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Guest groovyguy

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The Times (UK) review on Saturday gave it 4 stars out of 5. Can't post a link as it's behind a paywall. :) The reviewer misheard Nicki's rap and thought she said "better than Gaga". :horny:

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Los Angeles Times Blog review. LAV cited as one of her best albums and not LAP? Oy.


Album review: On 'MDNA,' Madonna is no longer pushing pop forward

March 26, 2012 |

Twenty years ago, when Madonna was at the top of her game, she published her provocative art book “Sex.” In it, she included photos of herself in various states of undress and wrote about the art of seduction. Her tips included wearing good perfume, garter belts but no underpants and that “on every date you have to say one really disarming thing.”

Decades later, the now-53-year-old confirms, for better or for worse — OK, worse — that Madge of the Dance Floor is nothing if not consistent. On her 12th studio album, “MDNA,” she follows the advice she laid out at her peak. Madonna is garter-belt sexy for “Girl Gone Wild,” metaphorically takes off her undies on “I’m Addicted” and tosses off half a dozen typically “disarming things” about her private life (thus the reason that this has been dubbed her “divorce album”).

But the Madonna of today has lost the art of surprise, and the shock and awe she used to inspire with each new move have gone the way of her bullet bra and taffeta skirts. More important, Madge seems to have lost her ability to create in that magical space that pushes pop forward while remaining completely of the moment.

The music here is certainly not disarming, anAlbum review: On 'MDNA,' Madonna is no longer pushing pop forward

March 26, 2012 |d while it’s dangerous to speculate on the listening habits of artists, “MDNA” more than anything sounds like an album made by someone who’s lost touch with the desires of today’s popular music while pursuing other endeavors, including child-rearing and moviemaking.

For example, the second song, “Gang Bang,” has a good beat you can dance to, as does “I’m Addicted,” a driving love anthem produced by Italian superstar DJ Benny Benassi, so both accomplish a key goal of most of Madonna’s work. But like the rest of “MDNA,” neither offers much in the way of innovation.

The album offers evidence that the singer has fallen behind, that she is no longer setting the conversation in a genre she essentially invented — blending Top 40 pop with club music. While Madonna keeps banging away, the template she helped build is ruling the charts via the work of Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Kesha, each of whom not only sings about club life but also lives it, thus delivering more convincing fantasies.

Yes, a few tracks on “MDNA” are punctuated with a dubstep “bass-drop,” a current electronic effect-song hook typified by a halting sonic skid and massive low-end rumble that drives dance floors batty. But each appearance of it sounds tacked on “for the kids,” as if Frank Sinatra had used a sitar on “My Way” in 1969.

Much of the music on the new album could have appeared on any random electronica collection of the last decade. Frenchman Martin Solveig’s work at its worst feels like watered-down Daft Punk or Basement Jaxx, and the bonus track, “Masterpiece,” features a dance hall-infected rhythm that sounds positively 2006. And despite a few life-injecting moments with rapper Nicki Minaj, the deluxe package also features a remix by joke-rap duo LMFAO, which the Madonna of 1992 no doubt would have ridiculed.

To Madonna’s credit, her idea of disarmament has evolved on “MDNA,” and it includes addressing her 2008 divorce from husband director Guy Ritchie. The songs that address the end of love, such as “Falling Free,” co-produced by longtime collaborator William Orbit, are surprisingly transparent stories about her split and arrive with genuine emotion. But none is as inspired as her more personal work over the years, from “Papa Don’t Preach” to “Frozen.”

On Madonna’s best albums — “Like a Virgin,” “Ray of Light” and “Music” — she lived in that pocket between pop’s present and future, and with each hit single she offered a dose of the new that confirmed her ability to seduce us. But the enemy of seduction is familiarity. The power to jar a lover requires the element of surprise, one that’s sorely lacking on “MDNA.” We’re 30 years into this relationship, after all. Surprising us at this point would require a drastic new approach, one that Madge seems unable to muster this time around.

The looming question is whether the next step for Madonna is a sordid affair, a relationship counselor or a divorce lawyer.

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Review: Madonna still brings heat, beats on 'MDNA'

By MESFIN FEKADU | Associated Press – March 26, 2012

Madonna, "MDNA" (Interscope Records/Live Nation)

Madonna says it best on the opening track of her twelfth album: "No one can put out my fire." At 53, she's still got it going on.

And thankfully so.

Her newest release, "MDNA" — her first apart from her longtime label, Warner Bros. — is full of upbeat dance jams and simmering slow grooves, and it delivers for the most part. True, it's not nearly as top-notch as past records from the pop icon; the songs on "MDNA," despite some risqué language, are much safer and tread familiar ground. Still, there are some standouts.

"Girl Gone Wild," produced by Benny and Alle Benassi (Chris Brown's "Beautiful People"), starts things off nicely with its European flavor and addictive hook. Then there's "I Don't Give A," the second track on the album to feature Nicki Minaj, and the better one (first single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" sounds like a Gwen Stefani demo circa 2004, and that's not a compliment).

The album's best song is "Love Spent," with its Bollywood beat. It finds Madonna calling out a lover with lyrics like: "You had all of me, you wanted more, would you have married me if I were poor?" It's worth noting that the album is Madonna's first collection of new songs since she divorced director Guy Ritchie in 2008. Bitter much?

The dance sound dominates most of the 12-track set, but Madonna sometimes trips over on her own disco ball. "Gang Bang" is a complete mess, "I'm Addicted" sounds overproduced and "I'm a Sinner" is mediocre.

She shines brightest when she brings down the pace. "Falling Free" is soothing, the Golden Globe-winning "Masterpiece" from her film "W.E." is soft and classic, and "I (Expletive) Up" sounds like a raw and honest apology to an ex (perhaps another ode to Ritchie).

On "MDNA," Madonna has a wide array of helpers: Singer Priscilla Renea, who has written for Rihanna and Selena Gomez, co-wrote two tracks; Alain Whyte, the main songwriting partner to Morrissey, co-wrote a song; and Klas Ahlund, the producer behind Swedish dance singer Robyn, co-produced a tune. The CD also has assists from producer Jean-Baptiste (Chris Brown, Black Eyed Peas, Kelis); British singer-songwriter Mika; and French DJ-producer Martin Solveig. Then there's usual suspect William Orbit, who produced Madonna's "Ray of Light."

It's a bit of a mash-up, and may be the reason why "MDNA" is good, but not great.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: Both Minaj and Madonna bring the swagger on the enjoyable "I Don't Give A."

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These are the outlets Metacritic includes:

All Music Guide

Absolute Punk

Alternative Press

American Songwriter

Austin Chronicle


BBC Music


Boston Globe

Chicago Tribune

Clash Music



Consequence of Sound

Country Weekly

Delusions of Adequacy

DJ Booth

Drowned In Sound

Dusted Magazine

Entertainment Weekly


Fact Magazine (UK)

The Fly (UK)


The Guardian


The Independent (UK)


Los Angeles Times

Metal Hammer (UK)


MSN Expert Witness (Robert Christgau)



New Musical Express

The New York Times

No Ripcord

NOW Magazine (Toronto)

The Observer

Okay Player

One Thirty BPM

The Onion (A.V. Club)

Paste Magazine

The Phoenix (Boston)


Pop Matters

Prefix Magazine

Q Magazine

The Quietus

Resident Advisor


Rock Sound

Rolling Stone

Slant Magazine

The Source



The Telegraph (UK)

This is Fake DIY

Tiny Mix Tapes


Under The Radar


The Wire



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allmusic review, must be still rated


Most pop stars reach a point where they accept the slow march of time, but not Madonna. Time is Madonna’s enemy — an enemy to be battled or, better still, one to be ignored. She soldiers on, turning tougher, harder, colder with each passing album, winding up with a record as flinty as MDNA, the 2012 record that is her first release since departing Warner for Interscope. That’s hardly the only notable shift in Madonna’s life since the 2008 release of Hard Candy. Since then, she has divorced film director Guy Ritchie and has seen her ’80s persona co-opted and perverted by Lady Gaga, events so cataclysmic she can’t help but address them on MDNA. Madonna hits the divorce dead-on, muttering about “pre-nups” when she’s not fiercely boasting of shooting her lover in the head, and she’s not exactly shy about reasserting her dominion over dance and pop, going so far as to draft Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. as maid servants paying their respect to the queen.

Whatever part of MDNA that isn’t devoted to divorce is dedicated to proving that Madonna remains the preeminent pop star, working harder than anybody to stay just on the edge of the vanguard. All this exertion leads to an excessively lean album: there’s not an ounce of fat on MDNA, it’s all overly defined muscle, every element working with designated purpose. Such steely precision means there’s no warmth on MDNA, not even when Madonna directly confesses emotions she’s previously avoided, but the cool calculations here are preferable to the electronic mess of Hard Candy, not least because there’s a focus that flows all the way down to the pop hooks, which are as strong and hard as those on Confessions on a Dance Floor even if they’re not quite so prominent as they were on that 2005 retro-masterwork. MDNA does echo the Euro-disco vibe of Confessions — “Love Spent” consciously reworks the ABBA-sampling “Hung Up” — yet as a whole it feels chillier, possibly due to that defensive undercurrent that pervades the album. Even if she’s only measuring it in terms of pretenders to her throne, Madonna is aware of time passing yet she’s compelled to fight it, to stay on top, to not slow down, to not waste a second of life, to keep working because the meaning of life is work, not pleasure. Naturally, all that labor can pay off, whether it’s through the malevolent pulse of “Gang Bang” or the clever “Beautiful Stranger” rewrite “I’m a Sinner,” but, ironically for all of Madonna’s exhausting exertion elsewhere, these are the songs that benefit from her finely honed skills as a pop craftsman, illustrating that no matter how she combats it, she can’t escape her age and may indeed be better off just embracing it

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so what's metacritic's issue with madonna?

64? :nocomment:

Oh Nikki, Metacritic has no issue with Madonna. It's an aggregator. Blame Pitchfork - they refuse to give Madonna one compliment in the 10 years they've reviewed her music, and blame the UK publications for choosing horrible journalists to review Madonna's personality and not her music.

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Why are you all so obsessed with fucking Metacritic, who fucking cares.

Really though. Who cares if it gets and 80 or an 8 on Metacritic? As long as we all enjoy it, fuck everyone else.

I'm not gonna lie though; I was hoping it would get more than 71, if only to see the Little Monsters reactions :lol:

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Guest Coked Up Baby Boy

Well the reviews have been great, so what's the issue, one site that collects reviews isn't giving the proper rating??? who cares, i don't know anyone who uses that shit fucking site anyway.

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The Houston Chronicle

The queen of pop isn't dead

By Joey Guerra

Rumors of Madonna's irrelevance have been greatly exaggerated.

They started almost three decades ago, when her second album was supposed to be a flop. It was "Like a Virgin," and we all know how that turned out. Rumblings resurface every few years - "Shanghai Surprise," the "Sex/Erotica/Body of Evidence" trifecta, "American Life," 2008's uneven "Hard Candy."

This year's Super Bowl extravaganza, an introduction of sorts to "MDNA"-era Madonna, was supposed to signal another downturn. She's too old to be doing that. Too weirdly muscular. Too slow. Too silly. Why is LMFAO there? (A fair question, unless you're not sorry for party rockin'.)

At its core, however, it felt like a three-pronged attack: sexism, ageism and pop-ism. Nevermind that Madonna is the only pop star of an elite '80s group who has remained a true commercial force. (Prince, Cyndi Lauper, even fallen idols Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were abandoned by radio years ago.)

There's no denying Madonna's iconic status, legacy or influence. She's moved more than 300 million records worldwide and is the Guinness World Records' best-selling female artist of all time. She's a member of the Rock Hall of Fame. Her Sticky & Sweet Tour is the most successful by a solo artist - ever. That boast is likely to be smashed by the upcoming trek, her biggest in years, which plays Oct. 24 and 25 at Toyota Center.

"MDNA" is already setting records, too. It hit No. 1 on iTunes in 50 countries and became the largest one-day preorder of any album in the site's history. Super Bowl-fueled first single "Give Me All Your Luvin" was Madonna's 38th top-10 hit, the most by any artist in chart history. More than Elvis. More than the Beatles. More than Jackson. (That song's shiny-happy sound, by the way, is nowhere near representative of the full album.)

But it's not just about numbers. The best pop music captures moments in time and typifies movements. It's both immediate and timeless, like the best of Madonna's catalog. Few artists today will likely stand that test of time. (I'm talking to you, Katy Perry.)

"MDNA," online and in stores Monday, flies, twirls and snaps in the face of all those accusations. It wisely draws inspiration from the fuzzy brilliance of "Ray of Light" and the luxurious grooves of "Confessions on a Dance Floor," two of Madonna's best albums.

At its best, this is deep, dark, sometimes disturbing dance music. There are a few sonic themes happening throughout, from after-hours club sweat to pop-starlet sparkle. Madonna says she felt like a "caged animal" during the process, and that urgency anchors the best tracks.

"Gang Bang" finds her wielding an ominous whisper atop a dank leather-bar groove. The lyrics are pure B-movie camp ("And if I see that bitch in hell/I'm gonna shoot him in the head again"), and as the title indicates, it evokes the smoky spirit of Cher's (or Nancy Sinatra, if you prefer) "Bang Bang." It's biting, aggressive and gleefully over-the-top.

"I'm Addicted" soars like a fluttering haze of dance-floor strobe lights and plays on the album title. MDMA is the clinical name for the drug ecstasy, and the song revels in a mix of danger and euphoria. M.I.A. features on the kitschy, '80s-inspired "Some Girls" and lends the song's entire framework a bit of her swagger. (The collaboration repeats on frisky bonus cut "B-Day Song.")

No current female is digging into such aggressive sounds. Not Gaga. Not Rihanna. Neither of whom would be around, by the way, if it weren't for Madonna. (Only Britney Spears, surprisingly enough, has mined similar territory on her past few albums.) It helps that Madonna doesn't pander to obvious production (RedOne, Max Martin, StarGate), instead enlisting William Orbit, Martin Solveig and Benny Benassi.

Second single "Girl Gone Wild" is hardly ground-breaking, but the beat and hook are undeniably infectious and pound more intently with each listen. The newly released video is an orgiastic homage to some of Madonna's most iconic imagery, including her "Sex" book. And like the best of her clips, it ups the appeal considerably.

To be sure, Madonna fills out the album with more commercial fare. "Turn Up the Radio" is a bright-eyed dance track tailored for airplay and sing-alongs; and "Superstar" is a pop trifle whose earnest wonder and lyrics ("You can have the password to my phone/I'll give you a massage when you get home") seem better-suited for a simpler singer. Daughter Lourdes contributes backing vocals, which might explain the girly feel.

There's a retro, '60s line running through "I'm a Sinner" and "Beautiful Killer," accessorized with swoops of disco. Madonna revisits her "American Life" rap cadence during "I Don't Give A," a superstar mom credo of sorts that drafts another Nicki Minaj cameo and a kooky operatic finale. It's so random it works. And she's likely addressing her dissolved marriage to filmmaker Guy Ritchie on pointed, poignant tracks "Best Friend" ("I miss your brain/The way you think/But I don't miss the way you used to drink") and "I F'ed Up" ("I'm sorry/I'm not afraid to say/I wish I could take you back but I can't").

"Falling Free" is the album's emotional showpiece, a somber, stop-start ballad built on eerie piano, gentle guitar licks and electronic twitches.

"Deep and pure our hearts align/Then I'm free, I'm free of mine," she repeats throughout the song's five-plus minutes. Love and loss in one gorgeous swoon. That's not the sound of irrelevance. It's the Queen of Pop, settling back into her throne.


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Guest Xanthium

Well the reviews have been great, so what's the issue, one site that collects reviews isn't giving the proper rating??? who cares, i don't know anyone who uses that shit fucking site anyway.

Metacritic has no value outside of stan wars and hipsters. I've seen waring video gamers use it as a weapon to criticize each other and various video games. It's all very :manson:

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Guest Coked Up Baby Boy

Metacritic has no value outside of stan wars and hipsters. I've seen waring video gamers use it as a weapon to criticize each other and various video games. It's all very :manson:

I don't know anyone that has used it since 2004. It's such a useless and dated source of information for finding reviews. People here are SO fixated on it though.

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Guest Xanthium

I don't know anyone that has used it since 2004. It's such a useless and dated source of information for finding reviews. People here are SO fixated on it though.

I use it here and there. I used to much more in the past. But some people have latched onto it like it's the holy grail. It's all very Pitchfork :rolleyes: I don't see how people can use it in an official capacity anyways because you don't know their methodology behind which reviews get selected and which ones are left out. Unfortunately, I foresee horrible staning from enemy camps if MDNA's score doesn't pick up :manson: Lord have mercy.

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Guest Xanthium

The review from Pitchfork:



Madonna's 12th studio album is the product of both a merger and a divorce, but as much as the singer attempts to milk the latter event for pathos over the course of its 16 tracks, the tone is mostly set by corporate dealmaking. MDNA is the star's first record as part of a $120 million deal with concert promotion juggernaut Live Nation and a separate three-album pact with Interscope, and like a lot of new records by artists of her stature, it's essentially a mechanism to promote a world tour that will inevitably drastically out-earn the profits from her new music. These sort of records don't need to be cynical or uninspired on an artistic level, but this one feels particularly hollow, the dead-eyed result of obligations, deadlines, and hedged bets.

Madonna has made her share of bad music in the past, but for the most part, her failures have come from taking artistic chances that didn't pay off, as on her experiments with hip-hop on American Life and Hard Candy. Large chunks of MDNA are shockingly banal, coming across not so much as bad pop songs per se, but as drably competent tunes better suited to D-list Madonna wannabes. The worst of these numbers were produced by French DJ Martin Solveig, whose anonymous, unimaginative arrangements for "Turn Up the Radio", "Give Me All Your Luvin'", "I Don't Give A", and "B-Day Song" are paired with excessively bland lyrics. The latter track, a collaboration with M.I.A., is horrifically regressive, the sound of two of pop's great feminist provocateurs joining forces for what amounts to a tacky children's song about birthday parties spiced up with a couple of tired double entendres. (Sorry ladies, Rihanna beat you to that frosting-licking line.)

Madonna's tracks with house duo the Benassi Bros. and William Orbit, the principle architect of her 1998 album Ray of Light, are much better, if not up to par with previous career highlights. "I'm Addicted", a dynamic electro throbber by the Benassis, is the big keeper here, and their work on "Girl Gone Wild" yields a reasonably strong single that rises to the challenge of competing with Ke$ha, Britney Spears, and Katy Perry on pop radio. The Orbit collaborations mainly call back to their work together on Ray, the record that essentially established the aesthetics of the singer's past decade of music. "I'm a Sinner" is a serviceable rewrite of their Ray-era soundtrack hit "Beautiful Stranger", and "Falling Free" plays to her strengths as a singer of ballads, though it lacks the generous hooks of, say, "Take a Bow" or "Live to Tell".

The most interesting of the Orbit productions is "Gang Bang", a campy revenge fantasy that essentially uses her filmmaker ex-husband Guy Ritchie's sub-Tarantino aesthetic as a weapon against him. The title suggests porn, but it's really a nod to mobsters, particularly as her over-the-top, Ana Matronic-esque monologue turns especially violent and bloody. It's the album's boldest, most experimental track, and it's marred only by a just-off vocal performance that renders her very familiar voice a bit anonymous, and a half-hearted attempt at a dubstep bass drop. (Next time just hire Skrillex, okay?)

Madonna reckons with her divorce from Ritchie elsewhere on the record, but her attempts to address lingering bitterness and affection for her ex are so remote that the songs have all the soul of a carefully edited press release. "Love Spent", an Orbit production with brittle electro-acoustic accompaniment, at least approaches the topic from an interesting angle, focusing on the tension and power dynamic of a relationship in which one half of the couple drastically out-earns the other. The song picks up steam as it goes along, but it ultimately comes out like a tepid, ponderous rework of her 2005 smash "Hung Up". "I Don't Give A" starts off strong with her spitting out the lines, "Wake up, ex-wife/ This is your life," in a robotic rap, but she is upstaged by guest Nicki Minaj, who turns in an entertaining performance that is nevertheless below the standards of her usual features.

It's almost impossible to approach MDNA without some degree of cynicism, but it's equally difficult to imagine anyone being more cynical about this music than Madonna herself. Unlike previous late-period records in which she had the luxury to indulge in creative tangents and not get too hung up on scoring several hits, MDNA is a record that comes with major commercial expectations. The "this has to work" factor is high, and it's hard to shake the impression that she has some measure of contempt for the contemporary pop audience. We all know that Madonna is an extremely intelligent woman-- even if she's never been known for penning great lyrics, it's easier to take the mesmerizingly dumb lyrics of tracks like "Superstar" and "B-Day Song" as spiteful trolling rather than vapid pandering. It doesn't really matter whether or not this drivel is insulting to Madonna's audience-- the most loyal fans seem to embrace being submissive to her domineering persona-- but it is disheartening when one of the most influential pop artists of the 20th century is tossing out the world's umpteen-millionth "Mickey" retread as a lead single. She's the one who deserves better.

I actually agree with several things in the review. I think the reviewer is actually being quite objective. He's complementary at times while also using constructive criticism. He doesn't come across as a hater at all, more like a disappointed casual fan.

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Honestly, all the people who r going on about dubstep in their reviews r cunts. It's not a fucking genre, just beats that have been around since the stone age, but we get it Becky, ur hip cuz u know like music terminology & shit. :fag:

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If you ignore the grade, the Pitchfork review is surprisingly fair and spot-on. If you just read the first and last graphs, the 4.5/10 might be justified, but the middle makes it sound like a decent album. Pitchfork kind of hates Madonna (or hates to admit they don't), so I wouldn't be surprised if the grade was assigned by the editor and not the writer himself. That's often the case with reviews.

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I actually agree with several things in the review. I think the reviewer is actually being quite objective. He's complementary at times while also using constructive criticism. He doesn't come across as a hater at all, more like a disappointed casual fan.

Does it warrant an F though? The perfect example is Confessions - Madonna's most critically acclaimed work in years, and they gave her 6 despite being relatively positive about the project. They consistently low ball her. Believe me, I know the type of ppl that write for these publications. Elitist doesn't even begin to cover it :lol:

The most hilarious thing was when they were jacking off to Lana Del Rey all over that website and then had such egg on their face when it was revealed she was a creation of a record label. I don't think theyve mentioned her since :lmao: they are all about image on that stupid website. Not music. Itd be less aggravating if they weren't treated so credibly.

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I'm very happy with the 99% positive reviews. Madonna really delivered with MDNA. I'm very proud of our girl! I can't stop listening to this album!

GMAYL and GGW were/are just the tip of the iceberg really.

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