6,5 / 10
Few pop superstars have borrowed as much from club music as Madonna. Her decades at the top of the charts have been bolstered by a canny ability to co-opt contemporary dance sounds without scaring off the mainstream. Finally Enough Love is supposed to represent the singer's own favorites from her extensive remix catalog. It's an intriguing premise, promising a candid look at what this musical magpie makes of her excursions into club culture. Sadly, the compilation's selling point also turns out to be its Achilles' heel, with Madonna making what can only be seen as some pretty weird selections from her remix archive. (This first edition of the album has been whittled down to 16 tracks; a bounteous 50-track companion, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, titled in reference to the singer's 50 Billboard chart-toppers, follows in August.)
Toward the start of her career, Madonna worked with a small number of remixers from her inner circle, like John "Jellybean" Benitez, who was the resident DJ at the Fun House club in New York where Madonna used to dance. As demand for remixers grew, she called on an increasing number of producers from further afield, and many of them, frankly, were not particularly worthy of the honor. These lesser names are over-represented on the second half of the album, which trails off dramatically.
It's heartening, in a way, that Madonna has thrown in a load of her Y2K-era remixes simply because she likes them. But Eddie Amador's leaden and infuriatingly sexless "Club 5 Edit" of Hard Candy's "Give It 2 Me" probably isn't even Eddie Amador's favorite late-period Madonna remix, while the jubilant and cheeky "Music" deserves so much better than Washington, D.C. duo Deep Dish's dull-as-Deep-Dishwater "Dot Com Radio Edit." The fact that workaday Israeli DJ and producer Offer Nissim appears twice across the album's 16 tracks, while the Pet Shop Boys' fantastically chiseled take on "Sorry" only turns up on 50 Number Ones, is a cultural facelift akin to Cecilia Gimenez' scandalous attempts to clear up the Ecce Homo fresco.
At their worst, there is something rote and functional about the mid-to-late-period remixes that dominate the second half of Finally Enough Love, as if Madonna needed something to get played in the fashionable New York clubs from which she emerged, and didn't care all that much about how she did it. The fact that Madonna ostensibly cherishes these songs enough to pick them out of the business-house bin of history isn't enough to rescue them from ignominy.
The other baffling call on Finally Enough Love is the decision to include remix edits rather than the full remixes themselves, when often the whole point of the remakes was to create extended jams that would work for dancefloors and DJs alike. The version of "Into the Groove" included on Finally Enough Love, for example, is the "You Can Dance Remix Edit," a truncated take on the magnificent eight-minute-plus remodel that Benitez and True Blue producer Patrick Leonard created for You Can Dance, Madonna's 1987 remix album; the decision is akin to buying a dog that loves to swim, then locking it in the laundry room.
The "You Can Dance Remix Edit" of "Into the Groove" (which this compilation makes available digitally for the first time) is glorious even in its truncation, with instrumental effects, stuttering vocals, and occasional rhythmic flourishes offering a sparkling alternative flavor to one of Madonna's most iconic hits. But it invites damning comparison with Madonna's previous work. You Can Dance was an essential Madonna release for the way it showed how a huge pop act could live in parallel to the club underground; Finally Enough Love feels more like a collection of footnotes. (In the case of 50 Number Ones, a very long and tangled set of footnotes.)
Questionable curatorial choices aside, there is plenty of incredible music on Finally Enough Love. "Everybody," "Into the Groove," "Like a Prayer," and "Express Yourself" may appear as rather stingy remix edits, but they are still "Everybody," "Into the Groove," "Like a Prayer," and "Express Yourself"—four of the best singles of the 1980s, and near-perfect examples of how club culture can be directed toward the mainstream without sacrificing its sass or vigor. Shep Pettibone's canny, percussion-heavy remix of "Express Yourself," meanwhile, goes a long way to explaining why he was the remixer of choice for '80s pop megastars, capable of teasing out a club groove with a few well-placed tweaks while maintaining the integrity of the original song.
Shuffling forward in time, David Morales' "David's Radio Edit" of "Deeper and Deeper" and Junior Vasquez's "Junior's Luscious Single Mix" of "Secret" are scintillating examples of the early-1990s New York house sound: all tough, swung beats, perky keyboard lines, and perfectly coiled tension. And Stuart Price's raucous "SDP Extended Vocal Edit" of "Hung Up" (a song he produced in the first place) is a wonderful example of how 2000s Madonna connected with the European dance underground on her fantastic 2005 album Confessions on a Dance Floor.
Sadly, it's not quite enough. Finally Enough Love is good when it should be spectacular; frustrating when it could be fantastic, a mixed bag where we deserved solid gold. You could accept the odd strange song selection, maybe, but Finally Enough Love makes the erstwhile Queen of Pop feel inexcusably boring at times—which is the one thing Madonna at her prime would never countenance.
Madonna had "a great time" celebrating New York Pride at Terminal 5 Thursday night (June 23), but was horrified the next day when she saw the news that the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade.
"I woke up to the terrifying news that Roe V Wade had been overturned and that legislation has decided that We no longer have rights as women over our bodies," she wrote in a note posted Sunday (June 26) on Instagram, where she shared a slideshow of new photos. "This decision Has plunged me And every other woman in this country into deep despair."
Madonna continued: "Now the Supreme Court has decided that Women's rights are no longer constitutional rights. In fact we have less rights then a gun."
"I am scared For my daughters," the star said. "I'm scared for all women in America. I am just plain scared."
"I Guess God Put this on our shoulders right now because he knew that we were strong enough To bear the weight," wrote Madonna. "Strong enough to FIGHT! Strong enough to overcome. And so We Shall Overcome! We will find a way to make It A Federal Law to Protect Abortion Rights! Ladies are you ready……..,………. To Fight?"
Madonna is among a list of countless artists who have voiced their opinions about the Supreme Court's troubling decision on social media since Friday. On the stage, musicians including Olivia Rodrigo, Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, Billie Joe Armstrong and Billie Eilish addressed audiences at live shows in the U.K. over the weekend: Rodrigo dedicated the Lily Allen tune "F— You" to the Supreme Court, while Armstrong renounced his U.S. citizenship.
It's possible Madonna just isn't capable of giving anything less than her all. The queen's fandom is such that if she were to give a 7 minute concert consisting solely of harmonica solos, there'd still be a line down several city blocks. But if she's going to perform for her fans, during New York City Pride none the less, she's going to give it her all.
Her show at Terminal 5 on Thursday June 23rd, presented in support of both her new remix collection Finally Enough Love and the World of Women NFT collection's WoW Foundation, proved as much. Taking the form of a variety show, the event had more stunts, guests, and surprises than even Bill Hader's Stefon character from Saturday Night Live could imagine. Bob the Drag Queen acted as MC, while his fellow Drag Race champion Violet Chachki did an elaborate burlesque act in a chair suspended from the ceiling, then ballroom legend and Madonna's former Blonde Ambition-era backup dancer Jose Xtravaganza performed a routine to "Vogue" alongside Laganja Estranja. Madonna herself made out with Dominican rapper Tokischa during a rendition of "Hung Up," and danced alongside son (and emerging style star in his own right) David Banda. In perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, Madonna brought out Saucy Santana to duet on a remixed version of his "Material Girl," proving there's room for more than one hit of the same name. Then the night ended with everyone involved on stage two-stepping to "Celebration."
"It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it," Madonna told the crowd at one point (shortly before remarking that in New York City, "if you can make it here, then you must be queer").
Of course, Madonna's job involves outfitting herself, and she gave W an exclusive look into her fittings for the show. The mood board for the looks mixed Pride with her own legacy while incorporating some of her favorite established labels (Gucci and, of course, Versace) with some up-and-coming designers.
The focal point of her first outfit for the night, worn during "Hung Up," was a custom sleeveless bomber jacket adorned with chains from up-an-coming label SEKS (the label is also a favorite of Julia Fox, who was in the audience where guests were sipping Madonna-themed Belvedere cocktails).
"It was important for Madonna and myself to include emerging New York designers into her show costumes," stylist Eyob Yohannes told W. "SEKS provided a modern, cool, athletic aesthetic with a unique point of view that M and I very much loved."
The look was finished with a vintage bustier from Illisas, shorts by Zhivago, and Givenchy boots.
The inspiration for the look worn during the Saucy Santana duet was Madonna's own "Material Girl" video, though it was Santana who channeled the Marilyn Monroe-inspired pink dress.
"M thought it would be great for Saucy to reference her pink dress look while she played the masculine counterpart in the video," said Yohannes.
Madonna herself, instead, channeled one of the tuxedoed dancers with a Pride twist and an assist from Donatella Versace.
"When M and I were discussing costumes it was a no brainer to reach out to Versace to make a custom look for this event," said Yohannes. "M has had a longstanding relationship with Donatella, whom she had just seen at a wedding. The Versace atelier created a custom suit dress from the runway show with custom hand painted Versace pins in pride colors."
The final look of the night borrowed from Gucci's recent collaboration with Adidas. She wore a matching jacket and short over a bustier from Anoeses, a Ukrainian label specializing in high-fashion fetishwear. The pointed cups subtlety references a certain famous cone bra.
"It has been extremely exciting to delve into M's archives and find ways to reference past looks with a modern and fresh perspective," said Yohannes. "Juxtaposing new fashion with nods to M's historic moments has been quite the journey."
Longtime LGBTQ ally and honorary gay Madonna, whose Finally Enough Love remix album is out now digitally in an abridged version, celebrated New York Pride at Terminal 5 on Thursday (June 23) night at World of Women's NFT.NYC event. Not only did the pop icon – who has recently ventured into the NFT space, covering Billboard's World of Women NFT magazine cover – bring out a gaggle of top-tier drag queens for her NYC Pride celebration, but she tapped iconoclasts in the making such as Tokischa and Saucy Santana to help celebrate a month that separates the dilettantes from the true blues.
There were shades of the 2003 VMAs at the NYC venue when the Dominican rapper and the Queen of Pop shared the stage on a dembow remix of M's top 10 Hot 100 hit "Hung Up." First, Tokischa took the stage rapping her Rosalía collab "Linda" before Madonna and "Hung Up" made an appearance. The strands of the songs began to meld together and the two (who have teased a collaboration before) began to gyrate closer and closer until the seemingly inevitable make out – and it was certainly more of a make out than a kiss – commenced. Taking it one step further, Tokischa – honoring the pop gods who paved the way — knelt down before the Queen and put her face in the holiest of holies during the late-night set. "It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it," Madonna quipped after the heady moment.
Tokischa wasn't the only newcomer to join Madge on stage in Manhattan, though. Saucy Santana assisted Madonna during a mash-up of his DGAF track "Material Girl" and her No. 2 smash "Material Girl," demonstrating an effortless comfort with commanding a sizable venue's audience.
Additionally, a slew of renowned drag queens joined Madonna at Terminal 5, including Drag Race champ Bob the Drag Queen – who busted out "4 Minutes" for about four seconds with Madonna's son David Banda – as well as NYC mainstay Pixie Aventura and another Drag Race winner, Violet Chachki, who performed an astonishing aerial act on a chair to "Justify My Love" before Madonna even took the stage.
Before she left, Madonna was joined by all her special guests – rappers, drag queens, family – for a run-through of a song she hasn't done live in a minute, the title track to her 2009 compilation Celebration. If NYC Pride, in a post-COVID world, wasn't feeling like a full-on party earlier this week, it certainly was by the time Madonna left the stage (as well as Tokischa's lips) at Terminal 5 on Thursday night, leaving the crowd (fueled not only by love of the Queen, but by sponsor Belvedere Vodka's Madge-themed cocktails) ready for Pride weekend in NYC.
Madonna kicked off New York City Pride with a star-studded "Celebration."
On Thursday night, the pop icon put on "WoW, Finally Enough Love," an impressive variety show for fans at Terminal 5 in Hell's Kitchen, a predominately gay neighborhood in Manhattan.
The spectacle kicked off with appearances from RuPaul's Drag Race alums Bob the Drag Queen — who emceed — as well as Violet Chachki, Laganja Estranja and Pixie Aventura, who performed to some of Madge's biggest hits, from "Vogue" to "Justify My Love." Also making a cameo throughout the evening: Madonna's 16-year-old son David, who joined for some comedy and dance.
Midway through the show, Madonna joined the queens onstage, where the infamously tardy star cracked a joke about being on time for once, before addressing the packed crowd, which included stars like Zachary Quinto, Jonathan Groff, Billy Eichner and Julia Fox, as well as drag stars Gottmik and Gigi Goode.
"New York City, you know we are the greatest city in the world, for so many reasons," said Madonna, who partnered with NFT company WoW (World of Women) for the event. "I was asked to perform at many Pride events around the world — but I would never, ever turn down New York City, because this is the city where I was born. I came out of my mother's vagina in Bay City, Michigan, but I was born in New York City!"
The longtime LGBTQ ally added: "It's a very weak crowd. Is the ketamine wearing off? Anyway, in case you didn't know, the reason that New York is so great is that I'm pretty sure that the first queer human evolved from this city. I think they came from the caves of Central Park West. I've heard this conspiracy theory, that I don't believe is a conspiracy theory. Anyways, not only is New York City the best place in the world because of the queer people here. Let me tell you something, if you can make it here, then you must be queer. Did you hear what I said? [sings in 'New York, New York' melody] 'If you can make it here / Then you probably are so queer.' There's one more reason New York City is the best city in the world. One more very important reason. We have the best pizza. Yes, give it up for the pizza in New York!"
Throughout the rest of the hour-long show — which celebrated Madonna's new 16-song remix album Finally Enough Love —Madonna went on to perform with the drag queens, as well as queer artists like Saucy Santana and Tokischa, with whom she shared a make-out session.
After closing the show with a performance of her 2009 track "Celebration," Madonna bid the crowd goodbye, saying, "We love you — I love you," before walking off to "Holiday."
The venue was transformed into a Material Girl mecca and was plastered with the queen of pop's career-spanning album and single art; featured song title-inspired cocktails from Belvedere (like the "Into the Groove"); "Sticky & Sweet"-themed snacks; a M·A·C Cosmetics VIVA Glam station; a photo booth activation; montages highlighting clips from her most iconic music videos; and exclusive merch from the one-night-only event, which was also sponsored by The Sandbox and Linktree.
The 16-track version of Madonna's remix album Finally Enough Love is now available on streaming platforms, just in time for Pride.
Check out the track listing here.
Listen to the album on these digital streaming platforms.
Two weeks ago, we also got the remastered David's Radio Edit of Deeper And Deeper.
And early May, there was the remastered You Can Dance Remix Edit of Into The Groove.
Madonna has attended Britney's wedding to Asghari. Both pop stars decided to recreate that iconic kiss from 2003.
Another iconic moment at the wedding: Donnatella Versace, Paris Hilton, Britney, Madonna, Selena Gomez and Drew Barrymore singing Vogue together.
britney, paris hilton, madonna, donatella versace, drew barrymore and selena gomez singing ‘vogue’, iconic pic.twitter.com/EKSPrPMlaD— 2000s (@PopCulture2000s) June 10, 2022
"Inventing Anna" actress Julia Garner has been offered the role of Madonna in a forthcoming biopic about the pop icon, sources familiar with the project told Variety.
Garner has emerged the favorite from over a dozen candidates, one insider added, and has for months been speculated as a frontrunner for the part — a performance Madonna will shepherd herself as director. Garner's team is considering and expected to accept the offer, said another source.
The film is set up at Universal Pictures, and will follow the early days of the oft-controversial artist and queen of perpetual reinvention. Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley won the script in a multi-studio bidding war, and Amy Pascal is attached as a producer.
A production timeline and other principal cast is still unknown. Actors in contention for the role include the previously reported Florence Pugh, "Euphoria" star Alexa Demie, and Odessa Young. Singers including Bebe Rexha and Sky Ferreira have also been floated. The audition process was reportedly grueling, as the music-heavy production requires a skilled singer and dancer.
Upon announcement, Madonna said she hoped to "convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer — a human being, trying to make her way in this world. The focus of this film will always be music. Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive. There are so many untold and inspiring stories and who better to tell it than me. It's essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision."
Langley praised Madonna as "the ultimate icon, humanitarian, artist and rebel."↑ Back to top of page