanking start the day off right") it's clear why this isn't a main track.Best Friend
Madonna lists things she misses in her partner. It sounds a bit like a vocodorized Max Martin track, which would normally be amazing, but in these circumstances, it doesn't really fit.
So, is the Queen of Pop back on her throne? Just about. We'd pledge our allegiance anyway.
Seems like Madonna is ever more embracing social media. A few days ago, she shared some pictures of bruises, caused by the taugh tour rehearsals. Guy Oseary tweeted that she took the pictures herself with her smartphone. The shots include a "heart-shaped bruise" on her ass and a cut lip from "rehearsing Girl Gone Wild" (in case you doubted this would get performed).
Today, another picture was posted on her Facebook, featuring Madonna and six of her dancers, lying on the floor and holding machine guns. The text teases "Guess what song this is for???... I can't say". Could it be for Gang Bang? Or Revolver? Who knows...
Madonna's 2012 World Tour will make a stop at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on November 8th. This was announced by Live Nation today.
Tickets can be purchased through Live Nation, Ticketmaster and the Joe Louis Arena box office, starting March 19th at 10am (local time). This week's ICON pre-sales, starting tomorrow, will allow ICON members (10am) and Live Pass holders (11am) to reserve their seats early.
Ticket prices range between $48 and $358. Check the floor plan here.
NEW YORK — Madonna will soon be dancing in her own shoes.
The music icon is making her fashion mark again with a line of footwear under the new Truth or Dare label, owned by MG Icon. The collection will launch for fall '12 and will be produced by Aldo Group Inc., marking the first footwear license agreement for the company.
The deal came about through Aldo Product Services, a division created in February 2010 to handle wholesale, private-label sourcing and now licensing agreements.
MG Icon is a joint venture formed in 2010 by Madonna and her manager, Guy Oseary, and Iconix Brand Group Inc. Footwear will be the brand's second product launch, following a fragrance that will debut in April.
"Footwear has always been a critical part of the plan," said Iconix CEO Neil Cole. "And realizing that Aldo was willing to do wholesale, it was the perfect timing."
Nicholas Martire, GM of Aldo Product Services, added that it was also time for Aldo Group to add new depth to its business. "It is a way for us to move forward," he said of the deal.
The initial footwear offering consists of more than 60 styles, including flats, heels, booties and over-the-knee boots, set to retail for $89 to $349. Many of the dance-inspired looks will feature studs and cap-toe details. Madonna's stylist, Arianne Phillips, will serve as the creative consultant.
But the pop superstar herself will also have constant input into the line's development.
"Her fingers are really on this brand," Phillips told Footwear News. "The first thing I did was remind her of all the shoes she wore over the years, and we took the styles that we can't live without. You can always depend on her to bring her style and provocateur quality, but she also has a very feminine perspective."
The shoe collection comes with the support of big retail players, including Nordstrom, Asos.com and Macy's, which also was the launch partner for Madonna's first retail project: the Material Girl line that hit in August 2010. This time, select stores will feature special displays to promote the Truth or Dare brand, and Selfridges in the U.K. will create a pop-up shop. The line also will debut at The Bay in Canada.
Beyond the name appeal associated with Madonna, the Macy's team was impressed by the brand's "great dress shoes and boots," said Deanna Williams, a spokesperson for the retailer."We think our customer will be excited about this line because it's by such an iconic and innovative creative such as Madonna."
Looking ahead, Cole said he plans to expand the brand globally to Germany, France, Spain and Italy in 2013.
Truth or Dare will target 27- to 50-year-old women, an older audience than Material Girl's junior consumer. "[This customer] has graduated from Material Girl," said Lanie List, chief merchandising officer at Iconix. "It's what the sexy woman wears to suit all her needs, not just what's sexy."
Cole stressed that the new brand isn't a typical celebrity enterprise due to Madonna's involvement. "I don't really look at it as a celebrity line," he said. "The key is going to be great product and marketing, and the fact that Madonna is our partner is an added twist."
To market the brand, Iconix will roll out print and online advertisements next month that feature the pop star. And there are plans for Madonna and her backup dancers to wear modified versions of the looks on her upcoming tour, which kicks off this summer.
But while the singer's participation in promotions will be important, it will take more than a household name to ensure a successful launch, said Marc Beckman, founder and CEO of Designers Management Agency, a New York-based talent and brand management firm.
"Her attachment to the brand is critical — she has always been a fashion icon and people love her — but at the end of the day, the product has to be unique," said Beckman.
In addition to shoes, the Truth or Dare brand will launch intimates later this year and is in discussions about legwear and additional accessories for 2013.
"Footwear has had a tremendous response and that inspires new product and categories," said List. "We'll make this a very organic growth strategy."
Ultimately, Iconix and Aldo are predicting major opportunity for both their businesses, especially with global expansion.
Cole said, "We have so many different countries we can do business with, and there is so much [potential] to grow worldwide. That's a bigger opportunity than a traditional U.S. footwear launch."
In her three-decade reign as the undisputed queen of pop, Madonna has never shied away from controversy.
In Day Two of an exclusive interview with The Sun, Madonna branded the legendary fashion designer's comments "horrible" and "ridiculous".
Last month, the eccentric Chanel designer claimed Tottenham-born Adele was "a little too fat" when he guest-edited a French magazine.
But Madonna, 53, stuck up for the Grammy-winner, hitting back: "That's horrible. That's ridiculous, that's just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
"I don't like it when anybody says anything bad about anyone — I don't like it. Adele's a great talent and how much she weighs has nothing to do with it."
Madonna, who has won seven Grammys and two Brit awards, explained how she has sustained a career in music spanning more than a quarter of a century — and said it is decent advice for Adele, 23, to stay on the right track.
She said: "The thing for Adele to remember is at the end of the day, whether you rise or fall, it has so much to do with how you sustain yourself and keep your integrity and your inner strength.
"It is all about who you surround yourself with — friends and people who really do care about you, and care about your well-being beyond being a superstar. That's the most important thing."
Over the past six months, two of the brightest female solo stars have passed away in tragic circumstances.
Last July Amy Winehouse died aged just 27 after suffering a public battle with drugs and alcohol.
Then last month Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel bath in the Beverly Hilton in LA. She was 48.
Like all music fans, Madonna was shocked by the deaths before their time.
She said: "I, probably like everybody else, was hit by this shocking sense of disbelief – especially with Whitney Houston.
"It had not been a secret, the struggles Amy had been through — both brilliant, brilliant artists and obviously both huge losses.
"But when these things happen, I'm always shocked by the first thing you say — 'It's such a loss' — which doesn't quite cover it.
"Then you reflect and you think, 'How did it happen? How did the people around them allow it to happen?'
"We've lost so many great artists that way when you think about it. So history just kind of repeats itself over and over.
"One thing I was struck by with Whitney Houston is I remember she sort of came out as a singer around the same time I did.
"I remember looking at her singing and hearing people talk about her, and just thinking, 'Oh my God. She's such a beautiful woman and my God, what an incredible voice. I wish I could sing like that.'
"I just remember being extremely envious of her and also touched by her innocence.
"I was watching a documentary about Serge Gainsbourg, the French songwriter, and there's a famous talk show he did that happened a while back when Whitney was just starting.
"It was funny, because I'd just watched it the week before she died, where he was making a kind of play for her on national television and he was basically saying in French that he wanted to 'f' her — and the look of shock on her face...
"I mean, she was so innocent and so young, and so cute, and really she blushed.
"And I was thinking, 'We are all innocent at one stage in our life. It's just interesting, the paths our lives take.'
"I was struck by that — how well she started and where she ended up and the tragedy of it."
Madonna is about to release her twelfth studio album, MDNA, and kicked off the promo cycle for the release with a high-profile gig during half-time of the Super Bowl last month.
The gig, with Brit M.I.A and New York rapper Nicki Minaj, sparked huge controversy in the US when M.I.A flicked a middle finger at the camera.
If you blinked, you would have missed it. But it didn't stop a conservative audience complaining in their thousands — with a very different finger of blame pointing at Madonna.
But the mum-of-four has mixed views about the uproar. She said: "Well, you know, the thing is we were in NFL territory.
"We were in the sacred ground of football and I think that it's a very important and well-viewed event.
"It was accepted and understood by everyone performing that we would be — what's the word I'm looking for — politically correct.
"I think the NFL were more worried about me than anything else, thinking that I was going to do something crazy or provocative. And I really had no intention of doing something shocking.
"I was working too hard in putting the show together to think about how I was going to do something to p*ss people off.
"They fought hard for me to get me more rehearsal time, and to give me what I wanted creatively for the show.
"I felt like I owed them to give them back what they wanted.
"So on that level, I was upset because I knew that I got some people into trouble that really went forward for me.
"And I don't wanna do that — I don't want anybody to get in trouble at my expense because they worked so hard to give me what I wanted, so there's that side of it.
"On the other hand, I didn't know M.I.A did it, and everybody was outraged about it so I viewed the footage and I kind of almost missed it.
"And I was like, 'Oh, okay'. It didn't seem like that big a deal at the end of the day, so there's two sides to the story.
"You know, that's her thing, it's pretty punk rock and actually, in the bigger picture of things, much crazier things have happened."
Fans around the UK and Ireland have already bought tickets to see Madonna perform this summer in London, Edinburgh and Dublin.
And she hopes the shows will cause as much of a stir with her own fans in the stadium.
She said: "Oh God, I hope somebody is going to give the middle finger at my show. It probably won't be me because I've done it too many times.
"I hope I have some ideas. The creative well is dry but I just started rehearsals last week and mostly I have been focusing on music.
"I do have ideas and I have a lot of work ahead of me. I'm incredibly anxiety-ridden about it."
There is no sign of Madonna packing up her fishnets and leotard either — even though she has passed the half century.
And fans will be pleased to hear she is as motivated as ever to carry on her illustrious career.
She said: "I guess I love doing what I do. I have a voice, I have opinions, I have things I wanna say.
"I love music, I love telling stories. So I guess as long as I feel that way I'll keep doing what I'm doing."
Yesterday I was lucky enough to get an advance listen to Madonna's much-anticipated new album MDNA, and I'm thrilled to tell you that it's exactly the return to form fans have been hoping for from the Queen of Pop. A nice mix of dark, heavy club jams, mid-tempo electronic and some truly lovely ballads, MDNA has something for every sort of Madonna fan.
While we're only now getting a snippet of the video for the album's second single, Girl Gone Wild, listening to the album already has me thinking ahead to her next single. That's how loaded with hits this thing is. Frankly, I can name three songs that I'd have gone with as the lead single over Give Me All Your Luvin', and I'm on the record as liking that song just fine!
Perhaps she's just knowingly waiting until early May to drop the track as an official single because she knows it's a perfect summer song. It's a big, anthemic dance-pop wonder with glittery synths and fun lyrics like "I don't know how I got to this stage / Let me out of my cage cause I'm dying / Turn up the radio, turn up the radio / Don't ask me where I wanna go, we gotta turn up the radio."
She needs freed because she's ready to have a good time, you see! There's a propulsive energy here that feels authentic and alive. The calculated perfectionism of some of Madonna's club jams can leave you feeling a little chilly but that's not the case here. In my notes I scribbled the words "effervescent" and "happy."
"You feel the wind on your face and your skin and it's here that I begin," Madonna sings as the music cues up. It's almost like she knows this is a song designed to be listened to at full volume with the windows down.
There are quite a few potential hits on MDNA but Turn Up The Radio is the most accessible to a mass audience. Take, for example, Gang Bang, another song I really liked. The song is a dark and aggressive club track with gunshot sound effects and a pounding William Orbit beat. It also contains some of the album's stronger lyrics – "I thought it was you, and I loved you the most / But I was just keeping my enemies close" – and a driving chorus ("Bang bang, shot you dead / Shot my lover in the head / Bang bang, shot you dead / And I have no regret"). But while I can see it playing deep into the night at a New York City nightclub, I can't see it being embraced by Top 40 radio.
I'm Addicted isn't anywhere near as dark and is more typically Madonna than Bang and could work well as a single – but it's a walloping dance track that would probably be better served if it were preceded by a big hit. It's a great song, one that deserves some attention, and I think any hesitation radio programmers might feel about adding it to their lineup would be assuaged if they felt there was demand for it.
Turn Up The Radio could be the song that creates that demand. Give the people what they want, Madonna. Make it your next single!
The pop queen bared her soul in a world exclusive interview as she declared: "I'm not going to lie — it's hard work having four kids and doing all the work I do."
Her headaches over Lourdes, 15, Rocco, 12, David, six, and Mercy, five, are just the same as any divorcee holding down a job, according to the multi-millionairess.
And Madonna, 53, blasted critics of her parenting skills — fuming: "Everybody has something to say about the way I live my life.
"At the end of the day I'm doing my best. If people don't like it, then that's really their problem."
Madonna said four years after her divorce from 43-year-old Brit film director Ritchie: "Sometimes I cope with it very well, sometimes it's a struggle."
The star has used her experiences as a lone parent as an inspiration for some of the tracks on her forthcoming album, MDNA.
Discussing song I Don't Give A, she explained: "It's about the life of a single mother.
"It's a challenge juggling everything — multi-tasking is my middle name. I try to express that."
But the song is also a clear broadside at Ritchie — Rocco's dad. The lyrics include "I tried to be a good girl, I tried to be your wife", and describe how she was "trying to be all you expected of me".
And if that wasn't explicit enough, she also raps about the "life of an ex-wife", having "no time", "doing ten things at once", "custody" and "pre-nups".
However, a bonus track on the album appears to show Madonna accepting at least some of the blame for the couple's acrimonious split, describing how she was "cold" in an X-rated track called I Fucked Up.
One line states: "I blamed you when things didn't go my way. I could have just kept my big mouth shut."
And it was a welcome relief for the singer to be back in the studio. She said: "It was amazing. I like it — I like the intimacy of a recording studio and song-writing.
"I'm using a different part of my brain when I work on music versus than when I'm directing a film.
"There's a billion more people (on set) and I don't have that visceral outlet of being able to sing, scream and jump around.
"It was very different. I love doing both but it was nice to get to the simplicity of song-writing after three years of writing a script, directing, editing and talking about my film.
"To sit down and play my guitar and sing a song — I almost cried."
The album comes out on March 26, but her latest single Give Me All Your Luvin' was unveiled to a select audience of 114 million viewers at half-time during last month's Super Bowl.
Madonna hopes her incredible work ethic — this is her 12th studio album in a 30-year career — remains an example to women around the world.
Speaking to The Sun from her New York apartment — while taking a break from son David's French homework — she said: "I hope I'm a role model. I hope I give other girls a voice, women a voice, other women someone to look up to and admire. I keep rolling with the punches and trying to have integrity.
"And I hope I inspire women and give them strength to deal with life no matter what comes their way."
The next job lined up for the workaholic superstar is protecting her younger kids from some of MDNA's more adult tracks — including I Fucked Up and Gang Bang. But she revealed that it might be easier said than done.
The American icon explained: "Every time I get in the car the radio is on. It's quite shocking that my five and six-year-old children know the words to every single song on the radio.
"They haven't heard my entire album, they definitely haven't heard Gang Bang.
"I doubt that will ever get played on the radio."
The star's eldest, whom she calls Lola, is studying at a performing arts school in New York. She has recorded backing vocals on the track Superstar. But her mum is still determined to protect her, too — from the record labels and big film studios who are already sniffing around.
Madonna said: "Yes, she's my background singer. She just came over to the studio that day. Then I said, 'Oh, can you sing this part?' and she agreed to.
"She has a very good voice. She's quite shy about it and won't admit it. Lots of people are knocking on my door to meet her about everything, movies and what-not.
"But she's not really interested in any of it. She just wants to go to school. She says to me, 'Mum, I just want to be a normal kid. I'm not ready for any of that'.
"I respect that, and if she ever wants to work with me on any level I welcome it.
"But otherwise I leave her to her homework and school."
Speaking on the Graham Norton Show a few weeks ago, Madonna admitted she enjoyed the anonymity of a recent skiing trip when she could hide behind her goggles without being recognised. And she is determined to give her kids the same protection. She said: "We just try to have as normal a life as possible.
"My life with them at home is really just about schoolwork and health and the after-school lessons just like everybody else."
She added: "Most of them go to a French school. My French is not very impressive, but it's good enough. Everyone in my house speaks perfect French but me.
"I'm getting better at understanding when they're not talking about their homework.
"I'm now picking up things and saying, 'What did you say?'. I know the necessary swear words, so they have to be careful."
Madonna's own choice of language has sparked some controversy.
The album title MDNA has led to critics accusing the star of making light of MDMA — the chemical used in the illegal Class A drug Ecstasy.
But Madonna quickly brushes off the accusations, insisting: "It's an anagram of my name. I don't really think about controversy — I think about irony."
MTV News takes a look at why Madge's upcoming album is a drug worth taking.
Madonna wants us to dance the heartbreak away on MDNA. The record, set to drop on March 26, has some of the finest musical moments we've heard from the pop legend in the last few years, recalling the finer songs and themes she explored on Ray of Light and Confessions on a Dance Floor.
It's clear that Madge had her heart broken, most likely by her former hubby and British auteur, Guy Ritchie. She explores the pain of life post-divorce on many of the songs on the album, and most of the time, it works perfectly. Madonna really understands heartbreak and she understands even better how it can empower someone to be a better person.
While all the buzz seems to be about I Don't Give A and the bit too on-the-nose confessions she makes about her divorce (where she even sings about falling off a horse), her anger is even darker on the William Orbit-produced Gang Bang.
Sparse at times and always punctuated by a pulsing beat, it's incredibly hard. It's the type of record you'd expect to hear at some after-hours club that your really edgy friend knows about. It's about falling completely in love and falling more deeply into hate when it's over. Serving as a pop-song revenge fantasy, Madonna sings, "And I'm going straight to hell/ And I've got a lot of friends there/ And if I see that b---- in Hell/ I'm gonna shoot him in the head again/ Cause I wanna see him die/ Over and over and over."
On the disco-tinged Love Spent, Madge sings about feeling like nothing more than a bank to a former lover (she did have one very costly breakup from Ritchie), and on the remorseful, melodic Best Friend, she admits, "Your picture's off the wall, but I'm still waiting for your call/ And every man that walks through the door/ Will be compared to you."
Superstar is light and airy, recalling some of the singer's highlights from the '80s. The mid-tempo's production, which comes courtesy of Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza, certainly helps distract from some of the sillier lyrics that have Madonna comparing her boy toy to famed dudes like Al Capone and James Dean.
If anyone was wondering why she called the album MDNA, all they need to do is look to I'm Addicted, the super club-thumping track full of bleeping noises, spare moments and then big chugging ones, which are filled out with loopy instances. It's about letting go and loving someone completely: "Now that your name/ Pumps like blood in my veins/ Pulsing through my body, lighting my mind/ It's like MDNA and that's OK." MDMA, of course, is the drug also known as ecstasy, giving the track the perfect metaphor for love on the dance floor.
While most of the album addresses the highs and lows of falling in love, Some Girls is all about Madonna proclaiming her awesomeness. Another Orbit jam, it's a crunchy, robotic, thumping anthem that puts Madonna right in the center of female empowerment. "I'm not like the rest," she proclaims, as if anyone would ever question that. "Some girls are second best." On the chorus, she declares, "Some girls are not like me/ I'm everything you've ever dreamed of/ I got you begging please."
One of the highlights is Turn Up the Radio, which sounds like it was born to be this summer's feel-good anthem. It's bright, happy and fun, all about letting go of the past. Over Martin Solveig's sunny production, Madge sings, "It was time I opened my eyes/ I'm leaving the past behind/ Nothing's ever what it seems/ Including this time and this crazy dream."
She's not wrong to be that confident on this album. She's certainly in the groove. And the album is full of strength, but it's also her vulnerability that rounds it out. If fans thought Give Me All Your Luvin' and Girl Gone Wild are what this era is all about, they are only seeing pieces of the MDNA puzzle, that's only completed when listening to the album from front to back. In the end, this album is a drug worth taking.
"A collection of thoroughly pumping pop tunes, some of which are slices of sheer brilliance"
Madonna is still very much the Queen of Pop.
Nearly 30 years after first hitting the Billboard charts in late 1982 with her debut single Everybody, Madonna is still showing the pop world how it's done.
MDNA -- her 12th studio album -- is a collection of thoroughly pumping pop tunes, some of which are slices of sheer brilliance. Not only does Madonna take us to the club with MDNA, she exhausts us, drains us, and confides in us. Five minutes after an aerobic workout on the dance floor, we're in her private booth, where she's spilling her guts about relationships and how things just didn't turn out the way they planned. Then, another five minutes later, we're back to dancing up a storm to a song like Gang Bang.
Yes, Gang Bang.
The track is one of the album's many stand-outs. It's a dark, throbbing tune that is twisted and surprising and altogether pop-tastic. (Yes, that's a word.)
MDNA reunites Madonna with her Ray of Light co-producer William Orbit, who polishes her songs with cosmic flourishes and rushes of fuzzy-retro bits. Madonna also enlists the production assistance of Martin Solveig, the Demolition Crew, Benny Benassi, Alle Benassi, Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza and Michael Malih.
Curiously, the set's first single -- the rah-rah Give Me All Your Luvin' -- doesn't properly prepare the listener for what they're going to get on the album. Basically: set it aside and go into MDNA with a clean slate.
Here's a Track-By-Track Take on MDNA:
Girl Gone Wild The second single from MDNA is also the dance floor-ready opening number from the set. In a way, it's very dance-by-the-numbers with Madonna -- a "good girl gone wild" -- singing about her "burning hot desire" to have some fun. The production is familiar Benny Benassi -- all driving, thumping, electronic beats. It's comparable to his remix of Madonna's own Celebration single. The track does a good job of getting stuck in one's head, thanks in large part to its "hey-yay-yay" sing-song chorus. One notable difference in hearing this track on a proper stereo setup with quality speakers: you get carried away a bit more by the "whoosh," shall we say, of the song.
Gang Bang Commence freaking out, hard core Madonna fans, as Gang Bang is the song you've been waiting for. It's dark, clubby, driving, thumping and altogether sickening. (Meaning: It's fantastic, y'all.) Consulting our notes, the scribbles include the words "OMG," "dubstep breakdown" and "GOD THE BEAT." So yeah, it's freaking amazing.
Eight songwriters, including British pop singer Mika (?!), collaborated on the song. On March 8, he Tweeted that it's "weird as fuck, underground and lyrically cool, it's amazing and bizarre. I love it, she sounds so good singing words so harsh." Madonna sing/speaks over the tweaky production about how she keeps her "enemies close" and how she "shot my lover in the head." Truly, Gang Bang is going to be one of the most talked-about tracks on the album and is completely unexpected after hearing MDNA's first two singles (the cheery Give Me All Your Luvin' and dance-by-numbers Girl Gone Wild).
Gang Bang's lyric "Drive bitch!" -- so eloquently used in the song -- will become quite the catchphrase in the coming months. (Notably, as Gang Bang is explicit -- and perhaps un-editable -- it will be omitted from the "clean" version of MDNA. A shame.)
I'm Addicted Hey, you wanna go dancing? We'll meet Madonna at the club, as she's got this fantastic, swirling, digital get-down number she wants to play for us. "Something happens to me when I hear your voice and I have no choice," Madonna sings on the hypnotic, Daft Punk-y song. And when Madonna says in a cool, instructive tone, "I need to dance," you know what -- you'll need to dance too. (And now we know where the title of the album comes from, as Madonna chants "MDNA" in I'm Addicted.)
Turn Up the Radio A cousin to Girl Gone Wild, this tune is a summery pop number that's as effortless as it is simple. It's mindless fun where Madonna sings about how the "temperature's pounding'" and longing to "escape" and how she's "sick and tired of playing this game." (Haven't we heard that before? Enough with the games Madonna!) -- Basically the point of the song here is: "turn up the radio until the speakers blow." While the lyrics aren't provocative or necessarily new, it's still a peppy little tune that would sound great "on the radio."
Give Me All Your Luvin' (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.) You've already heard "Give Me All Your Luvin'," the album's lead single, which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The throwback cheerleader-like song almost seems like it was a commercial for Madonna's Super Bowl halftime show as opposed to a proper promotional single for MDNA. Its lyrics and vibe aren't indicative of MDNA as a whole and mislead the listener into thinking the album is going to be full of singsongy jingles with by-the-numbers lyrics.
Some Girls The album's second William Orbit co-production, Some Girls will likely remind listeners of his work on the Ray of Light album. The tune has his trademark swirly, cosmic-like flourishes that zig-zag out of the speakers. On the track, Madonna lyrically references herself with the line "put your loving to the test" (oh hay Express Yourself!) whilst elsewhere singing "I never wanna be like some girls."
Superstar Notably this track features the backing vocals of Madonna's eldest child, Lourdes (credited as Lola Leon), and name checks everyone from Marlon Brando and Michael Jordan to Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln. The gist here is: "Ooh la la, you're my superstar" and "I'm your biggest fan, it's true." Armed with yet another kicky dubstep bridge, Madonna also amusingly sings about how the Superstar subject of her devotion is "like John Travolta, getting into the groove." (Get it? She's referencing herself again -- but in a smart, cheeky way.)
I Don't Give A (featuring Nicki Minaj) A very rat-a-tat-tat song, where Madonna barrels through a list of rants that vaguely reminds one of her rapping on the "American Life" single. She sings about how she "tried to be your wife" (Hey, Guy!) and "in the end it was a failure." Nicki Minaj puts in her second appearance on the album, where she closes her feature with the swipe "There's only one Queen and that's Madonna. Bitch!" The song ends with a rather lengthy orchestral bit that's epic and sweeping, but comes out of nowhere.
I'm a Sinner Reminiscent of William Orbit's own Ultra Violet remix of the Ray of Light single, the chugging track is so very, very Orbit. It's like the love child of Beautiful Stranger (another Orbit co-production) and Ray of Light. Mid-way through, Madonna gets inspirational and recites "Hail Mary full of grace / get down on your knees and pray" followed by "Jesus Christ hang on the cross, died for our sins it's such a loss" and so on. (Yes, there's more, but we couldn't write that fast.)
Love Spent "You played with my heart, till death do we part," Madonna sings on this driving, building track. It's got these whooshes (yes, a technical term) that hark back to '80s tracks like Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes." It's a mesmerizing song that includes a wonderful little strummy bit (possibly a banjo?). The lyrics work some clever word play comparing love to money: "I want you to hold me like you hold your money / hold me in your arms till there's nothing left." Madonna co-wrote this track with a team of professional writers, and the assistance is evident and welcome. (We love you Madonna, but we also love it when you collaborate and produce amazing, beautiful pop, like Love Spent.)
Masterpiece This was the first taste the public got of MDNA, as it was unveiled late last year as the closing-credits song of the Madonna-directed film W.E. (Though, at the time, it was unclear if the track would ultimately turn up on MDNA) The Golden Globe-winning track is very pretty -- percolating along with a clicky little beat, an acoustic guitar and delicate strings. Madonna's vocals are lovely, comparing someone to "a rare and priceless work of art."
Falling Free The quite gorgeous ballad reunites Madonna with her brother-in-law Joe Henry, who has co-written at least one song now on four different Madonna albums. He co-penned Don't Tell Me from 2000's Music album, as well as Jump from Confessions on a Dance Floor and Devil Wouldn't Recognize You from the diva's last set, 2008's Hard Candy. As an album-closer, it's perfect, with the lyric "I let loose the need to know / we're both free -- both free to go..."
Deluxe Explicit Album Bonus Tracks:
Beautiful Killer A concept song, certainly. Madonna goes on about how there's a "gun in my mouth" and "maybe that's what you've been dreaming about" and "maybe I'll let you shoot me down." There's an persistent string element here that brings to mind "Papa Don't Preach."
I F****d Up It's Madonna just straight out saying how craptacular a particular relationship turned out (we're guessing her marriage to Guy Ritchie). She sings, "I'm so ashamed, you're in so much pain," "wish I could take it back" and how she "destroyed the perfect dream." There's a whole lot of "couldas" here that just strike us as odd, as Madonna never was the "I'm sorry" kind of gal. She's all about no regrets and no apologies.
B-Day Song A fun girl-group ditty that's a throw back to Madonna's True Blue era of good time goof-off songs. It's light, fluffy and effortless -- and very stripped down. Think Go-Go's meets Madonna with lyrics like "Light my candles," "make a wish" and "give me a spankin'!" (Yes, really.) Sample silly lyrics include: "I wanna diamond, don't give me a fake!"
Best Friend Perhaps too personal of a song to be included on the "standard" version of the album, Best Friend can only be read as being about her ex-husband, Ritchie. Absolutely confessional in tone, Madonna sings "I feel like I lost my very best friend" but she has "no regrets" and that she "survived the biggest test." The song closes, monumentally, with the heartbreaking lyric: "It wasn't always perfect, but it wasn't always bad."
"Girl Gone Wild" Written by Madonna, Jenson Vaughan, Alessandro "Alle" Benassi, Marco "Benny" Benassi; Produced by Madonna, Marco "Benny" Benassi, Alessandro "Alle" Benassi
"Gang Bang" Written by Madonna, William Orbit, Priscilla Hamilton, Keith Harris, Jean-Baptiste, Mika, Don Juan Demarco "Demo" Casanova, Stephen Kozmeniuk; Produced by Madonna, William Orbit, Demolition Crew
"I'm Addicted" Written by Madonna, Alessandro "Alle" Benassi, Marco "Benny" Benassi; Produced by Madonna, Marco "Benny" Benassi, Alessandro "Alle" Benassi
"Turn Up the Radio" Written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Michael Tordjman, Jade Williams; Produced by Madonna, Martin Solveig
"Give Me All Your Luvin" (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.) Written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Nicki Minaj, Maya Arulpragasam, Michael Tordjman; Produced by Madonna, Martin Solveig
"Some Girls" Written by Madonna, William Orbit, Klas Ahulund; Produced by Madonna, William Orbit
"Superstar" Written by Madonna, Hardy "Indigo" Muanza; Produced by Madonna, Hardy "Indiigo" Muanza, Michael Malih
"I Don't Give a F" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Nicki Minaj, Julien Jabre; Produced by Madonna, Martin Solveig
"I'm a Sinner" Written by Madonna, William Orbit, Jean-Baptiste; Produced by Madonna, William Orbit
"Love Spent" Written by Madonna, William Orbit, Jean-Baptiste, Priscilla Hamilton, Alain Whyte, Ryan Buendia, Michael McHenry; Produced by Madonna, William Orbit
"Masterpiece" Written by Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry; Produced by Madonna, William Orbit
"Falling Free" Written by Madonna, Laurie Mayer, William Orbit, Joe Henry; Produced by Madonna, William Orbit
Deluxe Explicit Album Bonus Tracks:
"Beautiful Killer" Written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Michael Tordjman; Produced by Madonna, Martin Solveig
"I F****d Up" Written by Madonna, Martin Solveig, Julien Jabre; Produced by Madonna, Martin Solveig
"B-Day Song" Written by Madonna, Maya Arulpragasam, Martin Solveig; Produced by Madonna, Martin Solveig
"Best Friend" Written by Madonna, Alessandro "Alle" Benassi, Marco "Benny" Benassi; Produced by Madonna, Demolotion Crew; Co-produced by Marco "Benny" Benassi, Alessandro "Alle" Benassi
The show was scheduled for 11 June 2012 at the Maksimir Stadium, but "logistical reasons" have led to the decision to cancel.
Ticket payments will be refunded.
The stylish black & white video reminds us of the artistic Madonna videos that were also directed by famous photographers, such as Herb Ritts' Cherish and David Fincher's Vogue. But most of all - especially with the homoerotic imagery - it reminds us of the infamous videos for Justify My Love, Erotica and Deeper And Deeper.
Madonna is shown in close-up as a smokin' (in every sense of the word) babe, amidst scarcely clothed males. Her look also reminds us of the fantastic photoshoot for Interview Magazine, that was also done by Mert & Marcus. In some scenes she's shown as an S&M dominatrix, clad in black leather, chained on arms and legs.
Take a look:
Madonna was quick to react to the leaks of her song which include I'm Addicted and Love Spent. The W.E. director releases an official snippet of Gang Bang shortly after the new song went viral on Thursday, March 8.
The dancey track features dark lyrics which revolve around an anonymous former lover. "Gang bang, shot you dead/ Shot my lover in the head/ Gang bang, shot you dead/ And I have no regrets," Madge sings over the dance/pop beat.
In addition to the Gang Bang snippet, Madge has also dropped official previews for the previously-leaked I'm Addicted and Love Spent. More similar treat is expected to be offered in the following days which leads to MDNA release on March 26.
The Material Girl described the album as "unapologetically happy." She elaborated, "I think we all need to dance a bit more these days. The world needs a breather, and [DJ/producer] Martin [Solveig] knows how to put a smile on people's faces."
Celebrity gossiper Perez Hilton has gotten the privilege to preview some MDNA tracks, and he will be posting these on his website the coming days and weeks.
After the relative failure of the album's first single Give Me All Your Luvin' – in with a bullet at No 37 in the UK – this throbbing, having-a-bit-of-a-dance electro-pop stomper was released a few weeks ago in the form of a fairly embarrassing lyric video. Embarrassing because the lyrics are probably the worst thing about it, all "you got me in the zone, DJ play my favourite song" club LOLs. Co-produced by Italian DJ Benny Benassi, it's a lot more exciting musically, especially when the whole thing disintegrates in the middle eight, dropping out completely as Madonna coos "forgive me". A signal we're back in Confessions On A Dance Floor territory following the relative misstep of Hard Candy.
Madonna in playful mode. Big throbbing industrial-tinged beats, spoken word verses, no real chorus, just a ridiculous collection of sound effects (police sirens, gunshots) and imposing menace that's actually pretty fun in a kind of slightly unhinged way. Gang Bang recalls her American Life album in its slightly uneasy marrying of genres, with a sudden dubstep breakdown its most obvious detour. Lyrically it's a twisted revenge fantasy rather than a sordid romp, closing with the line: "If you're going to drive like a bitch then you're going to die like a bitch."
Again co-produced by Benny Benassi, this continues the theme of "Fun!" (however forced it might seem) that permeates most of MDNA's first half. "I need to dance," Madonna trills over squiggly synth squelches and a beat that morphs into a fairly ridiculous Calvin Harris-esque breakdown. By the end she's chanting "M D N A", which you imagine might be shouted back at her by some fairly large crowds come summer.
This one, co-produced by Martin Solveig, should have been the second single. Its relatively calm intro is a timely breather from the throbbing bass and feels more carefree and instinctive than what has gone before. Over a bouncing beat that filters, stutters and drops in all the right places, it slowly morphs into an anthemic raveathon, with a lovely middle eight underpinned by almost tribal drums. Again, the theme is the need for one and all to chill out and have some fun.
Give Me All Your Luvin' feat Nicki Minaj and MIA
If you were one of the 108 million people who watched this year's Super Bowl halftime show then you've probably heard this first single. If, however, you listen to the radio then you probably haven't, seeing as it wasn't playlisted on Radio 1 and received limited exposure elsewhere. Though admittedly not her best comeback single – that's Frozen, in case you were wondering – it's still a fun song, Solveig slightly reworking the bouncing beats and acoustic strums of his amazing Hello single and drafting in Nicki Minaj and MIA to add some personality to a middle section that's slightly dubstep-interlude-by-numbers.
Probably the album's weakest moment, with Madonna's vocals pulled, processed and buried deep in the mix, acting more like another instrument within a deluge of filtered beats. It could have easily been a leftover from her Music album, William Orbit unable to find a melodic core in a song that probably should have been included as a bonus track.
Opening with a massive Cheerleader-style drum beat – reminiscent of the extended intro to Solveig's Hello – this is much better, Madonna sounding playful and energised, singing about how her new boyfriend is pretty amazing. In fact, she likes him so much she'll let him "have the password to my phone". Unfortunately, as with most songs on the first half of the album, the chorus is a bit weak, a simple "oh la la, you're my superstar". Also, memo to Madonna: massive pop stars knowing about dubstep is probably a bit old hat now, but we get another dubstepesque breakdown nonetheless.
I Don't Give A feat Nicki Minaj
Brilliantly odd. Opening with a bang, literally, it goes on to morph into an American Life-style rap (no wait, come back) that features a list of things Madonna has to do ("meet the press … sign the contract"). The industrial beats soon make way for spooky chants and out of nowhere Minaj pops up, finishing her rap with "there's only one Queen and that's Madonna, bitch". If this isn't being made into a T-shirt as you read this then there's something wrong with the world of merchandise.
Futuristic-sounding, double-tracked beats hail a song that veers from having fun on a night out ("all the boys and the girls wanna be like us tonight"), to a religious revelry ("Hail Mary, Jesus Christ on the cross died for our sins"). Produced by William Orbit, his signature motifs are all over it, from the Ray Of Light-style guitar line that emerges from nowhere to the bit later on that sounds like Beautiful Stranger.
Back come the guitars, this time working around processed strings, a pretty melody and lyrics about wanting to replace money in a man's affections. "Hold me like your money … Spend your love on me," Madonna sings over four-to-the-floor beats and a properly ravey middle eight. There's an amusing moment when she deadpans: "Frankly, if my name was Benjamin, we wouldn't be in this mess we're in."
Over a simple fingerclick drum beat and a pretty acoustic riff, this ballad – which appeared on the W.E. soundtrack – takes the painting metaphor hinted at in the title and runs with it. "If you were the Mona Lisa, you'd be hanging in the Louvre," Madonna sings, with the implication being that it's hard to love something perfect and distant ("the look but please don't touch me type"). It's one of the best vocal performances on the album, her voice soft and sweet throughout, lifting effortlessly into the chorus of "I'm right by your side, like a thief in the night, I stand in front of the masterpiece." A breath of fresh air after heavy bass and ravey synths.
Opens with a spooky, slightly unhinged piano section that's more lonely woman in haunted house than Coldplay stadium filler. Deep strings underpin the whole thing, with just the piano and strange electronic textures – similar to Ray Of Light's Drowned World – for company. As with most of the later songs, you could easily read a lot into the lyrics, specifically thinking about Madonna's divorce from Guy Ritchie. "We're both free, free to go," she sings as the strings sigh and slowly settle. It's a haunting way to end the main album.
The first of four bonus tracks, this draws on a fairly popular Madonna theme: that of being drawn to something bad for you. "Baby I'll let you shoot me down" and "I can't really talk with a gun in my mouth" are two lyrical highlights on a song that was rightly left off the main album.
This, however, definitely should have been on it. Opening with a big, bass-heavy beat and a snapped "I fucked up", it's Madonna at her self-lacerating best. "I made a mistake, nobody does it better than myself," she sings as the beat is joined by strings and sudden bursts of guitar. Suddenly the beat skips and speeds up, creating the album's grimiest, least polished moment. Fans of Confessions On A Dance Floor's Sorry will be pleased to hear her sing "je suis desolé" in the least convincing French accent.
B-Day Song feat MIA
Rumours that this MIA collaboration was bumped from the main tracklisting following middlefingergate were not confirmed during the playback, but it's more than likely it was left off because it's Motown/Spectorish beat doesn't really fit with the rest of the album. It's a jolly romp though, with MIA joining in on the chorus but letting Madonna deliver the line "give me a spanking, start the day off right" by herself.
A real highlight. With a massive electro beat that pogos all over the place, this is a brilliant rush of darting synths. Lyrically it's about a relationship that should never have been, Madonna lamenting the loss of a friendship after things went wrong. There are nods, perhaps, to her previous life as part of the English gentry – "I miss the countryside in which we used to lay" – and it's one of the few times on the album where the chorus truly soars. It ends with the line "it's so sad that it had to end" and, generally, this is true of Madonna's MDNA, an album that's been trailed by weak singles, but contains brilliantly bonkers moments.
Celebrity gossiper Perez Hilton has gotten the privilege to preview some MDNA tracks, and he will be posting these on his website the coming days and weeks.
Madonna's first fragrance "Truth Or Dare by Madonna" is now available for pre-order from Macy's website. Unfortunately, shipping is limited to US residents.
The Eau de Parfum comes at $55 for a small bottle (1.7 oz) and $68 for a large one (2.5 oz). There's also a body lotion for $28 and shower gel for $24.
Truth or Dare by Madonna is a contemporary and sexy reinvention of a classic, robust signature white floral. The unique blend of narcotic florals, balanced with addictive woods and vanilla, create a scent that is timeless yet modern, simultaneously dark and light. The addition of gourmand notes such as Vanilla and Caramelized Amber makes the fragrance stand out from traditional floral fragrances and gives it a contemporary edge. Experience the opulent and sensual scent of Truth or Dare by Madonna with the new fragrance collection for women.
Miami also gets a second show on November 20th, currently the last date for the North American leg.
Ticket sales for both shows will start on March 12th at 10am local time, with fan club pre-sales tomorrow, March 6th at 10am for Lifetime Legacy members and 11am for Live Pass holders.
The song — which hints at losing her identity in the eight-year marriage, which ended in 2008 — includes the lines, "I tried to be a good girl/I tried to be your wife/Diminished myself/And I swallowed my light/I tried to become all/That you expect of me/And if it was a failure/I don't give a [bleep]."
What could be Madonna's most personal lyrics yet created a buzz at the invite-only playback of the superstar's album by longtime press agent Liz Rosenberg Friday night at The Agency Group in New York.
While no printed lyrics were provided, M sounds in a fighting mood. In a song titled Gang Bang, we taste more Madonna rage, also perhaps directed at Ritchie. Lyrics include, "Bang bang, shot you dead/Shot my lover in the head/Now my lover is dead/And I have no regrets/He deserved it/And I'm going straight to hell/And I got a lot of friends there/And if I see that bitch in hell/I'm gonna shoot him in the head again/Cuz I want to see him die/Over and over." Ouch.
Madonna and Ritchie wed in 2000, and he reportedly got up to a $92 million settlement in their split. They share custody of sons Rocco and David Banda. Hinting at some acrimony, Ritchie told Details in November, "I stepped into a soap opera."
Rosenberg last night refused to confirm the lyrics, but said, "If those are the words you heard... I have not heard Madonna explain whether the lyrics are autobiographical or not. She doesn't often explain lyrics to her songs, and she did have a few writing collaborators. I can only confirm that the response from the music press who heard the album was really exciting. They seemed to love it."
QUEEN of Pop Madonna may be about to wed again after her toyboy Brahim Zaibat reportedly proposed to her.
A source told a Sunday newspaper: "Brahim asked Madonna to marry him at a Kabbalah Centre a few weeks ago, but Madonna hasn't given him an answer yet.
"She doesn't want to rush into anything. She is very happy with Brahim, although her friends are not sure she is ready for marriage again."
And the source went on to tell the Mail on Sunday: "That said, Madonna has a real fear of being on her own.
"It's a major issue for her, and she loves having a man in her life who is young and makes her feel young."
At 24, Brahim is almost 30 years younger than the 53-year-old Give Me All Your Luvin' hitmaker.
The pair have dated since 2010.
Madonna has previously been married to actor Sean Penn, and Brit film director Guy Ritchie. She split with Ritchie in 2008.
In the wake of their difficult divorce, she told how she never planned to wed again, declaring: "I think I'd rather get run over by a train."
But the star recently told chat show host Graham Norton she would love to be "swept off her feet" again.
She revealed: "Every girl wants to be swept off her feet by a knight in shining armour.
"Even if we are sophisticated, intelligent, evolved human beings, we like to think in the back of our minds that Mr Right is going to sweep us off our feet and take us into the sunset, and we're going to live happily ever after."
In troubled times, there's something reassuring about the perennial resurrection of Madonna.
Is Madonna still relevant? More than ever.
Since Madonna Louise Ciccone last toured with her outrageously successful Sticky and Sweet extravaganza ($400 million, thank you), the world lost two of music's most indelible influences, fallen '80s super icons Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. And music's next great hope, Amy Winehouse. All to drugs.
Luckily, we don't have to worry about the Eternal Girl. Knowing Queen Madge and her stubborn spirit, she'll outlast us all.
After all, her drug of choice isn't dangerous or life-threatening. "Life and love inspire me," says Madonna. "I think reinventing yourself is vital to your survival as an artist and a human being. I know it's cliché to say about me at this point, but it's true. My curiosity definitely is the driving force in my life and career. When you stop learning, engaging and growing, you're dead."
For mourning pop fans, Madonna's perennial resurrections have been soothing and reassuring in these tumultuous, complex times.
She's still kissing girls (this time, the lucky whippersnapper is Nicki Minaj), selling-out stadiums, producing infectious hit singles (Give Me All Your Luvin'), thumbing her nose at movie critics, reshaping her age-defying body, cussing out hydrangeas and inspiring us all by raising a modern family as a single mom. Whew.
"I love Canada. You guys get it."
Somewhere in between all that managed chaos and fun, Madonna scored her second Golden Globe Award for Masterpiece. She even beat her longtime rival Elton John in the category. In a rare act of diplomacy, Madonna didn't take Elton's bait when the surly musician — and his Toronto-born partner David Furnish — attacked her mercilessly in the press afterward.
When I bring up John's snarky, pointed attacks, Madonna smiles knowingly. "Yes, it appears he's always mad at me about something, isn't he? I'm honest when I say I have nothing against him. I'm a fan of his music. He's a brilliant artist. And I will always adore and respect him. And he has the right to gripe as much as he wants. I like knowing he's thinking about me a lot."
Her recently released movie WE tackles Madonna's two favourite subjects, fame and love, through the storied romance of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. While the movie received mixed reviews, Madonna managed to escape the personal attacks she's faced in the past for her films.
Would she, like Edward, give up her throne for love? "Yes," she answers. "But then again, I'm of the mind: Why can't I have both? I don't think we need to compromise. Of course, these are different times and I am not a royal."
She is royalty of a kind, reminding everyone she's still the greatest performer of 'em all by single-handedly stealing the Super Bowl earlier this year with a lively, record-breaking half-time performance which people are still talking about. Her Egyptian-cheerleading-gospel-choir-inspired spectacle was the most-watched halftime show on record, and actually edged out the game's averages in both ratings and total viewers.
Not bad for a 53-year-old star, especially in this youth-obsessed market of ours.
Moving forward, it's her latest album MDNA and upcoming tours fans are most excited about. "While my new passion is making movies, touring and recording will always be my first love," she says. "My music career pays the mortgage — and keeps me in shape. Plus, it's fun. I think the fans are going to love it. I didn't want to do anything too serious because the film was so taxing for me on an artistic level. I can't wait to get up there and dance and sing. Some of my little ones have yet to see that side of my life.
"I wanted to make an album that was unapologetically happy. I think we all need to dance a bit more these days. The world needs a breather, and [DJ/producer] Martin [Solveig] knows how to put a smile on people's faces. And, of course, I have my partner-in-crime, William Orbit, helping me out with the substance. MDNA is a good hybrid of the introspective and fun."
She's looking forward to visiting Canada, where's she performing in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa late summer and early fall. "I love Canada. You guys get it," she says. When asked if she still thinks Toronto is a "fascist state," an infamous moniker from her Truth or Dare documentary, fallout from her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990 and a visit from Toronto's morality squad. "No, of course not," she says, shaking her head. "My how times have changed, huh?
"My country could learn a lot from you guys."
Tonight, a dream came true—I was invited to Liz Rosenberg's office for a Madonna listening party. It wasn't for Like a Prayer and this wasn't 1989, but MDNA lived up to my expectations and Liz always surpasses them.
In a nutshell: Write my Orbituary, MDNA is a beautiful killer. (I'm equally in love with Orbit's work, which is with more personal-sounding songs as I am with Solveig's clubbier creations.)
As I was about to share with my new pal Sergio Kletnoy, seeing that legendary profile on Liz in The New York Times in '92 (a backlash pill meant to allow for something positive to be said about Madonna at a time when she was being excoriated everywhere) made me want to be in her nerve center so badly. My longtime friend Giulio got to visit Liz in her Warner Bros. offices (complete with the hair dryers from Blond Ambition!) a few years ago, but her new digs are still special.
Got there early to find only a couple of people (it was later packed) ignoring the fabulous hors d'oeuvres and cupcakes, things Madonna probably hasn't eaten since she was dating Basquiat and was stealing food out of Dumpsters. The sound was pumped to the point of distortion, with Gang Bang blaring. It's an assault-on-the-senses kind of ditty, so it was perfect to walk into a wall of it.
My Russian doll Sergio arrived, we finally met in the flesh and I spent most of my time engrossed in conversation with him about our mutual obsession. It was like sex addicts meeting to talk about favorite blowjobs—it went on and on and never got old. Also got to chat with Liz's beautiful and indulgent assistant Nadia (she must know that fans like Sergio and I should probably be handled with tongs and Hazmat suits, but like the wife in The Painted Veil, Nadia mixes and mingles out of the goodness of her heart) and my longtime so-many-mentor Denis, and of course with lovely Liz.
People seemed to be having fun so were either acting and couldn't wait to declare Madonna over once back in front of their computers or were actually enjoying the record.
I'll do a full review after I've legitimately heard this album in a focused setting, but here are some thoughts to chew on—at least it's not from someone anonymous!
Girl Gone Wild (still listed as "Girls" in my hand-out, oopsy) opens the album and is, for my money, a scorching-hot song. Is it "Madonna?" No; she didn't write it or anything. But it's a terrific opener and undeniable (to me) fun. "Gang Bang" is like GGW on female Viagra (chocolate?)—it's a dark, driving club stomper, aggressive as hell. It has a techno edge that reminded me superficially of "Control" by Traci Lords. (A song I love. And please don't take any of my comparisons too literally; there was nothing that sounded...reductive.) Mika came up with this???
Turn Up the Radio is a sweeping, joyous pop-dance song as anthemic as Get Together, one of my very favorite post-Ray of Lightsongs. Give Me All Your Luvin' sticks out like a sore thumb on this album. I remain a fan of it, but it's not near the top of my MDNA list.
The suite of songs Love Spent, Masterpiece and Falling Free is probably going to please any Madonna fan I've ever met. They're beautifully sung and are not cursed with oversimplified lyrics, nor do they sound like they care much if asinine radio programmers will like them. Falling Free is my fave song of the album so far, gorgeously sung, a total stand-out. Go, Joe Henry! Keep it together, indeed.
Now, I'd heard the bonus tracks were to die for, but who knew that a rumor would be true times 10? Beautiful Killer is a fucking great Orbit-sounding Solveig song (could Orbit really not have had a hand in this one???). How in the HELL this is not on the album proper, how in the HELL this is not a title track, I'll never understand. Even the cringe-inducing title I Fucked Up turns out to be a really pretty, plaintive pop song. B-day Song didn't seem to have its guest star—M.I.A. was M.I.A.
At some point, Nicki Minaj declares Madonna the only queen.
I genuinely loved most of what I heard. I would be shocked if many people didn't feel this was a vast improvement over Hard Candy which, let's be honest, was a good record. There are definitely songs on here that are personal, uplifting and inspiring mixed among the far louder "I'm still hot and young, fuck me in any hole you can!" club crushers.
There are five album configurations as of February 21, 2012:
STANDARD EXPLICIT ALBUM/ALL ACCOUNTS/PHYSICAL & DIGITAL
(1) Girl Gone Wild
(2) Gang Bang
(3) I'm Addicted
(4) Turn Up the Radio
(5) Give Me All Your Luvin'
(6) Some Girls
(8) I Don't Give A
(9) I'm A Sinner
(10) Love Spent
(12) Falling Free
STANDARD EDITED ALBUM/ALL ACCOUNTS/PHYSICAL & DIGITAL
Has all the same songs in the same sequence with no Gang Bang
DELUXE EXPLICIT ALBUM/ALL ACCOUNTS/PHYSICAL & DIGITAL
Same as first configuration, continues with:
(13) Beautiful Killer
(14) I Fucked Up
(15) B-day Song
(16) Best Friend
(17) Give Me All Your Luvin' (Party Rock Remix) ft. Nicki Minaj & LMFAO
DELUXE EDITED ALBUM/WALMART EXCLUSIVE/PHYSICAL EDITION
(1) Girl Gone Wild
(2) I'm Addicted
(3) Turn Up the Radio
(4) Give Me All Your Luvin'
(5) Some Girls
(7) I Don't Give A
(8) I'm A Sinner
(9) Love Spent
(11) Falling Free
(12) Beautiful Killer
(13) B-day Song
(14) Best Friend
(15) Give Me All Your Luvin' (Party Rock Remix) ft. Nicki Minaj & LMFAO
(16) Give Me All Your Luvin' (Laidback Luke Remix)
SUPER BOWL DELUXE EXPLICIT/ITUNES EXCLUSIVE/DIGITAL VERSION
Same as second version but continues with:
(17) Give Me All Your Luvin' (Party Rock Remix) ft. Nicki Minaj & LMFAO
(18) Love Spent (Acoustic Version)
Madonna scores her record-extending 55th top 10 on Dance/Club Play Songs, as Give Me All Your Luvin', featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., vaults 24-9. The song is her 26th top 10 in a row stretching to 1998.
Dating to the chart's origin as a weekly survey the week of Aug. 28, 1976 (when the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing" fittingly led the inaugural list), Janet Jackson ranks second with 34 top 10s, followed by Donna Summer (29).
We're just going to come out and say it: Madonna's new single isn't quite the event our minds had hyped it up to be. That said, glancing over the production credits for her forthcoming album MDNA - electropop whizz Martin Solveig, Ray of Light's William Orbit and Chris Brown-career-reviving Benny Benassi - perhaps nothing would have lived up to our over-inflated expectations.
Helmed by the latter producer (and his cousin Alle), Girl Gone Wild is a euphoric, four-to-the-floor club thumper with a chorus that commands you raise your arms amongst all the euphoria. It's not the most forward-thinking track she's ever turned out musically or lyrically ("Girls they just wanna have some fun/ Get fired up like a smoking gun"), nor the most original, but we defy anyone who isn't singing this back to themselves immediately after.
Madonna: MDNA (Interscope)
Review by Matthew Todd, Attitude Magazine April 2012
There's a fun moment at the end of the video to the first single Give Me All Your Luvin', when Madonna flings a baby doll off camera and away from her breast. It isn't a subtle marker of starting anew with her loyal audience of gays and good-time girls, but it is comically satisfying nonetheless. Party Madonna is back and she wants us to know it.
Teaming up with producers Martin Solveig, Benny Benassi, The Demolition Crew and old hand William Orbit, MDNA is a dose of what she does best. While that may seem like just dance music, there is more to Madonna's oeuvre than that.
Girl Gone Wild, the biggest pop stomper on the album, kicks off with a reference to Act of Contrition from Like a Prayer. The production might sound like she's been listening to a fair bit of Rihanna, but who's counting. Madonna brings her own authority, creating the kind of anthemic party song that she does best, the kind where everyone from your three-year-old niece to your 60-year-old mother gets up on the dancefloor. Much of MDNA is about having fun, but despite that, this is a dark album. If Like a Prayer was her divorce record and Hard Candy suffered, one senses, from being put together as her relationship with Guy Ritchie was falling apart, then MDNA is a fuck you to her marriage, the life that came with it, and partly to herself for losing her identity in a partnership. She's out to recapture who she is, and she has demons to slay.
The strangely titled Gang Bang sees her singing in a weird theatrical drawl about taking revenge on a lover who ruined her life. ‘Shot you dead, shot my lover in the head…I'm going straight to hell…I've got a lot of friends there', she deadpans before yelling, ‘Drive bitch, die bitch!'. It's kind of stupid, kind of amazing, kind of funny and kind of fucked up but gives the album one vital ingredient to Madonna's success that all contenders, apart from Lady Gaga, have never clued up on: drama.
The Solveig-produced I Don't Give A..., is one of the album's tour-de-force moments. Beginning by recounting a typical day, it becomes intensely honest, and is, as is her way, a telling-off of her critics. Love her or loathe her, Madonna has made her name by raising a middle finger to, well, just about everyone. ‘Wake up, this is your life, children on your own, gotta plan on the phone, meet the press, buy a dress, do all this to impress…do ten things at once and if you don't like it I don't give a….' It's here that she makes specific reference to her ex-husband. ‘I tried to be the perfect wife…I diminished myself…it swallowed me…if I was a failure then I don't give a…'. The track builds to a genius, choral, almost Tim Burton-esque conclusion.
This strongest, most immediate section of MDNA continues with Turn Up the Radio, which begins like a delicate ballad as she pleads with the listener to stop for a moment, to get away from the world through music. It may sound trite but there's urgency in its simplicity. It transforms into the album's most pounding moment, reaching a climax that threatens to blow the speakers. Some might find it unusually generic, but she makes it her own and fans will be happy to have a dancefloor filler that will shake the clubs and would happily find a slot on the next series of Glee.
One of the later highlights is Superstar, surely the sweetest song Madonna has released since Cherish. It twirls along, an open-top summer anthem, serenading a new lover with a hypnotic chorus. It's simple and pretty and a perfect song to sing on her summer concerts and should definitely be a single.
MDNA ends, as recent Madonna albums do, with deep melancholia, from the Orbit-produced Falling Free, one of the saddest songs she's ever written, through to the confessional I Fucked Up on the Deluxe Edition, accompanied by Beautiful Killer, a fun, 80s-sounding, strings-laced tribute to French actor Alain Delon.
Overall, this might not have the serious pop intensity of Confessions, it's not as drastically new or experimental as music critics might like, but it's fun, fucked up, dancey and full of drama. It's what her fans have been waiting for: a wallop enough of an album to put her back up there, at checkmate against Lady Gaga, who, despite her brilliance, doesn't quite give you songs that are as easy to disco dance to as some of these are. Is Madonna still ‘the Queen' as Nicki Minaj gabs at one point? On the strength of MDNA, it's hard to argue against.
[Note to Monsters: Lady Gaga is frikkin' amazing, too. Don't kill us.]
4 STARS ****
MDNA is released on March 26 on Interscope
Universal Music Italia has given some interesting details on the collaborators of the album.
Singer Mika has co-written the song Gang Bang
Brother-in-law Joe Henry collaborated on the track Falling Free. He has previously work with Madonna on Don't Tell Me, Jump and Devil Wouldn't Recognize You.
Nicki Minaj features on Give Me All Your Luvin' and I Don't Give A, while M.I.A.'s vocals can be heard on Give Me All Your Luvin' and B-Day Song.
Also among the MDNA collaborators are LMFAO and Swedish song writer Klas Ahlund.
New singles from Madonna and Far East Movement (featuring Justin Bieber) are headed for the Billboard Hot 100 chart next week. Madonna's Girl Gone Wild is scheduled to hit the iTunes Store today (March 1) while Far East Movement's "Live My Life" reached retail on Feb. 28.
The former is the second single from the diva's upcoming MDNA album -- out March 26. It follows lead track Give Me All Your Luvin', which peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100. The Far East collabo with Bieber -- produced by RedOne -- is the first taste of the hip-hop act's upcoming second album.
It's too early to tell what Madonna's single might sell, but the Far East track could shift around 120,000 to 150,000 downloads by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, March 4.
William Orbit was interviewed by BBC World (listen here). Some interesting bits:
He confirms that he contributed 6 tracks, but adds that Madonna "keeps adding tracks".
After working together for such a long time, there's a certain telepathy between him and Madonna.
Madonna asked him to work on more acoustic versions, but he didn't clarify if they are for the tour or for the album.
The singles that have come out so far aren't necessarily representative for the sound of the album.